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Confused about Council Tax Arrears


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I hope you can help me I'm confused about a council tax debt I was recently informed about.

 

I had a phone call from a debt management company out of the blue and stupidy I was driving at the time so answered it believing it to be a work call. They informed me that I owe the council of an area I lived in for a while £200. They couldn't tell me what it was for but told me I had to pay now and asked how I would like to pay.

 

As they couldn't tell me what it was for I politely told them to ram it believing it to be a [problem]. I have now received several letters from them and they have passed it to another debt management company who have written to me.

 

I've finally managed to get hold of the council after spending what seems like hours on hold and yes I do owe them money for council tax. News to me as I left there in 2009 believing I'd paid everything.

 

The thing that confuses me is the debt the management company are chasing is £200 however when speaking to the council the deby owed is £800 so I'm now wondering if I've messed up by contacting the council.

 

My intention is to deal direct with the council and make regular online payments direct to them as I know they cannot refuse and I don't want to pay any extra to a management company.

 

Have the council sold the debt expecting to get some back but write off the rest? in which case I'm cheaper paying the management company £200 and clearing the balance instead of the full £800 to the council.

 

Is it common practice for councils to do this or having now found me would the management company come after me again for the full amount once I've paid the £200.

 

I now live in Scotland so I know the rules are slightly different up here as doorstep collections and Balliffs are illegal but the courts can be tougher on people who don't pay their council tax.

 

Any advice you can give would be helpful.

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Scot Call are the latest one but the first call was from a company called debt managment.I didn't think councils farmed out council tax to debt collection agencies but perhaps because I'm in Scotland Balliffs are not an option.

 

You are correct in that they cannot instruct Bailiffs. As you are unsure of what you owe first of all establish from the Council how much was owing etc You need to speak to someone at the Council and ask the following questions:

1 - how many Liability Orders they have against you

2 - the dates they were obtained

3 - the addresses they were for

4 - the period of time each covers

5 - how much each one was for

6 - how much is still outstanding

7 - the dates they were passed on for enforcement

8 - the dates & amounts of any payments

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Thanks it didn't occur to me that it could be different liability orders. The council say that the total debt is £800 and that they have not written to me since 2011. I had left the property before any liability orders were issued and did not recieve them. They have never written to me at my current address.All I know is that the debt managment company are looking for £200 but you're probably right that they are different liability orders.My original plan was to pay the council direct and infact I've already made an online payment of £50 to them today and am happy to pay £50 per month to pay off the debt. I don't really want to pay ANY money to a collection agency but am happy to pay the debt. I'm more than happy to ignore a collection agent.As long as I can show proof that I am making regular payments to the council then I suspect no further enforcment action will take place because the payments are a reasonable amount and by making payments I am not refusing to pay. As I changed addresses a couple of times since then I can explain why I did not recieve the paperwork.

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Personally I would ignore your DCA's and pay the Council direct. Might pay to this weekly as they can then see you are doing this on a regular basis - £10 every Thursady for example.

 

This is the stratagy I used a few years ago when I was in arrears with CT due to being out of work and I would phone up the council on payday and make a payment direct to them. It ****ed the ballif off no end to the point of him actually making an angry phone call to me demanding that I pay him or I would be sent to jail. despite numerous vists (I was never in) and letters all they got out of me was the charge for the 1st visit and second visit.I was genuinly shocked at this charge because I was so sure that when I left and moved to Scotland 3 years ago everything was settled and up to date. I even made what I though was a final payment once I'd moved.

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