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Im just after some advice. I've got a pre committal hearing in the morning for £4k of council tax which takes me upto 31/3/14.


Im self employed and honestly have not had the means to pay, I want to pay and agree the council need the money for services but im on the bones of my bottom. I admit I have not acted on the letters but they just keep coming and putting food on table roof over head and diesel in van to earn tomorrows food ect has been priority.


I have arranged this meeting tomorrow and I specified the time and day, (Friday as I have some cheques due to clear my bank this evening @ 9pm)


Two things, will this be a friendly chat or will it be into the magistrates court?


Secondly do I make a payment of £2200 before the meeting? If it makes a massive difference I could beg/borrow to get up to £2700 which would clear up to this years as I have another cheque clearing Friday evening.


Thanks for the help

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The pre committal letter had almost £4k on it but the actual amounts are £2700 upto 31/3/13 and £1200 13/14.


Im a bit confused with the way I could choose to have the meeting with the council at anytime or day ect thinking it a friendly chat through income/expenditure till I started searching on the internet about being taken into room to admit liability and then straight to court.


Paying £2200/£2700 will clear me out till someone pays me, and this amount is only available due to me harassing people who owed me money which I hate doing but the pressure is on now.

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If this is a meeting with one of the Council's solicitors and you take the £2200 with you I doubt if they will take you to Court, especially if you say you can pay the outstanding £500 within a certain time period, say 14 days. Then, if they insist, you can make an arrangement to pay this year's Council Tax by monthly direct debit. (You can always cancel it if you have cashflow problems.)


Like you I work for myself and it is very difficult harassing people even if they owe you money. However, if this is for work you have already done they do owe it to you and you just have to say very firmly that you are running a business and like everyone else you need the money.

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Thanks DD for your time, i'll see how I go on.


I tend to work harder and longer rather than stopping and getting paper working in order and hounding people to pay what they owe. 90% of my work are breakdowns so are unexpected costs for the customers, this then puts me in positions like I have been in for quite a while. Then you go down the refusal to provide a service till bill is paid at the risk of them getting someone else in and putting your bill at the very very bottom of the pile. But I am getting round to the thinking im better off sat at home than working for nothing or a slow payer.

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The council's priority is to get the money and every department has to justify how it spends their money. If you offer them the bulk of the money, as you are doing, then they shouldn't be spending council taxpayer's money taking you to court. There would be no point. The magistrate would ask for an income and expenditure report and would only make you pay what you can afford on a monthly basis, so it would take the council much longer to get their money. I really think that as you are going to be giving them more than 75% of the balance tomorrow you should be okay. Make sure you emphasise that it isn't that you haven't wanted to pay; you haven't been able to pay because people haven't paid you.


I think you need to put payment terms of 28 days on your invoices. This won't always work, but some people actually do pay their bills once a month like this, so at least some of them might pay on time.


I once told a company who weren't paying me that I knew they spent more on taxis in a week than the money they owed me and they could get it out of petty cash.....and they did! It's harder with individuals but unless you genuinely believe they don't have the money - and you know they aren't just carrying on as usual with trips to the pub, etc., with you at the bottom of their list - then you do have to push them.


Good luck for tomorrow's meeting. Let us know what happens.

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Just had a call of landlord, He has a letter from council something about us having moved and not paid council tax. I get on well with him and explained that going in too see pay in the morning. Im going to see the letter later.

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Well all is well,


Meeting was me is a small room with two recovery officers, It started with lots of listening to them with lots of yes, yes, yes. They said I could pay this current years by instalments and provided I did that I could pay the outstanding off bit by bit. I agreed, once they had looked over my income and expenditure sheet they asked how much I could afford to pay, (very little) they could see my circumstances are due to change in September. I then offered to pay a lump sum, upto now the mood was slightly hostile, I offered £2k and they were shocked :jaw:.... and asked me to confirm... mood changed for the better and I went over to a payment desk and paid £2200, went back to the office and explained I have paid £2200 off because I could afford to but hadn't offered that much first in case they tried to haggle with me. They said these meetings don't normally go this smoothly. And off I went.


So now have this current years spread plus £500 from the outstanding spread over the months between now and (including) march 14.


It would of been better to work it out like this ages ago instead of sending stupid letters stating that if you don't pay all the outstanding in full £xxx will be added to your bill and you have 14 days ect because they just get filed and forgot because I couldn't pay the whole amount.


Thanks for your help.

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I am absolutely delighted to hear that. I thought you would be fine giving them the £2200.


Of course it would have been easier if they had been willing to negotiate earlier - but they are like that.


Have a great weekend. You won't be worrying about this any more. :-)

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