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swift claiming OH owed £650 council tax from 2009


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hi there ,

just a quick question ,

 

my wife had a letter drop through the door this morning from swift in merthyr tydfil

claiming she owed £650 council tax for an address back in 2009 , even though she was on benefits at the time ,

 

she contacted the council in question and tried to deal with it through them ,

and got told she would have to deal with swift ,

 

she contacted swift and offered them £5 a week as shes on benefits , and

 

they refused and told her we want £15 a week or we will send enforcement officers around and add more fees on if u dont pay the £15 a week ,

isnt that technically blackmail ?

 

i confronted them on the phone about this blackmail and they claimed it isnt ,

 

im tempted to take legal action against them for doing this ,

and also telling my wife , if she doers not pay they will seek a custodial sentence in the courts if she does not pay ,

 

they said we cant refuse payment but if she insists on paying £5 a week we will just add fees on my sending enforcement officers around ,

 

is there any action i can take to tell them where to go and to be able to put them on there place ?

cheers

in advance

badboy09

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The first thing you should do is to get a call recorder and start recording your calls. You should telephone Swift again and try to have the same kind of conversation and see if you can get them to say the same things about what they will do to you if you don't pay and particularly about custodial sentences. If you can get that, you will be to cause a scandal which will give you an extremely strong basis for challenge.

 

If you agree this debt then you should certainly start paid off as quickly as possible and you should start making payments at the rate that you feel comfortable with. Even if they refuse to accept it, they are wrong and they are not entitled to prevent you from reducing your indebtedness. Do everything you can to pay the installments that you can afford starting straightaway.

 

Someone else will be along soon to talk to you about the best way to tackle the entire problem and to do with the council.

 

However, believe me, if you can record that conversation then you will be in an extremely strong position and I would try to make this a priority if I were you.

Don't make any more phone calls unless you record them. This is very important

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ok ty , i am very abrupt with them on the phone , i dont let them talk to me like they talked to my wife , i over speak them and argue with them , and then they hang up lol

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Okay but don't forget this time that the objective is to draw them out.

 

Also - to point out that we recommend that everyone records their calls with any company they deal with. If you do, you will never have cause to regret it - ever.

If you don't - then one day you will come to regret not having done so

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Whilst bankfodder may own this site he is beginning to sound like JasonDWB, which is disappointing.

 

It is not blackmail as if a suitable payment agreement is not reached then it is the duty of an Enforcement Agent to attend to take control of goods. From your post we do not know whether your wife could afford to make £15 payments. It could be that some luxuries could be omitted to pay the amount requested. Equally it may be that this is the absolute most that can be afforded.

 

The Enforcement Agent has to strike a careful balance between recovering the debt due as soon as possible and understanding the financial hardship of the debtor. This is never easy unfortunately.

 

One thing I will say is that you have no legal case against them and will be wasting money that could go to playing off the debt.

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HEEOs as Ops OH was on benefits in that year, the council should not just dismiss it with the it's with the Ea spiel, there is a genuine query, so a request for information on the lines of the

 

How many liability orders held

What addresses for

When obtained

When sent to EA

 

Indicate what benefits she was on in 2009, and ask them to check their records, do it by email backed up by snail mail by a signed for service

Mention a willingness to pay anything rightly owed, and ask the Ea be put on hold whilst the matter is investigated.

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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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Hold on a minute. If she was on benefits, was she not claiming full council tax benefit ?

 

I think enquiries need to be made with the council concerned, to see if a mistake has been made.

 

A complaint needs to be made to the council about this and to ask them to put Swift on hold until this is resolved.

We could do with some help from you.

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Hold on a minute. If she was on benefits, was she not claiming full council tax benefit ?

 

I think enquiries need to be made with the council concerned, to see if a mistake has been made.

 

A complaint needs to be made to the council about this and to ask them to put Swift on hold until this is resolved.

 

 

Exactly so UB, if there is no sense from council, a Formal Complaint to CEO and Elected leader may well be next, also contact your local councillor and see if they can help. Is this the council where you live now, or a previous address for your OH?

We could do with some help from you.

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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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HEEOs as Ops OH was on benefits in that year, the council should not just dismiss it with the it's with the Ea spiel, there is a genuine query, so a request for information on the lines of the

 

How many liability orders held

What addresses for

When obtained

When sent to EA

 

Indicate what benefits she was on in 2009, and ask them to check their records, do it by email backed up by snail mail by a signed for service

Mention a willingness to pay anything rightly owed, and ask the Ea be put on hold whilst the matter is investigated.

 

Quite correct. I was just referring to the EA action. Clearly if they have been instructed incorrectly then the EA shouldn't even be involved - A council error.

 

As I said, it will depend on what benefits were being claimed and the real financial position of the debtor.

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In this particular instance the LOCAL AUTHORITY are wrong and they need to be told in no uncertain terms. Hopefully in a moment one of the helpful people on here will help me out with posting a link to an important Council Tax Guidance publications issued last year by Eric Pickles regarding the obligations of local authorities.

 

2nd point to make is that your wife really should not be making a payment proposal if she genuinely does not believe that a debt exists. She really does need to get to the bottom of this and this does mean contacting the council.

 

With regards to the bailiff. I share the view of HCEO that any proposed action by them is not blackmail and instead, they are under a legal obligation to enforce a debt on behalf of the local authority.

 

Your wife appears to be 'vulnerable' .However, with respect an enforcement company will not know this in advance and whilst a phone call is vitally important Swift will require some form of evidence that your wife is in receipt of benefits.

 

With regards to the 'threat' of a custodial sentence only a Judge in court may make a decision to impose a custodial sentence and such a decision may only be made if the court are satisfied that your wife is 'refusing to pay'. It is for this reason that it is very important for your wife to WRITE to Swift to outline her circumstances.

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Quite correct. I was just referring to the EA action. Clearly if they have been instructed incorrectly then the EA shouldn't even be involved - A council error.

 

As I said, it will depend on what benefits were being claimed and the real financial position of the debtor.

Actually if it is the councils mess and mistake, the EA is as innocent as the alleged debtor, so will lose out. Presumably the fees are forfeit?

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Is this the one TT?

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax

 

As it is a Welsh council Merthyr Tydfil may say it doesn't apply.as sorry only applies in Lloegr (England)

We could do with some help from you.

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I would add that I wholeheartedly agree that the use of the 'custodial sentence' aspect is wholly inappropriate if it was said in the manner that is suggested.

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It is not within the remit of Swift to apply for a custodial sentence, that threat of itself is sufficient to ground a Formal Complaint

We could do with some help from you.

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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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Thank you brassnecked

 

This document is invaluable (I would assume that it will be updated shortly as there are many references to the previous regulations). In the meantime I would encourage debtors to use it as a valuable tool.

 

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

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I suspect the local government ombudsman will be interested in this if the council has screwed up and the lady concerned was on benefits at the time. I had a similar problem which ended up at Newark magistrates court where I produced evidence that I was not liable and I won the case as I genuinely unemployed at the time. I made a complaint to the LGO about Bassetlaws attitude and poor record keeping and they were give a stern "talking to", i.e. seems they had their backsides kikced

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Would like a definitive answer as to this guidance from Eric Pickles regarding if it applies in Wales also, as sometimes this sort of guidance is England only

We could do with some help from you.

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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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  • 1 year later...

hi all long time no chat ,

 

Back again with another problem ,

i hope you can give me some good advice with http://www.swiftcredit.co.uk/ ,

 

i currently have 2 accounts with swift ( 1 in my wifes name and one in mine , i deal with both) and every month i pay £35 off both accounts ...

 

This all started back in january 2015 , when an enforcement officer came to my house ,

i had been paying them every month as usual ,

but i had missed decembers payment as my wife was having head surgery ,

and they were not at the top of my mindset at the time ,

 

 

in january this enforcement officer come round ,

i asked him why he was knocking on my door ?

and his answer was : he was told to come round as i had not made any payments towards one of the accounts in question ,

 

 

i explained i had and he told me to contact the office because he was still charging me these fees :

my so called arrears of £688.87

compliance fee £75.00 ( remove it please)

enforcement cost £ 235.00 ( remove this also )

total due £998.87 ( THIS IS NOT HAPPENING )

 

i rang them and they told me they would get back to me once they had looked into it ,

i emailed them every month for the next 6 months and

the only correspondence i received was 2 letters telling me ,

they were looking into my complaint !!

 

every month i had emailed them asking them if they had removed these fees ,

as the officer was sent out in error ,

and i got no reply ,

 

 

today i received an email telling me they are not removing the fees !!!

 

i rang them up and explained the problem to them ,

they contradicted themselves by telling me , they saw that i had been making payments on each account ,

 

 

i asked why they had sent the enforcement officer round if this was not the case ,

and they now all of a sudden tell me , it was because of the month i missed ,

even though the officer came round on the day ,

told me he wasn't there for that reason at all !!

 

 

it seems like they are clearly trying to defraud ,

 

 

i contacted my council back , and they refuse to do anything ,

and im now demanding they take me to court for it ,

 

 

any suggestions on next plan of action ??

 

cheers in advance :)

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What do you mean by enforcement officer? If you mean a bailiff, that means theyve been to court, got a judgement then notified the bailiff. That takes a fair amount of time.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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i dont think its ever been to court , the council department , just send the debt over to swift and let them deal with it , i dont recall it ever going to court in the first place

 

but i think u could be right its bailiffs but this debt has been in place over a year and half , and i was paying it , until january when this bailiff turned up

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So this is part of the Marston group then?

 

When did the council take you to court and get the judgement against you?

Who ever heard of someone getting a job at the Jobcentre? The unemployed are sent there as penance for their sins, not to help them find work!

 

 

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whats this for CTAX?

 

 

and what council please?

 

 

have you directly asked the council these questions:

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

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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yes it is , the council is bridgend county council , i have not spoken to the council in regards to them questions but i can do that first thing in the morning , and get the answers

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