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I have recently had to move home after 28 years with the same landlord (he had a change of circumstances and needed to raise capital) and used all my savings/spare cash to pay for 3 skips and a house clearance. I don't know why I stuck my head in the sand and didn't pay the CT on the new property. I also stopped opening my mail.


On Tuesday I found a bailiffs letter in my door stating I owed £1093.04 which included a £24.50 charge, I didn't even realise I'd been taken to court! Serves me right for not opening mail. Spent the rest of the day opening it all. I'd missed a couple of payments so now have to pay the whole years CT. The next day the bailiff called again - I was at work. I now had to pay another £18 for that visit making a total of £1,111.04. There was an offer to let me pay in 10 weekley installments of £101.01. If I had a spare £100 a week I probably wouldn't be in this situation in the first place! I was also supposed to fill in a questionnaire if I wanted to pay in instalments but some of the info requested I wouldn't like to give out - my employers details and my landlords details.


I spoke to national debtline who went through a budget with me and are sending it to me in the post to use if I try to negotiate with the bailiffs but he is due to call again on Monday so it probably won't be here in time.


I don't know what to do, I suffer from depression and diabetes and haven't felt that good since I moved. I saw my GP today and he doubled the doseage of my anti-depressants as I'm not coping very well. I'm on leave at the moment and all of next week but I'm so on edge at home I'm feeling very stressed and can't sleep. Any advice gratefully received.

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first stop stressing, the bailiff of course wants you to pay an massive amount a week, but you dont have to pay him you can pay the council direct using their online payment system but only pay what you can afford. However make sure its regular amount. Now lets deal with the bailiff, he has no right of entry to your property, so dont let him in no matter what he says. heres some of the lines used to get in " I need to use the toilet is it ok to come in" no let him/her pee themselves. "do you have a pen I can use?" then they follow you in. Dont phone them EVER. Threats the bailiff will use "I'm coming back with locksmith if you dont let me in" NO he isnt and no he cant do it. "I'm coming back with police to arrest you and get you sent to prison" No he isnt and no he cant. "I have a van in area that is going to take all your goods to pay the debt if you dont let me in" theres NO van ever.

Right keep all curtains closed when out of property, bailiffs have a habit of looking through windows and making illegal levies, you dont have to open door or even speak to bailiff, if you do speak to bailiff then do so through letterbox and record the conversation.


As for suffering from depression/diabetes I'm not sure but it may make you a vulnerable person therefore the council have to take the debt back and call off bailiff but others will advise on that

I know my rights Mr DCA I'm with the CAG......hello hello where you gone Mr DCA8)

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You can do all that if you want - or you can see whether you can reasonably settle the debt. £1,111 is not astronomically high for a year's council tax.


The equation is relatively simple: have you got the money? No. SO, have you got assets to the value of? If so, can you live without them - ie sell them? If not, then advise the council you are not unwilling, but unable to pay. They can't get blood out of a stone.

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Hello there.


We really hope you found our service helpful. We should be sending you a copy of our Bailiffs & Council Tax fact sheet in the post, there is a copy online which you can find here:




As padja states you should never let the bailiff in, ensure that your property is secure - with doors & windows locked; if you have a motor vehicle ensure that it is well hiddle a good 5 minute's walk away.


If the bailiff cannot get in they can either ask for the money or pass the debt back to the council, they'll have no further powers to do anything. This means that you should be able state to the bailiff the amount that you're willing to pay. In your letter make clear that if they don't wish to accept that amount they should pass the debt back to the council. Do remember that if they cannot get in to the property or get a reasonable repayment arrangement sorted they'll pass the debt back to the council at some point. If you cannot get anything sorted with the bailiff then await for the debt to be returned and ensure that you keep your payment money to one side for once it has been passed back!


Best wishes,



For Free, Confidential and Independent advice: 0808 808 4000

Monday - Friday 9am to 9pm // Saturday 9.30am to 1pm // 24-hour voicemail. Please leave a message to request an information pack. http://www.nationaldebtline.org // http://www.mymoneysteps.org

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Can I add....the Court have issued a liability order...that means they have found you to be liable for the debt to the Council, it does not mean a bailiff can knock on your door and make a claim to having a warrant permitting them to enter. Please be very careful with this as it is all to common for them to wave a liability order around and tell you they have rights to enter your home and levy/remove goods....they do not have that right until such time they have referred the matter to the Council and the Council agree to a warrant of entry being applied for through the correct channels.


If the bailiff refuses you a payment plan within your means then I personally would write to the Council and outline you are being denied a right to pay in a way that is affordable to you and sustainable by you..and for that reason you will make all future payments direct to the Council, and ask they recognise you are not refusing to pay merely unable to pay at the rate being asked by their appointed agent.


Once you can establish what your payment will be, make that payment to the Council by way of their online payment system of telephone banking, make sure you make payment to the same amount on the same day/date every week/month and you will soon build a history to showing your intent to paying as told to them.





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Exactly proceexd as per wonkeydonkey, and keep the bailiff out, deny him a levy, and he is powerless beyond claiming two visit fees totalling £42.50, There is no law that actually states you are compelled to speak to or deal with a bailiff. If he does turn up shouting and bawling or even speaking softly but uttering veiled threats of imprisonment etc, film him even with a mobile phone, to use as further evidence that he is the one being unreasonable.

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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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