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Hi hope some one can give a bit of advice.


We had a letter sent to us a week or so ago by Bristow & Sutor for an unpaid council Tax bill, due to another local authority, and for an address that she lived at prior to us getting married.


We have since been visited by a bailif while we were out, and they left a notice to return and sieze goods.


Couple of things on this. First the amount they are trying to claim appears to be from 1999. Is there a limitation on this kind of debt?


The other thing is my wife left that address in early 1999 and moved to another city to move in with me, prior to us getting married. There does not appear to be any other information as to the period this alleged debt covers.


We have not had any contact from the council claiming this debt at our new address, and having been living in this property for 4 years without a murmur from them.


Any ideas on the best way forward, and can they still claim after such a long time?

Edited by dadofholly

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Unfortunately if the Council obtained a Liability order within 6 years of the debt falling due then it is never too late for them to chase after it. More & more Councils are doing this to get back money they need. The flip side is that if this was before you got together then the debt is solely your wife's, so if they do decide to attempt a levy it can only be on goods that belong to her.


The other downside to this is you will already have incurred Bailiff Fees of at least £24-50. It may also be that if she moved the Council may be charging for the time after she moved - you will need to ring them to find out exactly what they are charging and for what period.



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Hi - assuming that neither of you heard anything from the local taxation services PRIOR to their application for a council tax liability order [CTLO]

there is standard advice that a frequent cagger fork-it repeats

[bit I can't cos I'm still too junior to include the link - but you can browse these threads & find it

compelling evidence....regulation sections etc]


now the above means will not necessarily retract the CTLO, but may well suspend enforcement action, pending a mutually agreeable installment plan


to which I'll just add that....


bailifs? "Why talk to the monkey when you can talk to the organ grinder?" - deal with the local taxation services, for preference,

there is nothing to gain from talking to bailiffs, plenty of potential for loss

full details of bailiff relations requirements can be pdf downloaded as factsheets from national debtline website

oft recommended amongst these threads is online payment facilities - personally I prefer to conduct all negotiations with Royal Mail Recorded Delivery

[the track & trace prevents them from claiming to never have got the letter]


you are urged to keep a full diary of events; recent experiences suggest that the council's [usually multistage] complaints process

[[the first stage is "in-house" at the local taxations services office, so they might dismiss a first service complaint - but actual councils do like as much detail as you can provide about shortfalls from the service levels of both their necessary & aspirational statutory obligations, that their local taxation services office dishes out - so keep complaining and give the council as much tactical option as possible for them to bring their agents to heel]

is not unresponsive if approached appropriately


[examples of correspondence will be found scattered through my postings on other threads]


because of the 1999

the CTLO is indeed statutorily exempt from the standard 6 year liability limit

[for now - depending on how huge their claim is [100s or 1000s] it might be worth you considering kicking to the long grass

[ie 100s just settle - 1000s offer a repayment rate so slow as to be virtually insulting - that is the long grass option]

in case council tax ultimate sanction gets reviewed in light of 10 years actual dire performance of CTLOs

in the ongoing local government bill]

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