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Ive just received about 6 letters all at once this morning from Rossendales regarding unpaid council tax.

 

 

We wasn't aware that the monthly payment were making was not covering any arrears so now we have an accumulated debt of £1300

 

 

As soon as I received the letters I rang Rossendales who have told me that the minimum amount they want each month is £180.

 

 

Has anyone had any dealings with these people as I don't know whether its worth negotiating or writing any letters. I spoke to debtline as I was panicking as its more about the hassle they will cause and they told me to make a small offer and hide the car. I don't really want to go down this route but if that's the only option I am left with then I will.

 

 

Any advice appreciated :)

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Can you post back to let us know whether the letters are entitled: Notice of Enforcement. If so, what date are they dated and what date must payment be made by?

 

You say that you have 6 letters. I am assuming that these are for six different accounts (as opposed to being duplicate letters) Is this correct?

 

In order to provide an accurate response can you provide some background information.

 

For instance:

 

What debts do the letters refer to?

 

Has the bailiff ever visited you before and in particular, what action if any has been taken before 6th April (when the new bailiff regulations took effect)?

 

What fees have been charged to each account?

 

Are you working, unemployed, on benefits etc?

 

Is there any 'vulnerability' in the family?

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Ok to start off with the letters are dated and follow the heading Council Tax Notice of Issue of Liability Order. Letters came through post today 1st I have heard of the company. We are on tax credits with my wife working part time as I take care of our 3 kids. Says the balance must be paid in full within 14 days and if I cannot pay in full I must telephone them or write immediately. If I want them to consider a payment plan I must fill in the back of the letter where there is an income and outgoings form. The debt totals £1300 from the 6 different accounts of old council tax , they told me over the phone minimum payment is £180 per month.

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have you sufficient income to live on if you pay dossendales £180 per month?

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Was payin 20 a month to council direct . And I have got a car and was just looking if there was any options a little easier than takin on the bailiffs

 

Right, then you need to speak to them direct. They have reneged on the payment plan with no explanation.

 

How long was you paying it for, and did you keep up with all the payments?

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I spoke to the and told them this and they said the £20 wasn't enough , I said nice of you to let know and just pass it on to these bloodsuckers. Cos they had a liability order through the court when I was struggling a while ago they said they are allowed to pass it through

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I rang them and they said theres nothing they can do now as its been passed to Rossendales and I need to deal directly with them from now on

 

Just so you are aware, sections 4.5 & 4.5 of Council Tax Collection Guidance:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/210478/Guidance_on_enforcement_of_CT_arrears.pdf

 

Edit--- of course I mean sections 4.4 & 4.5 :oops:

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I spoke to the and told them this and they said the £20 wasn't enough , I said nice of you to let know and just pass it on to these bloodsuckers. Cos they had a liability order through the court when I was struggling a while ago they said they are allowed to pass it through

 

Did they previously agree to the plan?

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I just told them I would pay what I could afford monthly and its just been like that for months , to be honest I did miss augusts payment if that gives them extra rights to pass it over

 

Ok, so it wasn't a formal plan, but they continued to take the payments. You need to go back to them (they have to talk to you), tell them you will refuse all approaches by the bailiff, you will refuse any entry to them and you will only deal with the council. They cannot refuse.

 

Cite sections 4.4 & 4.5 of that link I posted. They cannot force you into payments that will cause significant hardship.

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Am I right in thinking that I would have a good case of pulling this back to be a council matter if not only I agreed to have an attachment of earnings to stand as a guarantor to a payment plan put in place , but also I could claim it be pulled back as my wife is vulnerable as she suffer from major depression and has been on medication quite a few years so this is likely to cause more hardship

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Ok to start off with the letters are dated and follow the heading Council Tax Notice of Issue of Liability Order. Letters came through post today 1st I have heard of the company. We are on tax credits with my wife working part time as I take care of our 3 kids. Says the balance must be paid in full within 14 days and if I cannot pay in full I must telephone them or write immediately. If I want them to consider a payment plan I must fill in the back of the letter where there is an income and outgoings form. The debt totals £1300 from the 6 different accounts of old council tax , they told me over the phone minimum payment is £180 per month.

 

Thank you for providing the additional information. From what you have said it would appear that you have financial difficulties and in this respect, should be considered as 'vulnerable' by Rossendales. It is important to complete the Income & Expenditure over the weekend and I would assume that once completed it should demonstrate that you are only able to afford to pay £20 per month (or possibly slightly more).

 

Fortunatly you are addressing this matter at the Notice of Enforcement stage (referred to in the regulations as Compliance Stage) so you have a few more days left.

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Am I right in thinking that I would have a good case of pulling this back to be a council matter if not only I agreed to have an attachment of earnings to stand as a guarantor to a payment plan put in place , but also I could claim it be pulled back as my wife is vulnerable as she suffer from major depression and has been on medication quite a few years so this is likely to cause more hardship

 

Thank you for this important additional information which is clear evidence of 'vulnerability'. It is vitally important that in your letter to Rossendales that this is brought to their attention.

 

Just so that you are aware, Rossendales (like many other enforcement companies) review the Income & Expenditure on behalf of their local authority clients to establish whether the debtor is suitable for an Attachment of Earnings Order. If your case is appropriate then Rossendales would suggest this to the local authority so it is best to await their response to your letter.

 

The most important thing to do over the next few days is to get the Income & Expenditure completed. Any problems, please post back.

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Does anybody know if theres any way I can get council to take this debt back and sort out a repayment plan with them direct as what bailiffs are asking for is impossible and there saying theres no way they will negotiate with me . I would be willing to offer attachement of earnings and also my wife suffers from severe depression and this problem is making it a while lot worse.

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Does anybody know if theres any way I can get council to take this debt back and sort out a repayment plan with them direct as what bailiffs are asking for is impossible and there saying theres no way they will negotiate with me . I would be willing to offer attachement of earnings and also my wife suffers from severe depression and this problem is making it a while lot worse.

 

The only way you can do this, is to persuade them of the merits of this. Bailiff company making unaffordable demands and your wife being vulnerable due to suffering depression.

 

The trouble these days is that some councils have pretty much outsourced council tax collection to bailiff companies, once they have gone into arrears. Some councils are run by Capita, who own two bailiff companies. The councils will have contracts with the bailiff companies. Bailiff companies are supposed to be able to deal with hardship and vulnerability issues.

 

Write to the councils head of revenues, advising them of the issues you are facing. I suspect that they will just tell you to deal with the bailiff company and the council will contact the bailiff company to inform them to be more flexible with you and to offer more help.

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Does anybody know if theres any way I can get council to take this debt back and sort out a repayment plan with them direct as what bailiffs are asking for is impossible and there saying theres no way they will negotiate with me . I would be willing to offer attachement of earnings and also my wife suffers from severe depression and this problem is making it a while lot worse.

 

If you haven't allowed to bailiff any access to your home yet, then don't. Write to the council and tell them you will not have any dealings with the bailiff and you'll only talk to the council direct. Sections 4.4 and 4.5 of the Guidance to Local Councils on Good Practice in the Collection of Council Tax Arrears state that the council must be prepared to deal with the debtor at all times.

 

As I said, inform them you will resist and refuse all bailiff approaches - if you never allow them in there is nothing the bailiff can do about it other than refer it back to the council. Make an offer to the council of what you can afford per month - in the meantime pay a nominal £10 per month against the arrears via the council's online payment system.

 

If you have anything of value outside your home (car, trailer, bike etc) either secure these behind a gated barrier, or away from your home or on a friend or relative's drive.

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