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I have recently come across Jacobs Certificated Bailiffs who were chasing me for an outstanding Council Tax bill. I did a lot of research on the subject and just thought I would share my findings:

 

If you can pay

 

1. Dont Panic!

 

It is important not to panic. The Bailiffs may seem like big scary people but really there are limits on what they can and can't do (unlike HCEOs!) The letters are designed to scare you in to making contact with them. Resist the urge to do so.

 

2. Don't Let Them In

 

Bailiffs are like something out of an 80s Vampire flick. If you don't let them in, they can't come in. Simple as.

 

3. Move your car (if it is not on finance)

 

Shift your car around the corner until everything is sorted. If it is on finance leave a message in the window saying "THIS IS ON FINANCE" - they shouldn't be off Levying on things.

 

4. Contact the Council

 

Arrange to pay directly to the Council. Ignore any guff about Bailiff fees. It isn't going to be cost effective for them to take you to Court. Pay the Council. Ask them to take the case back. Once they have got their money they don't care about the Bailiffs.

 

If you can't pay

1. Don't Panic! (and move your car)

 

Don't panic, it's not the end of the world if you can't pay. The Council aren't going to send you to prison (which is technically an option, but so, so unlikely). Move your car, as above.

 

2. Don't deal with the Bailiffs

 

Talk to the Council. Explain why you can't pay and why you haven't been in touch. Start making small payments through an online portal if at all possible.

 

3. Don't let the Bailiffs in

 

See above - don't let them in. They can't break in.

 

4. Ask yourself why you can't pay

 

Everyone makes mistakes. You need to make sure you don't find yourself in this position again. you need to think about downsizing, maximising your benefits or cutting down on the fags. You've got to pay Council Tax (no matter what some idiots may tell you). Sort it out.

 

Other things to be aware of

There are guidelines about vulnerability. They are great but the Bailiffs don't really care about them. You're better making your case to the Council. We did.

 

I hope that this helps someone. I am sure that the same advice comes out time and again on this site but I thought a little thread may help some of your posters.

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Heh, let the flat upstairs in our house as s/c unit. One guy unknown to me paid zero CT and moved out after 6 months. Next I knew, bailiffs were round threatening to take MY stuff for HIS debt. Put them in pic and they were v. polite, immediately backed off. On the plus side I was able to tell them where he worked (he'd left no forwarding addy of course) so they were able to locate him there and arrange for the debt to be taken out of his wage-packet directly, by installments! ;)

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Ah yes, if you are pointing them towards someone else I imagine they are very friendly!

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Ah yes, if you are pointing them towards someone else I imagine they are very friendly!

To be fair, they were polite & backed off after I'd explained the situation, well before I thought of pointing them to his work location!

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It is always the case that as long as you do not have a car or allow a bailiff into your home that you are in a position whereby bailiff fees are limted to just £42.50.

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