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seeking advice on what to do...Hounslow council have written to me three times now in the last couple of weeks the most recent letter stating I owe them five months council tax from 1994-95. This is from nineteen years ago and this is the first I am hearing about it. Yes I did live at that address for a short period of time back then. I was newly married with a baby and a friend of my husbands let us rent his house while we got on our feet. If I remember correctly it was a somewhat loose arrangement without an official tenancy agreement or anything. When we moved from this house we were not aware that we had left any outstanding debts. Of course I have no records dating back then and so have no idea whether I am liable or not. The first letter I received from Hounslow Council was just literally a bill with an amount on it, no dates or anything and quite out of the blue. When I phoned up to inquire I was told that it must be a mistake as the amount outstanding was referring to 1997 when I definitely know I was not living there.

 

I then received a letter stating that hounslow council had been granted a liability order and previous attempts to collect the debt had been unsuccessful and I am now under consideration for Committal Summons. Please somebody educate me, what is this? Again I phoned up and was informed that the debt was for 1997 and the matter would be looked into. Then the last letter arrived and states it was for 94-95 but with mention on the notes relating to 1997.

 

Now I have lived at my current address for 14 years and fully visible on the electoral roll and this is the first I have heard about it. Surely it has not taken them 14+ years to track me down? I have also been separated from my husband for a few years now but there has been no liability order issued to him? I was told that this was because the account is in my name only. I don't have any records going back that far so I am unable to validate their claim.

 

The latest phone call to them told me that the alleged debt may have occurred due to council tax re-banding in 2003 however they then informed me that the Liability order was granted in 1997 and attempts have been made to collect but have been unsuccessful. So far nobody at the council tax office is able to offer me any clarity or consistency as to how this alleged debt came to be. I have emailed them and disputed their claim and asked them for a complete break down of my account dating back to 1993 and have asked them to provide a copy of the liability order and any action that they have taken to collect the debt in order to prove that I am actually liable but was told I had to prove that I wasn't liable. Which just isn't possible from such a long time ago. I have also asked them to explain why it has taken so long for them to contact me regarding this alleged debt. I am awaiting their response. I am concerned that they will be able to send bailiffs round to my current address as they claim to have a liability order. In the mean time all advice gratefully received.

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Sadly we are seeing quite a lot of this happening. I will try and find someone who might be able to advise.


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More Councils are looking at aged debts these days.

 

You need to ask them to provide proof you owe this. It is insufficient for them just to say you do.


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I think you should contact your local councillor and get them to intervene in this case. You can find your local councillor here http://local.direct.gov.uk/LDGRedirect/index.jsp?LGSL=358&LGIL=8 You could also get in touch with your MP http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/


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I have discovered the following information..

 

 

Council Tax is never Statute Barred providing the Liability order was obtained within 6 years of it being due. If the dates you have are correct then this should be let go.

 

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

Please note they need to prove you owe the debt not just say it is outstanding.

 

 

From reading the above, if they did not apply for the Liability Order until after 6 years of this debt being due, then it might not be recoverable. So it is important you have confirmation of the LO date.


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3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

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Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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Something else to remember in this situation is the onus of Proof lies with the Council not the OP and also remember

 

you also want copies of the Council Policies that were in force during the time period they claim so I would request:

 

1. Copy of Council Tax Arrears Policy and Procedure 1995-1997.

2. Copy of Council Tax Write Off Policy and Procedure 1995-1997.

3. Copy of Council Tax Debt Written Off during 1995-1997.

 

Remember they have to use the Regulations and Policies that were in place during 1995-1997 period not this years regulation or policies.

 

Little trick I picked up when I fought my own Local Authority for 6yrs and Won.


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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

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Please, please consider a formal complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman:

 

 

http://www.lgo.org.uk/

 

:)


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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

Looking for a draft letter? Use the CAG Library

Dealing with Customer Service Departments? - read the CAG Guide first

 

1: Making a PPI claim ? - Q & A's and spreadsheets for single premium policy -

HERE

2: Take back control of your finances -

Debt Diaries

3: Feel Bullied by Creditors or Debt Collectors?

Read Here

4: Staying Calm About Debt

Read Here

5: Forum rules - These have been updated -

Please Read

 

 

BCOBS

 

2: Does your Bank play fair - You can force your Bank to play Fair with you

3: Banking Conduct of Business Regulations - The Hidden Rules

4: BCOBS and Unfair Treatment - Common Examples of Banks Behaving Badly

5: Fair Treatment for Credit Card Holders and Borrowers - COBS

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by citizenb are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

 

PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME TO GIVE ADVICE BY PM - IF YOU PROVIDE A LINK TO YOUR THREAD THEN I WILL BE HAPPY TO OFFER ADVICE THERE:D

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How can a liability order for council tax be proved if no one can give the individual a copy of such..

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How can a liability order for council tax be proved if no one can give the individual a copy of such..

 

This is a problem I'm facing with an appeal against a C.Tax liability order....how do I file a copy of it with the
High Court
?

......The decision against which the appeal is being made relates to a council tax liability order (Magistrates' court). I don't know how it's going to be possible to lodge one of those, I don't think they generally exist, and almost certainly not sealed by the court....

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This is a problem I'm facing with an appeal against a C.Tax liability order....how do I file a copy of it with the
High Court
?

Especially if the orders are merely a bulk list with no individual or unique paper order per debtor. Surely the council must be put on strict proof as to when the order was obtained, if they cannot prove it then they should be kicked by the local MP.


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This is a problem I'm facing with an appeal against a C.Tax liability orde
r....how do I file a copy of it with the
High Court
?

.

.

 

Liability Orders do exist and if a request is made the Magistrate Court must provide a copy. I made a similar request only a few weeks ago on behalf of a debtor.

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.

.

 

Liability Orders do exist and if a request is made the Magistrate Court must provide a copy. I made a similar request only a few weeks ago on behalf of a debtor.

 

What is the appearance of the liability order? For example, does it take the form of an individual order with the court's stamp, or a print-out from one of several hundred pages of the bulk application which makes up the council's computer evidence?

 

The appellant's notice requires "a sealed copy (stamped by the court) of the order being appealed". This was requested over a week ago. Not only has the court not supplied it, it hasn't even bothered to say whether it will. The approach to ignore correspondence has been a recurring pattern since February and been the cause of a claim for Judicial Review proceedings for a mandatory order. Not a very good service for the taxpayer I'd say.

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Julie-Ann in addition to asking for the data already asked for in earlier posts above, you should also ask for the original demand notice which would help to prove they had a legitimate claim. Then they must

supply the reminder notice, to show that you had not paid. After that they have to provide the Final Notice which they have to do by law prior to taking you to Court. Then they need to provide you with the

Liability Order they are relying on to take you to Court. Further you should ask what form of enforcement they used then to collect the tax.

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Thank-you all for your advice. I have emailed Hounslow council to dispute the alleged outstanding balance and I have asked for copies of the liability order and all correspondence from 1993, all action taken to collect alleged outstanding balance and explanation as to why it has taken them 18 years to contact me. According to the adviser that I spoke with on the phone, Hounslow council are able to produce this evidence and can apply to the magistrate court to get a copy of the liability order. I have also been in touch with ombudsman as I wondered whether I have a case for maladministration but I was informed that I need to go through the proper channels and dispute Hounslow council's claim for liability first. It does appear that this will be a long drawn out process. In the mean time I have contacted Hounslow council this morning and have been informed that they have not received my email sent a week ago but there is a note on my account stating that they are looking into the matter and according to the adviser all action has been stopped until my case has been investigated. I have resent the email and intend to send a paper copy by registered post. So I guess all I can do now is wait for them to produce the proof of liability and take it from there.

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I would be surprised if the Court can produce an 18 year old L/O.

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I would be surprised if the Court can produce an 18 year old L/O.

So would I , but still the council will use bailiffs to chase the unprovable debt.


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If its not provable, surely the use of baliff's would be unlawful..

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If its not provable, surely the use of baliff's would be unlawful..

In theory yes unless they can find a liability Order dating from way back then


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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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But what is exactly meant by finding one mean ?

A yellowing dusty faded order on paper with court stamp from the correct court used at the time dating FROM the correct time frame, signed by the magistrate(s) in post then, who maybe could not sign a facsimile now as they are long dead, not one obviously cooked up in Word in the last week.

  • Confused 1

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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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The Council have to prove their case and if they cannot produce the L/O there is no case for you to answer.

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I have an update. After receiving another statement from Hounslow council this morning that didn't make any sense, I phoned them again. They have now received my email requesting proof of their allegations and formally disputing the outstanding balance. Regarding the statement that I received in the post this morning I was told that they had calculated the amount owing by the band charges that were changed in 2003. The property I was renting in 1994-95 was band C however in 2003 it was re-banded to a D and they had back dated the shortfall between C and D over eight years after and that was they were chasing me for. But then how were they able to get a liability order dated 1997... Apparently I left that property with a debt £33 (but unable to give details about how that figure was calculated or what it was for. They had no forwarding address and so sent demands to the last known address which is their policy. They told me that until august this year the company that they use to track people down had been unable to find me, which I find absurd. But of course with the band D charges back dated the current bill was close to £800. How on earth are they able to do this? Anyway this poor telephone adviser did her best to answer my queries and eventually went and spoke with a revenues officer. She came back and told me that Hounslow council will not be pursuing the matter further. Sounds like I had a break but I have not received it in writing yet.

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