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Rundles bailiffs - notice of enforcement - council tax debt I need help please


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Hello, I hope somebody is able to point me in the right direction here. I've read some of the stickies but still a bit confused.

 

I have a small flat in Canterbury that I have been desperately trying to sell for a while as it has a bridging loan against it and is too small for me and family to live in. The flat has now been repossessed by the lender. The flat has built up a certain amount of council tax debt for the current and previous years - I don't know exactly how long, I've paid some when I've had the money but most of the time I haven't had the money, and have been so stressed with unemployment and redundancy that I haven't always kept to payment agreements. The total debt is around £2800 plus bailiff fees. I have given more detail on the flat purchase etc on the forum for legal help and then moved it to help with landlord/freeholder problems.

 

Anyway, the council chased me for payment in the summer and sent me a bill for 150% council tax for this year as the flat was empty which takes it up to around £150 a month give or take. I appealed this over the phone and nothing happened. They chased and threatened to pass to bailiff company.

 

I wrote to them a very detailed email etc giving all details of income and expenditure and information about how I had been trying to sell the flat forever, but somehow I managed to send it to an incorrect email address. I thought I had sorted it later when I got a letter saying Rundles were now enforcing the debt and I contacted the council again explaining the error.

 

They rejected by appeal about the 150% and said i was to contact them about payment. I don't think I contacted them quickly enough as I received another letter saying Rundles would get the debt (this was from Rundles).

 

I then contacted the council - in floods of tears as I just cannot cope with this anymore. There is so much sh*t going on in my life with personal stuff and work and I think I'm about to lose my job. I am at the point of giving up now. I've got to this point before but keep going for the sake of my family. But I just want to pack a bag and walk off into the sunset.

 

Anyway, the result of this last phone call on 13 Nov was that they council said they would accept £50 a month from me until the flat was sold. I was happy with this outcome and was to make the first payment on 26 Nov when I got paid. I did this. They were to send me a direct debit mandate but I haven't received it.

 

On 3 Dec a bailiff from Rundles knocked on my door - a Mr xxxx. He was horrible! genuinely horrible! He won't listen to anything I have said and said I didn't have any arrangement with the council as the debt was with them etc. He said he would be back to take goods.

 

I live in a four bed rented house. The tenancy agreement is in my name and my daughter's name. She has two babies. We rent out a spare bedroom to friends. I have only one room in the house that has my stuff in it. I have nothing. Absolutely nothing that is of any value. I was looking around the other day and I swear I cannot lay my hands on anything of value to pay this debt.

 

It concerns me that the bailiff will try and take goods belonging to other people. All the furniture, TV, etc belongs to my daughter and which she has collected over the last ten years. There is nothing new and flashy in the house.

 

I spoke to the council after this guy's visit and it turns out that the guy who made the agreement for £50 a month with me had got it wrong and should not have done this plus they were using a new system which had only just been installed a week or so and the agreement was not on there although all the notes of the conversation were.

 

The second guy i spoke to said I should write to the council and appeal, and make a promise that the debt would be paid by end March. On the basis the flat will be sold by then, and also on the basis I will get something from the sale.

 

This bailiff will be back today probably. I don't know what to do. I am at my wit's end and in heart attack territory now. I am so sick of all this, and getting chest pains, can't stop crying. I am going to lose my job as well so will probably get evicted. Life is so awful.

 

Any advice please.

Edited by honeybee13
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Firstly there is no crime to being in debt or owing money

 

There is no right of entry for the bully bailiff no locksmith no nothing

They will be looking at a levy anything of value outside nay be at risk car ect

 

You do not need to let them it

Bailiffs is one of the options councils can use if they fail to collect they hand it back to the council

 

If the council have made mistakes on this

Make a formal complaint to the CEO

Your local mp and councillors should help

 

Think of the important things to get you through this it does and will get better

If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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For your own peace of mind if/when he visits again talk to him through a window - they are no longer allowed to enter through open windows, and by not speaking to him in your doorway, you are protected from him potentially trying to barge past you into the house, and from putting his foot between the door and frame so you cannot close it and ignore him, leaving you to face his high pressure techniques - using a foot to block the door in this way is not lawful entry for him, but many still try and claim it is.

 

Keep the doors into the home locked at all times, even when home - as you have other people living with you, if he got in, he would behind levying all goods he is allowed to take, regardless of what you and your housemates say about ownership, and the only real way your friend etc would be able to stop him taking their stuff is to provide receipts. They could all get a Statutory Declaration done, a notice at a local solicitors that costs about £10, sometimes free in your county court where they list all the goods they own, and it is notorised, which is also lawful proof of ownership to protect themselves, but it is far better, especially in terms of costs not to let him in, as that will see the fees he is allowed to collect raise hugely, especially if you missed a payment.

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Thank you for your reply. It's good to know that i don't have to let him in. Can he get the police and come back though? I will not let him in and will keep trying to work with the council.

 

I don't understand what has happened to the UK. Not a nice place to live anymore. I have worked since I was 15 and I am now nearly 60. Divorce and redundancy has cost me everything. I have nothing, and the councils want to take what little I have left.

 

Do you think I should complain to the council before I try and appeal to their better nature or after? Apparently I need to write to one of their revenue managers who works in the back office and doesn't talk to the public. I hope that's not a Capita person as I was reading on the stickies that it won't get anywhere with them.

 

If I don't have goods, and don't have money, what can they do to me? I have a small car outside which I need for work as my job is based all over the south east and commuting is not an option due to health reasons.

 

What a mess.

 

thank you for your advice.

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and the car is only worth around £400 if that, it's worn out like me! It's not exactly in my name, just my surname apparently. So the log book says Mrs N...

Edited by EveOwes
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Whilst you are sorting all this out park your car somewhere else, a couple streets away or on a friend or family members land as they cannot take cars from private property, only the street and the debtors own land. He would likely demand to see the insurance documents if he got his hands on it, and if they name you, then he would be happy to seize, and the courts would back him up in any complaint.

 

And No, he cannot return with Police or Locksmiths, he may very well threaten to do so, in an attempt to scare you, but you have now come here and found the right place to learn your rights, so you are learning his real powers and what your rights are.

 

He may even threaten to have you committed to Prison for non payment of council tax, this is also not something he can do. The chances of you going to prison are pretty much zero - to do so, you would have to stand in front of a magistrate and point blank refuse to make any payments, even £1 a week towards the debt!

 

I would very strongly recomend that using your phone, or another device, you record any more visits he makes, but don't tell him you are doing so (covertly recording is perfectly legal)

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I would contact your local councillors and local MP

I am sure you will with their help get a rapid result

Try and contact them today or first thing Monday morning

 

Keep bailiff out doors locked at all times

Close the windows ( too cold to have them open and blowing a gale!)

If i have helped in any way hit my star.

any advice given is based on experience and learnt from this site :-)

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You have been given excellent advice in all the above posts and just to reiterate, there is no legal basis to allow the bailiff into your home and given your particular circumstances, I would not suggest that you do allow him in. For the time being, I would also suggest that you move your car.

 

Please try not to worry and please post back later on after he has visited. If you are pressurised into making a payment proposal, do not be tempted to offer more than you can afford (which from your above posts is £50 per month).

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  • 10 months later...

Hi again. I wasn't sure whether to make a new thread or continue with this one. We are now 10 months into the new year with this problem. I had a couple of conversations with the council and email exchanges. The flat sold in April and a payment was made to me by the lenders. Stupidly I assumed they had paid any liabilities associated with the property but I'm now finding out they do not do that.

 

The council tax debt is still there as is a small (£600) water bill - for standing charges as flat was unoccupied. I will query that as it seems a lot. The council tax bill is around £3k and i think that is over three years or part years.

 

I notified the council that the flat was repossessed in September 2015 and sold in April 2016. They have asked me for the original court papers to prove that. I can't find any such papers anywhere. I have probably had them I guess but have no idea where they are now. Because I haven't yet provided these, they have asked Rundles to chase me for £200+ of the debt. I called the council and expressed by shock at this action etc but they said I have had long enough to sort this so (basically) go away!

 

I called Rundles and arranged to pay the debt over six months at £50/month incl their £75 fee. When I went online to make the first payment commencing a week later as agreed, I noticed that Rundles also have all the other c/tax debt for this flat. So they will come after me at some point for the remainder and I will not be able to make any offer of payment.

 

I have been unemployed since April but before that was only getting £400/month sick pay. So effectively I've had no proper or sufficient income since December. I used the equity to pay rent and bills and paid for a little holiday for my grandkids. That's it. There is nothing left. I am going to be receiving benefits as of next month. I am 60 now and have struggled to get work - can't even get an interview. Can't even get a job stacking shelves because on CV I am overqualified and employers won't even offer me an interview.

 

The council still haven't budged on the 150% c/tax bill. Their attitude is disgusting to be honest. I have been meaning to raise a complaint but haven't had a chance. I have been looking after two toddlers an most of the time feel like pulling my hair out. I have a whole list of things to deal with - court papers for credit card debt, court papers for a parking ticket, finding the court papers for this flat, sorting out debts - dozens of small ones that need to be dealt with.

 

I know this all sounds pathetic but it seems I can't cope with all the stress and so don't deal with anything. And I'm getting very forgetful about what I have dealt with and haven't.

 

What can I do to prevent getting into a worse situation with Rundles? I'm hoping if I manage to find the legal papers the council will make an arrangement with me but I don't remember them being that agreeable before unless they made a mistake!!!

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I notified the council that the flat was repossessed in September 2015 and sold in April 2016. They have asked me for the original court papers to prove that. I can't find any such papers anywhere. I have probably had them I guess but have no idea where they are now. Because I haven't yet provided these, they have asked Rundles to chase me for £200+ of the debt. I called the council and expressed by shock at this action etc but they said I have had long enough to sort this so (basically) go away!

 

 

The onus is on yourself to provide proof of any exemption prior to the actual date of sale.

You need to speak with the mortgage company to get written confirmation or go to the court and get a copy of the order.

 

 

The lenders won't clear any charges as they have no legal liability to.

(at least not until Section 13 of the Local Government Finance 2012 is enacted).

 

The council still haven't budged on the 150% c/tax bill.

 

 

Any property that was unoccupied & unfurnished for more than 2 years is liable for the charge

- if they choose to apply the maximum 50% then they are able to.

 

 

An appeal to a valuation tribunal can only determine of if the premium has been applied correctly, they would have no remit over the value of the premium.

 

You could ask for a discretionary relief under section 13A of the LGFA 1992 but you'll probably be out of luck - http://lgfa92.co.uk/section-13a-write-off/

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  • 3 weeks later...

Rundles have just paid me another visit.

 

I provided proof of repossession to the council nearly two weeks ago and was waiting to hear back from them.

 

Now I've had Rundles at the door demanding £3k from me.

 

I am unemployed and do not have this money.

 

There was a smaller debt for the same council which I am paying at £50 a month for six months to clear it but cannot clear £3k in six months.

 

What options do I have?

I feel overwhelmed with one thing or another right now and just don't know which way to turn.

 

The bailiff said he would be back.

 

I also noticed that the letter the bailiff left says he will return to complete his action whether we are present or not.

 

Are they allowed to enter the house while we are out or if we refuse to open the door?

My daughter is really worried and so am I.

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I also noticed that the letter the bailiff left says he will return to complete his action whether we are present or not.

 

Are they allowed to enter the house while we are out or if we refuse to open the door? My daughter is really worried and so am I.

 

Can you clarify whether the notice that has been left says the exact words that you have quoted above (will return to complete this action whether you are present or not).

 

In almost all cases, the wording that is commonly used is that 'we can remove goods even in your absence'.

 

Unless you have left the door unlocked (very unwise), the notice means that goods outside of your property can be removed 'in your absence'.

 

The 'goods' referred to will commonly be a motor vehicle, motor bike or less common......expensive garden machinery, caravan etc.

 

To save me having to read back on your posts....do you have a car outside of your home?

 

PS: The debt is for for council tax arrears. Accordingly, the enforcement agent cannot force entry into the property. Entry (into the property) will need to be by way of invitation (unless of course the door has been left open).

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Thank you for responding and the information you've given is reassuring.

 

The letter he left is headed 'Attendance notice to take control of goods'

 

'Your debt remains outstanding despite our previous attempts for payment.

Therefore, I have called today to take control of your goods in order to secure the debt outstanding.

Please contact me immediately.

 

If you fail to contact me I will return and complete my action whether you are present or not. T

he cost of my next visit to transport goods to the place of sale will be added to the total owed.'

 

I have not spoken with Rundles about this debt before, only the £300 debt.

I didn't open the door to the bailiff because he looked like a bailiff

- or maybe my spider sense told me he was.

I spoke with him through the letterbox.

 

 

I told him I had written to the council and was waiting for a reply.

He said the council had sent them to collect and that he would be back.

My daughter heard all this.

 

I called the council after he left and I am now waiting (again) for them to get back to me as I was only able to speak with a customer service person.

 

I have offered to pay the council although it won't be by the end of the financial year, but nevertheless I have offered to pay.

 

 

The flat is now occupied and no doubt they are getting council tax from the new owner.

My debt probably relates to the two years prior to the current year so cannot understand why they insist on being paid by the end of March. But I have offered to pay.

 

I do have an old banger outside the house which has two baby seats in it.

We need the car as getting about with two small toddlers without the car would be difficult.

Are they allowed to take cars which are essential?

 

 

Also, the car is used to help me look for work and I am applying for jobs where there will be a fair amount of driving/travel. I don't know what to do about this one.

Edited by EveOwes
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'If you fail to contact me I will return and complete my action whether you are present or not. T

he cost of my next visit to transport goods to the place of sale will be added to the total owed.'

 

 

I have offered to pay the council although it won't be by the end of the financial year, but nevertheless I have offered to pay.

 

I do have an old banger outside the house which has two baby seats in it. We need the car as getting about with two small toddlers without the car would be difficult. Are they allowed to take cars which are essential?

 

Also, the car is used to help me look for work and I am applying for jobs where there will be a fair amount of driving/travel. I don't know what to do about this one.

 

 

The wording on the letter means the same as I outlined in my previous post.

 

You say that you need the car and that it is essential. Being brutally honest, everyone needs their car and everyone considers that for one reason or another, their car is essential. Given that the debt is approx £3k, then I would be surprised if a bailiff considered taking an 'old banger'.

 

Have you made a payment proposal to the bailiff? The council can intervene by agreeing a payment proposal and in most cases, will instruct their bailiff company to accept the proposal.

 

Please post back once you have heard back from the council.

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Might be worth hiding the car even if only worth a couple of hundred in case they clamp to add pressure with no intention to actually remove the vehicle, seen that one with Excel, and Jacobs in Wales. Don't know if Rundles would try that one.

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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  • 11 months later...

Hi again. I've had bailiffs on the doorstep again chasing an old debt from Canterbury Council.

I had arranged to pay £15 a month and was doing ok it's now gone belly up.

 

It seems I missed the payment in September but I didn't realise I had.

I knew I had missed October but was waiting for them to represent the direct debit but hadn't seen it

- on checking my bank account it seems I've set it up as a standing order so it only gets presented once

- my mistake not remembering this.

 

I now owe them £30 which I can get for them

the bailiff said there's no more arrangements and he would be back to collect goods in four days.

I don't have any goods of any value and my car is also worthless, but is essential at the moment.

 

I have a liability order for council tax where I live now already really worried now about all this.

 

I am on universal credit at the moment have so many sanctions that I'm struggling.

I have been promised some work and just waiting for references to clear,

but until then I will still struggle.

 

I don't smoke, drink, go out, buy make up, get my hair done, buy clothes! Nothing.

I'm so sick of it all. I

'm in my early sixties so jobs not easy to get anymore.

 

Any advice please - I have posted before about this debt and others, but feel like I'm still drowning in them.

 

It doesn't help that I call the bailiff a fat b either!!! I might have made things worse, but he was just so rude and condescending.

 

thanks

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Hi, yes it's the same debt, and I have been paying them the agreed amount until I lost sight of a couple of payments these last two months.

The old thread is full of info that is not as relevant now though so wasn't sure whether to just start a new thread?

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Threads merged...pleases keep to one thread per same issue.

 

Regards

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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The Courts have nothing to do with this - all they did was grant the Liability Order.

 

The Council may not decide to interfere,

they may look upon it as you have broken the agreement and deserve everything that follows

- may still be worth contacting them though.

 

It would be certainly worth you contacting your local Councillor(s) and ask they intervene on your behalf

- best initial contact is by phone and my view is they are contactable 7 days per week up until about 9pm.

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So are you saying that if Rundles don't want to be co-operative then they can come into my home and take whatever regardless of me offering to pay what I can afford which is no more than £15-20 a month?

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If there are insufficient or no exempt goods available they won't be taking diddly squat.

We could do with some help from you.

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Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

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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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I don't really own much at all,

my daughter has bought all the furniture and it was on credit so we can prove it's hers.

 

I own this dodgy laptop which I do need to try and get business with doing self-employed stuff.

I also own a car which is of no monetary value

- it is on it's last legs but i need it for running kids to school and also for the little cleaning job i'm starting this week.

Them trying to take anything that I own would be a complete waste of time and wouldn't even dent the debt.

 

I know I've got to make some calls in the morning

- Canterbury Council, my own council as well,

 

Step Change (who ditched me when I lost my job and couldn't pay several hundred to my creditors each month),

the guy from the Royal British Legion Initiative who's helping me get back to work and who says he helps with things like this apparently.

I've only met him briefly twice so not sure what he does.

 

My own council tax is in a mess because the people at the job centre said it would be taken care of but it wasn't and apparently i'm supposed to apply to the council for a reduction.

 

It's all such a mess and I think I am losing the plot a bit.

The benefits system has brought me to my knees and I would love to get back to work full time but it's unlikely to happen now.

I'm at rock bottom now but I don't want these bailiffs to get the better of me.

 

I also need to pay £10 by midnight 31/10 to another lot of council bailiffs for a stupid parking ticket that went from £40 to £430.

I only have £87 left to pay on that one, but the use of bailiffs is big business and they don't negotiate much.

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