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I have received a SD for council tax. I have been in constant contact since March with the council putting various offers to them in order to try and settle the outstanding balance, excess of 10k. This has mainly been built up from a new start business, which is doing ok. The problems come from prior history and my partners job loss, all documented and proven to the council.

 

We have tried all sorts of offers but they would only discuss if we dealt with a bailiff which we refused, thinking if we made payments they would agree a sensible arrangement. I was wrong they issued a SD and want it cleared in 6 months, they have all our information and know this is impossible but have refused an offer to secure the debt and have basically said they are bankrupting me whatever i offer.

 

There is nothing to gain from this action and I have shown them evidence, it would mean we both end up unemployed and applying for council housing we also own 3 family members properties these would all be lost. They are all fairly high ltv so nothing to gain from forced sales.

 

I am at a loss why they are hell bent on making us homeless and unemployed it does not make sense !

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Although a SD has been issued, it doesn't automatically lead to a BR petition. The council, like HMRC, who made me BR for a similar amount, have little human intervention when it comes to these matters. They just keep pressing buttons from 1 to 100 until there are no more buttons to press and the trap door opens.

If i were you i would start making payments, and stick to it, whenever possible. They wont refuse it. And you can pay online.

A BR petition, can be defended like any court claim. If the judge sees you are making payments, and you are being reasonable, you have a chance to get the BR order suspended subject to showing you can clear the debt in a reasonable time.

If you say they wont listen, the judge will just say you should have made some payments anyway, and will almost certainly grant the BR.

At the end of the day, you must try to avoid this BR possibility at all costs. It can be very expensive.

I Wish you everything you wish yourself.

 

NatWest Claimed £1,639. Accepted £1,344.

Natwest Paid me again as GOGW £1,656. Yes they can have it back if they say please.

Barclays 1 Claimed £1,260. Won by default. Paid in full

Barclays 2 Claimed £2,378. Won by default. Paid in full

Birmingham Midshires. Claimed £2,122. Accepted £2,075.

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What tonycee has suggested is spot on.

 

Even when a CT account is in dispute you are still expected to make regular payments while seeking a resolve , the payments do not have to be at an agreed level but they should be realistically in proportion to the debt. If this should ever get to Court and you can show a record of regular payment reducing the debt then it goes in your favour.

 

WD

Edited by wonkeydonkey
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They could also go for a Charging Order on any house that you own, which may be an option to 'cap' the debt as such and start afresh. They charge the O/S council tax to your house. If you then pay your current CT as stated you would be fine. However, if you continue with non-payment then they could force a sale on the house they have the Charging Order on.

 

How can you own 3 properties and not be affording to pay CT? Would it not be prudent to sell one off and pay your liabilities?

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Hi All, thanks for the responses. I have been trying to sell properties and handed one back to the mortgage company, it would be prudent but unfortunately not that simple. We tried to keep at least 30% in our portfolio properties in order to absorb any problems, no one warned of the 2008 collapse in the market or that a very well respected engineer would make a very large error with a new build property.

 

I wish it was as easy as sell but it is a catch 22, quick sale low price therefore just about clear the debts nevermind the CT.

 

I have tried to get the SD set aside on the grounds of the fair offers made but i do not expect to get a favourable result. I have dealt with the council before. Will post when I receive a response.

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Hello there, do you know which Local Authority you're trying to deal with? Please ask them if they are aware of the council tax arrears good practice protocol? Also ask for a copy of their written complaints procedure. There have been made successful complaints upheld by the Local Government Ombudsman for the maladministration of accounts - specifically where bankruptcy action was seen to be disproportionate. My concern here is that £10k is a lot of council tax, and that they may be able to argue that their actions are in proportion. I assume they have attempted bailiffs and things like that already?

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It doesn't seem like there has been any maladministration here, and there is no dispute that the money is owed. Councils will act very quickly when it comes to BR, especially if they think there is money to be acquired by doing so. I would suggest as a last resort that you request a Charging Order on one of the properties (I'm assuming the 10k + is owed over several properties rather than just the one?).

 

I think throwing in the Ombudsman is not appropriate, and would be a waste of time, as they deal more with disputes and liability matters rather than how councils recover money.

 

I would assume that selling a house or two and only cutting even would still improve the situation for you though, as you would then have no ongoing Council Tax liability? Are these houses all empty? If not then why are you paying CT anyway? The occupier should be paying. Can you clarify the situation as to how may properties you owe on and who lives in them?

 

I have many years experience in this field and could try to assist if you wish to message me.

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I think throwing in the Ombudsman is not appropriate, and would be a waste of time, as they deal more with disputes and liability matters rather than how councils recover money.

 

I've a shedload of cases where the Ombudsman have stepped in in similar situations like this. Admittedly, there is usually an underlying social policy issue - which may or may not be the case in this particular situation.

 

I would assume that selling a house or two and only cutting even would still improve the situation for you though, as you would then have no ongoing Council Tax liability? Are these houses all empty? If not then why are you paying CT anyway? The occupier should be paying. Can you clarify the situation as to how may properties you owe on and who lives in them?

 

I have many years experience in this field and could try to assist if you wish to message me.

 

Please try and keep advice on-forum for the benefit of all users :)

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  • 1 month later...

The majority of the liability is from a business we set up last year it was done on a very small budget but for year one has done amazing and we are getting very involved with community and charity events.The majority of the debt is from the business premises, it includes the currant liability until March 2012. The properties are being marketed as the STA's have finished and when two tennants left. The reason for the problems is a legal battle over a new build which is being listed for a final hearing next month, at last it has been ongoing for nearly 4years. The business would be fine if you removed the other issues we have taken advice and everything goes the priority debts the first being the rent and mortgages.

 

I have offered to secure the debt to which the council have said no because of lack of equity but they have split the equity between me and my partner, life and business, so we are both joint ans severly liable for the debt. They seem to be determind to say the least.

 

We are at court in the morning to hear my application to set aside ! Fingers crossed

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