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What is maximum deduction allowed from benefits for CTX arrears


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Hi,

 

Long story short, I am on JSA and HB. I owed £75 in Council Tax arrears to Harringay last year. I made an offer of payment which was refused. I then got a letter of Court Summons which added £120. I have read on this forum many scare stories of Bailiffs turning up and adding telephone numbers in levy/visitation fees, etc.

 

I contacted the Council by email twice now offering £3 a month (last time three weeks ago) Still no response. The government has decided that £72 JSA a week is the minimum I need to live on. So, if I refuse to pay these usary fees and charges and it ends up being an unfair £1000+ from an original fairly owed £75, how much can they take from my JSA or HB each week - baring in mind taking anything is admitting I don't have enough to live on and will be forced to steal?

 

What is the endgame here, once the bailiffs have come and I still can't pay? Will I really go to prison, get a criminal record, have my life ruined, probably end up taking my own life - all for an original debt of £75?

 

Thanks for any advice. I'm so angry right now.

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At £3.00 per month, it would have taken a little over two years to clear the arrears of £75. Now that the council has added even more to the bill, I doubt that they would even contemplate the current offer of £3.00 p/m.

 

You could try visiting the council office in person and see if they will withdraw the summons (and forgo the fee) and come to a reasonable arrangement - You might want to consider upping your offer to £10 p/m which would see the arrears being cleared by Christmas.

 

The only other alternative is to go to court, explain your financial situation to the judge, and hope that he/she sets a schedule of payments that you can afford. Take with you supporting evidence of income, expenditure, and letters/emails to the council - You never know, the judge may even overrule the summons costs (but don't get your hopes up).

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Thanks Mr.P.

I went to the council at the time of receiving the notice of summons - no joy. She got me to fill in another I&E form and write a 'I fall on your mercy, please waive the summons fee' which she kicked upstairs to the Stasi. I made the £3 offer at this time. No joy. Got an email from the council a few weeks later (late March) refusing all and outlining a £30 a month repayment ON TOP of the current years CTX. I emailed back, LOOK AT MY I&E FORM!!! I can't afford it.

 

No response. So I emailed again explaining that it's not that I WON'T pay I simply CAN'T. As of today, I still haven't had any further response from the council and I'm genuinely scared that the next I'll hear is Bob the Bailiff knocking on my door adding this new £235 visitation fee, etc.

 

If this were to happen and I owed ££££££ from £75 then I would truly lose the will to live, shut down, refuse to pay anything and take it to the end. My question is, what would this 'end' be from the council's point of view? How much can they legally deduct from my benefits to pay down the debt, when taking anything legally means I don't have enough to live on, by their own calculations?

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Yes. Court date on Summons was March 18th. Had an email from Council responding to my email on April 9th saying NO to my repayment offer. Sent further email to them same day responding that I don't know what to do next as I can't agree to their repayment schedule, and they won't agree to mine. No further response to that email.

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About all I can suggest now is contact the court and see if they can intervene or visit your local CAB office.

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In most debt cases, a judge is able to order repayment plan spread over a set number of months - If you did not attend the hearing, the summons would have been rubber stamped and the sum ordered to be paid in full within X number of days.

 

Contact the court and see what they can do to help - You have nothing to lose by trying.

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Just to clarify, from a legal point of view there is no actual maximum amount of deduction specified in law, except that the total being deducted must leave the claimant at least 10p in payment.

 

In practice, it would be unusual for a claimant to be actually left in this position, but you can read more here.

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