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Hi all I hope someone can help me ?

 

My better half called me from work yesterday saying she had been in the managers office

as he had received a letter from their head office asking if he could confirm her address

as the company Bristol and sutor were unable to contact her at this address,

she said the letter was asking for payroll number earnings address and confirmation of her working there.

 

 

The letter states for attachment of earnings.

 

 

My question is

can they do this

we have no knowledge whatsoever about what it is for

this letter was not even sent to the correct department

 

 

as you can imagine she was very embarrassed and it is not only her manager that knows

but also others from head office that knows too.

 

 

Hopefully someone can give us some advice or point us in the right direction.

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A court issues AOE so there should be official paperwork with it, not just a demand. If there is court paperwork, then your employer must obey it and you will have to fight it while paying otherwise write to them and ask what it is all about.

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Would the employer obey this just from a letter from b&s or would they have to see some sort of court paper work? My partner is more concerned for the embarrassment that so many people know of this as it was sent to the wrong department..

 

Thank you for your reply.

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Bristow & Sutor are Bailiffs and for this type of thing it will probably be for Council Tax. Are you aware of any outstanding possibly from an old address? They are allowed to do this under the Contracting Out Regulations.

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We have discussed this this evening and we are positive it's not for council tax.

 

You are going to have to make contact with them to find out what it is for.

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A court issues AOE so there should be official paperwork with it, not just a demand. If there is court paperwork, then your employer must obey it and you will have to fight it while paying otherwise write to them and ask what it is all about.

 

If the debt is for a county court judgment or a magistrate court fine then it is the court that issues the AOE.

 

However....with council tax arrears the bailiff company are permitted to make the Attachment of Earnings Order....serve it on the debtors employer...and request that deductions are paid to them. This is allowed under regulation 23 of the Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996

 

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1996/1880/article/23/made?view=plain

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Would the employer obey this just from a letter from b&s or would they have to see some sort of court paper work? My partner is more concerned for the embarrassment that so many people know of this as it was sent to the wrong department..

 

Thank you for your reply.

 

Enforcing council tax debts by applying to the debtors employer for an Attachment of Earnings is becoming far more common and more costs effective for bailiff companies. With Bristow & Sutor the debt would almost certainly be arrears of council tax but there should be reference numbers etc on the correspondence to the employer. Your wife needs to speak with the council in the morning as the AOE is a legal process and one that your partners employer must obey.

 

How much is the debt for?

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Enforcement agencies (which most of you still call bailiff companies) only attach earnings for Council Tax and do so on behalf of the council under the procedure laid out in regulations 37 to 43 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended). The forms will be signed by the council but posted out by the enforcement agency. The paperwork to be used is laid down in the regulations and is most cumbersome but it does not come from the court. As BA has said they have to be obeyed and there are penalties for non compliance. The amount of the deductions from wages is also laid down and is updated from time to time. I think the latest amendment was in SI 501 of 2007. The deductions can be quite high and do not take into account outgoings, only income. There are other debts that can be collected by attachments under other legislation (eg debts subject to a CCJ) but the likes of Bristow and Sutor are not involved in those.

The AoE is a last resort for an enforcement agency (unless the council direct otherwise) and will usually only be undertaken on cases where the Schedule 12 process (or distress on older cases) has failed. The debtor will usually have been sent a letter warning that it will happen and been given a further opportunity to engage with the enforcement agency without the employer being involved.

The OP should have made and stuck to a payment arrangement with the enforcement agency or before that with the council.

Finally, the wife that is mentioned may be embarrassed but I dare say her employers have discovered that they have had employees with worse secrets than this!

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The amount of the deductions from wages is also laid down and is updated from time to time. I think the latest amendment was in SI 501 of 2007. The deductions can be quite high and do not take into account outgoings, only income. There are other debts that can be collected by attachments under other legislation (eg debts subject to a CCJ) but the likes of Bristow and Sutor are not involved in those.

 

It is my understanding that the actual deductions are subject to a great deal of consideration and the reason why the amounts are so high is because by the time an AOE is considered many months would have elapsed since the LO was issued and the LA's want to ensure that the debt is repaid within the current tax year (April to April). Also having the debt paid within the current tax year should mean that the debtor is less likely to default on the new council tax bill.

 

On the subject of embarrassment....with recent changes made at HMRC it is expected that a lot of criminal court fines will be subject to Attachment of Earnings from next week and this could cause employment difficulties (as the debt is for a criminal offence). Interesting times ahead.

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I forsee a great many people on a benefit sanction for losing the job due to this AOE being implemented., ah well JSA ia attachable, but not to Hardship allegedly, so more fees for Marstons, Collectica etc then when the AOE or AOB fails.

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You are a bit too kind I think BA in saying "It is my understanding that the actual deductions are subject to a great deal of consideration and the reason why the amounts are so high is because by the time an AOE is considered many months would have elapsed since the LO was issued and the LA's want to ensure that the debt is repaid within the current tax year (April to April). " I'm sure the draughtsman of the regulations put a bit of thought into it but the council/enforcement agency/employer simply look up in the tables in Schedule 4 of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended) the deduction to be made for the level of salary the debtor earns. There is no provision for deducting any more or any less. If anyone is laid off due to an AoE being set up the debtor would have a right to sue the employer for unfair dismissal.

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There is no provision for deducting any more or any less.

 

Correct. Also any employer refusing to apply the deductions can face legal action and I have a press article on my other computer about a garage that refused to apply the deductions and was fined a sum of £2,000.

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If anyone is laid off due to an AoE being set up the debtor would have a right to sue the employer for unfair dismissal.

 

I think BA was getting at the fact that criminal fines will also be able to be enforced by way of a AOE. The fact that an employee has a criminal record, which the employer may not have previously been told about, all comes to light when an AOE for a criminal matter lands on their desk.

 

In some occupations, that could cause some issues resulting ultimately, in the loss of a job. And I'm not sure that you'd be able to sue for unfair dismissal if your position depended on having no convictions.

Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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I think BA was getting at the fact that criminal fines will also be able to be enforced by way of a AOE. The fact that an employee has a criminal record, which the employer may not have previously been told about, all comes to light when an AOE for a criminal matter lands on their desk.

 

In some occupations, that could cause some issues resulting ultimately, in the loss of a job. And I'm not sure that you'd be able to sue for unfair dismissal if your position depended on having no convictions.

Absolutely, but the conviction would show up later if an Enhanced DBS is a requirement. However if someone was sacked for a conviction initiated by a Capita/TVL goon, then that would be unfair imho.

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I think BA was getting at the fact that criminal fines will also be able to be enforced by way of a AOE. The fact that an employee has a criminal record, which the employer may not have previously been told about, all comes to light when an AOE for a criminal matter lands on their desk.

 

In some occupations, that could cause some issues resulting ultimately, in the loss of a job. And I'm not sure that you'd be able to sue for unfair dismissal if your position depended on having no convictions.

 

Absolutely correct. Criminal fines have always been subject to Attachment of Earnings but in reality, the number of AOE's has been very low indeed. This is about to change and is of serious concern to me as this could affect the debtors employment. The 'upside' is that warrants of control should be a last resort instead of the present position of warrants being the norm.

 

Debtors in employment will be able to have their fines paid by deductions from earnings and therefore will not be liable for bailiff fees.

 

Court fine enforcement is about to change drastically.

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The original post was about Bristow and Sutor. They do not enforce fines for criminal matters. If they are involved in an AoE it will be for Council Tax and the fixed scales apply.

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The original post was about Bristow and Sutor. They do not enforce fines for criminal matters. If they are involved in an AoE it will be for Council Tax and the fixed scales apply.

 

Hi thank you all there's a lot to consider my wife received a letter this morning from bristow this is from 2001 and 2002 she remembers them a few month ago knocking at the door asking for council tax arrears from these years one for £474 and the other for £86 she remembers asking if they were here under a current liability order or the same one from 2001 she remembered something she had seen online and he said from 2001 and he didn't call again until now of course. Can they still do this even though it was from 2001?

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Sorry it's not a letter it is an AOE it doesn't look right though not that I know but I would attach a copy if I knew how.

 

My wife says the letter sent to her employer was not this AOE we have it is very different.

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Sorry it's not a letter it is an AOE it doesn't look right though not that I know but I would attach a copy if I knew how.

 

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Please note that my posts are my opinion only and should not be taken as any kind of legal advice.
In fact, they're probably just waffling and can be quite safely and completely ignored as you wish.

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Bristow and sutor asking employer for AEO - old CTAX debts
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