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Council Tax, very old debt??


sidspop
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The wife has received a Council Tax bill, for a previous address.

Full of the usual "we made need a locksmith, which will cost extra" type threats.

Apparently it went to court, although she was never notified, so could not make any representation.

What is particularly annoying is that this is a debt from 1998, a whole 17 years later.

I cannot see how they can be chasing a debt from that long ago, with a court order attatched to it.

 

Any comments?

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The wife has received a Council Tax bill, for a previous address.

Full of the usual "we made need a locksmith, which will cost extra" type threats.

Apparently it went to court, although she was never notified, so could not make any representation.

What is particularly annoying is that this is a debt from 1998, a whole 17 years later.

I cannot see how they can be chasing a debt from that long ago, with a court order attatched to it.

 

Any comments?

 

They cannot use locksmiths to force entry for council tax.

 

They can still chase and enforce as not time limited.

 

Contact the council concerned for proof of liability order and that tax is still owed.

 

Who is chasing ?

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Local council are chasing. Proper Council headed paper.

Sorry, on rear it states words to the effect of "if you don't pay we will get the baliffs in, who may have to do locksmiths act".

It seems as though they are chasing wife, as the easy target. Her ex-husband is also named, but he does not register on electoral roll. So even though she has changed name she has been located, he has not.

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Words to the effect? Can you state exactly what it says please

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OK, sorry.

What it says is basically

 

"Council Tax 14 Day Notice"

 

Hin and Her

Their adress

 

On xx Oct 1998 the Court at _____ issued a liability Order against you under provisions of Reg 34 of Council Tax (adnin and enfocerment) regulation 1992. The amount of £423 remains outstanding.

In accordance with reg 45A of CT(a &e)regs 1992, unless you make full payment in 14 days the authority will instruct enforcement agents to recover this debt.

If you are in financial difficulties please contact the council etc......

Box at bottom with methods of payment.

 

On rear of letter.

"If it is necessary to refer your debt to an enforcement agency for debt collection, you will incur additional fees as detailed in the table below.

 

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007

Changes from 6th April 2014

The Taking Control of Godds (Fees)Regulations 2014

Fees recoverable under regulation 4

 

Fee stage Fixed Fee

Compliance £75.00

Enforcement £225.00

Sale or Disposal £110

 

Additional fees may also be incurred if the enforcement agents have to use a locksmith, Removal Company, provide storage or make additional applications to the court"

 

That is what it says, a few details I have left out, but that is the crux of it.

 

The way I read it is this

"We have looked at our old records from 17 years ago,, and we think you owe us. You now have 14 days to pay it, or we will send in the nasty boys to get some of your belongings so we can flog them and get some money in"

 

What is annoying is they expect somebody to keep records from so long ago. She has had zero correspondance at all, ever.

 

Also the letter is addressed to her ex and her, at this address, he has never lived here.

 

Plus another letter with all the same details, dated 7 weeks later in the sum of £107.48

Hope this helps.

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If this goes as far as bailiffs it will increase the amount

Make arrangements with the council with a affordable repayment arrangement

 

 

Council tax they can go after one person as they are doing now

How much roughly are they chasing

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Suggest she writes back to query this further. Proof of liability order and proof there is an outstanding amount. She could say that she does not believe there is any outstanding amount going back 17 years ago and does not recall any correspondence about an outstanding liability. She should also mention her changed situation and that her ex husband lives elsewhere.

 

I wouls suggest this is sent recorded delivery or passed to them by hand with written acknowledgement. There have been cases around the country where old council tax has been chased, it has been contested and then not found to be owed or written off. If she does not challenge, they will continue with enforcement. If the council are not helpful, make a complaint and ask for this to be elevated to the Local Government Ombudsman.

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And this is exactly why there needs to be SOL on council tax. How can either side realistically prove debt does / not exist ? Even on a CCJ, after 6 years with no recovery action, the chances of recovering after that time is remote. No court in its right mind would allow the enforcement action to commence.

 

In this circumstance, what if the divorced couple had violence / issues ? Linking them again some 17 years later by a LA is just wrong.

 

Time to contact the local MP on this.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying DON'T pay taxes where they are owed, but something that is 17 years old cannot be correct.

 

How is it suddenly, that the LA has trawled its records and traced after all this time ? Surely the OP has been on the electoral role / paying CT in the period ?

 

Just stinks of week old fish this.

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Liverpool council have chased tax debts up to 30 years old. Councils up and down the country have been going through old accounts to find money they think is owed.

 

People need to challenge.

We could do with some help from you.

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OT - I am sure I owe Poll Tax from 1992 to a Scottish council..... I will wait for that to drop thru.

 

But basing a claim on old computer records, with I am sure a new system within the past 30 years, could be data transfer errors ? What about the ability to provide a liability order ? Surely the hard copies are destroyed by now ?

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Thank you all for the replies.

The wife is going to see the council tomorrow, and first and foremost she is going to contest the debt.

That should hopefully put a stop to any further action, temporarily.

I am annoyed that they can come up with a debt from so long ago, and just assume that the OP will get it paid. All the points about keeping records I have noted. In the meantime I intend to call the National Debtline tomorrow, and seek advice from them. I would not want to fire off letters that contain untruths or misinformation.

 

Another thing that is narking me is that the only way they could have located her is via Electoral Roll, or NI number. She (and I) have always been on electoral roll, not trying to hide. So if that is the case then why have they not found her ex via the same means? Certainly he is working so will be paying NI. Maybe they would like his address as well.

At the time of the alleged debt she was a housewife, dependant on him, and he took care of any bills. It seems as though they are just chasing whomever they find for some money.

 

Thanks again.

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Yes she could provide her ex's address. If there is an oustanding amount,why should he not pay half.

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She has said that at best she will pay half, even though it may cause a little hardship. He certainly should pay.

The thing is uncle that the timeframe on this seems totally excessive, nobody would be expected to keep records for 17 years, and their letter stinks of Big Brother. I am annoyed to say the least.

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