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Earlier today I tried setting up a payment plan with Equita to pay off my Birmingham city council Tax bill off £1,086.24. I offered to pay £100 a month to them which they said was acceptable but I had to make my first payment today.

 

Unfortunately I told them I could make a payment till Wednesday so they refused to put payments on hold till then and told me that I would still be liable for extra charges till I make first payment.

 

Is there any one I can contact to try to get them to wait till Wednesday without commencing any extra action. I am worried as I have previously had them turn up on my door step and levy vehicles on my drive before I have even received letters from them (previous debt) and I currently have a car parked on my drive which I've declared SORN as I'm attempting to sell it to try to raise money to pay of my debts. Unfortunately as car is not insured or taxed I can't move it to different location.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated

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Unfortunately it has been to court although I cant recall having received a copy of liability order from the court or the council

 

I am willing to pay the debt but need till Wednesday to get some money together for the 1st payment together and would have thought that they would have been willing to wait just 3 working days for the 1st payment but the lady I spoke to on the phone hung up on me when I tried explaining this to her.

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May I suggest you ask for this to be moved to the Bailiff Forum - click the little black triangle to the left. This sounds typical of Equita, are you also aware that BCC have outsourced their admin to a company called Capita who also own a Bailiff company called Equita. Have you sent off for a breakdown of the fees incurred to date? Do you know how much the original Liability Order was for>

 

PT

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Thanks for the advice. I'll contact Birmingham council on Monday to let them know that I'm paying and Wednesday and see how things go. I check the original amount owed when I get back home but don't think they've added much on the moment but could be wrong.

 

Thanks again for the advice given by all

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  • 4 weeks later...

On 12th September an Equita ballif hand delivered a letter stating that I had 24hrs to pay of my debt or that he would be back to remove goods. Nothing was levied on this date even though car was parked on drive and he didnt knock on the door, he just put the letter through the letter box.

 

After reading the forum I decided to send the folling letter to Equita's Birmingham office

 

Equita Certified Bailiffs

7-8 Waterloo Street

Birmingham

B2 5PG

 

Ref: Account No: XXXXXXX

 

Birmingham City Council Ref: XXXXXXXXXXXXX

Dear Sir/Madam

 

I understand Birmingham City Council has appointed you to recover my Council Tax Liability arrears for the above account.

 

Firstly I would like to make you aware that I am fully aware of my rights and you will not gain entry to my home under any circumstances to levy goods and I know the fees allowed under statute and when these fees can bea applied.

 

I can confirm that I have today made a payment of £100 (+ £3 surcharge)online via your website today payment reference XXXXXXXXXX

 

I also wish to offer to pay £100 per month beginning 28th October 2011 until the Debt is paid off. I have previously attempted to set up this arrangement over the telephone with one of your representatives and was told the amount was acceptable but she refused toset up plan until 1st payment was made. I was unable to make the payment at that time and before I could explain situation the she ended the call.

 

It should be noted that I am not at any point refusing to pay this debt but only asking for a fair payment period considering my circumstances. And if you are unable to accept my offer I will place the money aside each month until such a time the council take the account back into their management, when I will make payment of the set aside money to the council.

 

Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges.

This includes but is not limited to:

 

a - the time & date of anyBailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of theBailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s)the Bailiff(s) was/were certificated at.

e - the date of theCertification.

f – copy of the court liabilityorder

 

This is not a Subject access request under the Data Protection Act S71998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide thisinformation.

 

I require this information within 14 days.

 

All further correspondence must be done writing.

 

A Copy of this letter will also be sent to Birmingham City Council

 

Yours faithfully

 

 

XXXXXX XXXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today i recieved the following letter from them. Could someone confirm that the charges look correct.

 

letter can be found at postimage.org/image/2aq8i7b44. sorry did try using attachment feature on forum but kept getting resized really small and I dont have enough posts to add clickable links.

 

It also states on the letter that I need to contact the bailiff directly to negotiate a payment plan but only give his mobile number but from what I can gather it appears it's not a good idea to talk to them on the phone and letters should be used. Should I send a letter to equita office addressed to him or should I bite the bullet and talk to him on the phone ?

 

All advice greatfuly appreciated.

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He cannot charge a fee for delivering a letter. The object of his visit is to engage yourself to make payment or attend your address with a view to distraining your goods. If he never knocked or rang your bell to see if you were in he has only delivered a letter. I assume you were in when he called.

 

BCC use a company called Capita to do their admin including Revenues, therefore when you ring the "Council" you are in fact talking to the employee of a private company. This in itself is bad enaough but Capita also happen to own a Bailiff company called Equita, so it is in their interest to tell you to solely deal with the Bailiff.

 

There is no law to say that you have to deal with or speak to a Bailiff, if you have to all communication should be in writing unless you can record your calls - they are known to suffer from memory loss when asked to recall details of conversations. You can pay the Council direct by online banking, the Council website or automated phone service but you may have to budget for lawful Bailiff Fees. If doing this make sure you pay at a level you can afford & sustain and do it regularly - £10 every Thursday for example. Doing this is sure to upset the Bailiff but so what, as long as you make sure your doors & windows are locked you prevent the Bailiff gaining access to your home or otherwise gaining a levy on anything outside he will move on. This will not happen overnight so be prepared for it to take a little time.

 

PT

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Yes I was home when he stuck the letter through the door. How would I prove that he didn't knock or ring the bell ? and how do I dispute the charge ?

 

I do actually want to come to an agreement to pay the debt but the only contact details they have given for the bailiff in charge of my account is a mobile number which I now refuse to call since I can't record the call. Is sending him an offer of payment via sms safe or should I send a letter to equita office for his attention ?

 

Thank-you for your help

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You could pay into the council directly using the online system, and send a letter to the council and Equita, to tell them this, you would have to allow for lawful fees, of around £42.50, if you can prevent a levy, and you keep the bailiff out

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To make an arrangement with the Bailiff usually means he comes to take a levy on your goods - putting you further into debt. Next stage is usually for them to engineer a default on the account which allows them to add yet more fees plus possibly come to remove the goods they levied upon originally. Much better to ignore the Bailiff and pay the Council direct.

 

PT

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