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Got a note through the door from Equita Bailiffs for a council tax liability order. Letter reads as follows:

 

 

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My name & address - printed on the letter

 

Date - handwritten

 

Time - handwritten

 

 

Delivered By Hand

 

BAILIFF REMOVAL

 

Payment due in full - 24 hours

 

I have attended today with the intention of removing your goods and chattels as are necessary to discharge the outstanding Council Tax Liability Order and additional Enforcement Costs incurred.

 

PLEASE NOTE - No further arrangements are acceptable and payment is now required in full by CLEAR FUNDS ONLY.

 

I will re-attend your address with immediate effect and may REMOVE goods even in your absence. Should you wish to avoid this distressing course of action, contact me immediately on the telephone number below to arrange prompt payment of your debt.

 

No contact will be taken as your refusal to pay.

 

 

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There was nothing about the amount or actual costs.

 

I contacted the council immediately, because this is the first I'd heard it was being kicked to the bailiffs. I knew I had a liability order but I had assumed my previous payment arrangement (made with the council) for last years order was continuing on, as I had made all my payments on time, and I'd heard nothing else from the council.

 

After 10-15 futile minutes trying to get the council to take it back from the bailiffs, I got them to confirm the amount of the liability order.

 

I borrowed the money from a relative, and paid off the liability order directly to the council via their automated telephone system. I then paid a further £45 (via automated system) to cover 2 bailiff visits - letter above being the first visit, and one more visit should they actually come in 24 hours and my account isn't clear in time, OR if they claim this wasn't the first visit.

 

Is the letter above the standard first visit letter from Equita when you've got a council tax liability order? It doesn't sound like it - aren't they supposed to give you a payment arrangement option?

 

When do bailiff costs get added to your council tax account? Do they maintain a separate account with the charges that the council doesn't have access to, cos the debt at the council was just for the liability order.

 

I'm worried about them adding mystery costs to my account and/or that they've levied my neighbours cars (who are fond of parking outside my house).

 

I have no intention of contacting the bailiffs, but I'd like to know this is finished and I haven't got to worry about more bailiffs charges, relatives parking at my house and hiding in my house to avoid contact.

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You have discharged the LO and thats the end of it....the bailiff if having only made one visit was only entitled to one fee £24.50 so he got extra beer money for work he has not done if you have paid him £42.50...all finished done and dusted...you should have no further worries:rockon::rockon:

 

WD

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You have discharged the LO and thats the end of it....the bailiff if having only made one visit was only entitled to one fee £24.50 so he got extra beer money for work he has not done if you have paid him £42.50...all finished done and dusted...you should have no further worries:rockon::rockon:

 

WD

 

I paid the council automated line - no contact with bailiff. Just concerned that bailiff will claim it's not his 1st (or 2nd) visit, and that he's levied a car (one of my neighbours) incurring further charges.

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I paid the council automated line - no contact with bailiff. Just concerned that bailiff will claim it's not his 1st (or 2nd) visit, and that he's levied a car (one of my neighbours) incurring further charges.

 

If he turns up you show him reciept tell him visit fees have been paid in, and as there was no valid levy or notice of seizure left, you consider the matter closed, and that you are removing his implied right of access to your property as of now, so he must leave. Also you could film him with a mobile phone to capture any threats you can use in a formal complaint if he gets silly


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The link below is to a thread concerning complaints.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?364494-OFT-Complaints-credit-fitness(3-Viewing)-nbsp

 

As many people on here are aware, we have a commercial business providing advice to the public with regards to a bailiff visit.

 

It is simply astonishing the number of enquiries we receive regarding notices left by Equita Ltd and where the notice fails to provide any details of the amount due and instead, the debtor is expected to incur costs of calling a bailiff on a mobile number to obtain details.

 

Many times, trying to get through to the bailiff is a complete nightmare with the phone either being unanswered for days or where a message is left with the bailiff and he fails to respond. The debtor will then call Equita's office and the response will be that "we do not have information about this case......you have to call the bailiff".

 

Surprise, surprise..... many times this leads to ANOTHER visit being made and more fees added.

 

Thankfully, many people are now writing letters to Trading Standards or The Office of Fair Trading concerning these dreadful letters.

 

This is not before time.

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Everyone advises that you should pay the council directly in these circumstances (which I did). But if you do this, does the bailiff know you've paid off the debt or does he assume that because there's been no contact, the debt is still outstanding.

 

Is there a database he accesses to see what the balance is before he (eg) makes a visit, or does he get an initial figure, and that's what he works off.

 

May seem like silly questions, but I don't understand why they don't apply their charges to the account when they see that the person is paying / has paid the council directly.

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once the liability order is cleared even if he does visit you can tell him to go away this is why its best to pay the council directly to get the monies actually owed paid off as fast as possible


My views are based on experience I would always urge you to do some further research and if in doubt seek legal advice.

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The Council should be advising the Bailiffs that payments have been made and in your case they should be able to ascertain that you have paid the primary debt off. Have you sent off to the bailiffs for a breakdown of their alleged fees that they want?


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Have you sent off to the bailiffs for a breakdown of their alleged fees that they want?

No, because they haven't asked for any yet.

 

I know there's a charge coming because I've had one note through the door, but I don't want to contact him, because that's just inviting him to make up a load of visits in a breakdown, which seems to happen to a lot of people.

 

Council said I was still in credit, so it doesn't look like he 's even looked at the account. Logic dictates he should be attempting to take his visit money from the credit I left, but there's nothing logical about the way they go about their duties.

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Contacted the council today, they told me they would send a memo to head office to let them know the debt has been cleared, but mentioned the bailiff may come after me for his costs.

 

Should I telephone the bailiffs and ask what the costs are, or should I write them.

 

I'm worried that writing and asking for a breakdown will encourage them to make up visits (they've only visited once), but telephoning is dangerous as I don't have a means of recording the call.

 

Do Equita have an email address, and should I cc the council?

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You have already paid £45 post1# and two visits would only come to £42.50.....so I would be asking for a refund?

 

If they get stroppy then is the time to ask for a breakdown of their fees...leave the ball in their court.

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I paid the council directly, deliberately leaving the account in credit by £45, as I assumed the bailiff would eventually take his visit money directly from the council, but the council have said I'm the one who has to pay the bailiff his costs.

 

I've spent the last 2 weeks keeping windows shut and checking the front of my house to see if anyone's lurking before I leave/enter.

 

This waiting game is stressing me out.

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I paid the council directly, deliberately leaving the account in credit by £45, as I assumed the bailiff would eventually take his visit money directly from the council, but the council have said I'm the one who has to pay the bailiff his costs.

 

send them and e-mail and remind them that legislation states

 

 

The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992

Distress

 

45.—(1) Where a liability order has been made, the authority which applied for the order may levy the appropriate amount by distress and sale of the goods of the debtor against whom the order was made.

(2) The appropriate amount for the purposes of paragraph (1) is the aggregate of—

(a)an amount equal to any outstanding sum which is or forms part of the amount in respect of which the liability order was made, and

(b)a sum determined in accordance with Schedule 5 in respect of charges connected with the distress.

(3) If, before any goods are seized, the appropriate amount (including charges arising up to the time of the payment or tender) is paid or tendered to the authority, the authority shall accept the amount and the levy shall not be proceeded with.

 

therefor as neither the council or the bailiff firm can change legislation you have now satisfied the debt and bailiff fees any further enforcement will result in a formal complaint to the ceo and if necessary the local government ombudsman ask them to confirm in writing the debt and fees have now been settled and the account is closed

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Spoke to council today, they said the account was no longer with the bailiff, but was still in credit.

 

Asked for something in writing to confirm account no longer with bailiff, said I'd have to write in to request that.

 

Still concerned that the bailiff will demand his costs, as it would appear that when payments are made, the council are unable to distinguish whether the payments come from the bailiff or direct (telephone) from me.

 

Should I send them a timeline of events, ie:

 

xx/09/12 - 1st (and only) bailiff visit - called council for balance, full balance paid (automated council telephone line) same day.

 

yy/09/12 - memo sent from council to head office to say account has been cleared.

 

How do I word the letter to the council to get the required result, eg, will "please confirm there are no bailiff charges due on this account" suffice? Should I point out that I left the account in credit so that he could take £24.50 for his one and only visit?

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Personally I would just leave £24.50 on the account for a while....sit back and see what happens, why draw attention to it? as long as you have confirmation the account has reverted to credit status and the LO is discharged you have nothing to 'worry' over.

 

WD

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Personally I would just leave £24.50 on the account for a while....sit back and see what happens, why draw attention to it? as long as you have confirmation the account has reverted to credit status and the LO is discharged you have nothing to 'worry' over.

 

WD

 

I hear you, I don't want to draw attention to it either, which is why I haven't asked for a breakdown of charges, but I also don't trust Equita Bailiffs, and don't want them levying or clamping my relative's car over a £24.50 or £42.50 charge that will blow up to £300.

 

I think I'll just request the letter to say the account is no longer with the bailiffs and hope that they mention that there are no bailiff charges.

 

I'm still telling relatives not to park in my drive though.

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Asked for something in writing to confirm account no longer with bailiff, said I'd have to write in to request that. Find that difficult to believe, probably them being stroppy.

Still concerned that the bailiff will demand his costs, as it would appear that when payments are made, the council are unable to distinguish whether the payments come from the bailiff or direct (telephone) from me. Load of cobblers as they get the details through from them as to what they have paid to each account.

 

 

I would be also of the opinion you shouldn't rock the boat. If they do decide to visit see what happens then, just don't open the door to them. If you are going to ask anything from the Council it should be for a "declaration" that your account is now paid in full.


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