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I'm after some advice please.

 

Last October I received a bill from Hounslow Council for an "alleged" outstanding Council Tax bill from 1997/98,

followed very swiftly the following day by a letter from Newlyn Debt Collectors demanding payment

- this was for a property I did own with my partner (who sadly died in 1997)

 

- during his illness and subsequent death,

I made the mistake of allowing his oldest daughter to stay at the house,

which was fine whilst he was still alive,

 

once he had passed, my presence was "no longer required" and I was forced to move out

(not physically, just with the attitude etc).

 

The property was eventually sold and, as far as I was aware, that was the end of it

as I assumed that any outstanding bills to the Council would have been settled from the sale proceeds.

 

I have moved at least half-a-dozen times since then and, unfortunately,

don't have any paperwork relating to the property or the sale

(why would I keep paperwork relating to matters 18+ years ago??).

 

I responded to the Council and explained the situation saying that,

as I wasn't living in the property at that time,

I did not feel that I was responsible for the debt.

 

They said that, as my name was still on the bills (I can't prove it wasn't),

and I didn't have a current address for "The Daughter", I was still liable.

 

I did a bit of investigation, and found information from this

and other helpful websites that quoted the Limitations Act etc

and sent that info to Hounslow.

 

I had a response from them which included this :

 

London Borough of Hounslow are unable to issue a summons if more than six years has expired since the date the council tax became due.

 

Your original bill was issued dated 12 March 1998 and your summons was issued dated 23 September 1998

which is clearly within the six years limitation.

 

The Statute of limitation Act 1980 does not apply where the debt has been secured at Court.

Where a liability order has been awarded there is no time limit to execute it.

 

A liability order was granted in court to secure this debt on 21 October 1998.

 

Now I never received either of these documents and have asked Hounslow to send me copies

so that I can see to which address they were sent

 

- so my question is,

if I did not receive the initial bill and Liability Order, am I still liable to pay? Or .... ??

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The original amount was £760.48 and Newlyn have applied their usual fee, bringing it up to £1070.48 owing

- I have to say the Enforcement Agent seems to be an obnoxious little man

 

 

- I spoke to him after a letter was put through my door on 7th June (Notice of Enforcement Agent Visit to Your Premises)

- should have said that when I sent my email regarding the Limitation Act

I heard no more until this arrived through my door.

 

 

I was trying to explain the situation to him and he rudely interrupted me saying he "wasn't interested"

and I should contact the Council, which I did

 

 

- spoke to a quite helpful person there who said they'd send copies of the original bill and Liability Order

and also agreed to put the Collection or whatever on hold for 10 days in case I was able to find any correspondence,

which of course I can't!

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if you can prove you were not resident during any period the LO covers

then you are not responsible for that part of the period.

 

 

dx

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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As I don't have any paperwork relating to that period

(ie rent info for the property I moved into etc)

 

 

it will be difficult to prove and therein lies my problem!

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well you need to try and get your dates together

old bills

bank statements

what about old voters registers

 

if you were to be able to prove it

would you be liable to any of the bill?

 

bottom line is

its for them to PROVE you wee living there

not you to prove you were not.

 

oh one last thing

you say newlyn debt collectors..

..I assume you mean baliffs

 

as debt collectors [a DCA] have no legal powers whatsoever!!

and should always be totally ignored!!

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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Thank you for this - although the Council say it is up to ME to prove that I wasn't living there !! Catch-22 methinks!

 

The "Enforcement Agents" are Newlyn plc of Northampton - so are they Debt Collectors or Bailiffs?

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they can be both - but not at the same time!!

nor can they change hats from a DCA to a bailiff

 

 

letters will tell you look at the letterhead

but

ok its obv they are bailiffs

as you've had the notice of enforcement etc ?

adds £75 after 7 days

then £235 if they attend?

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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I need to go and look for their original letter (Oct 2015)

as I have to admit I did put them to one side as I honestly thought I was not liable.

 

 

The Agent "attended" in that he put a letter through my door (I was at work at the time),

so I'd not spoken to them (Newlyn) prior to that,

nor had I agreed any payment plan

 

 

he definitely has not been in my property,

 

 

I know my rights in that he cannot force entry at this time.

 

 

But, as I said, he seems to be an obnoxious little toad,

 

 

so I'm not sure what sort of attitude he's going to present when he comes again !!

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Hi

 

Please also check your Credit File you can do this at these links:

 

Noddle: https://www.noddle.co.uk/

 

ClearScore: https://www.clearscore.com/

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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??

ctax debts don't show on credit files??

 

 

you need to gather as much info as possible.

 

 

bottom line is

if you were not resident during any of the time the LO covers

then you don't have to pay for that period.

 

 

pers it might pay you to:

 

 

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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Thank you - I will go back to them with those questions. Hopefully, they'll be able to stave off Newlyn's until these queries have been answered. I will update you on progress.

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I don't think checking a credit file will achieve anything, as Council Tax is not reported to CRA's, and a Liability Order would not show on a credit file..

 

Unfortunately, the council is right that liability orders do not become statute barred, so they have the right to claim payment, and the onus is unfortunately on you to try to prove you were not there, or liable to pay CT for the property during the relevant period.

 

Others more knowledgeable than I will be able to help better beyond this, as I have no experience at all regarding collection after such a long period of time, sorry..

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Can I just add my observations.

 

First -if you owned the property with your husband

you would have been involved in the sale

yet I have the impression that the house was sold without your involvement.

 

Regardless,

once you moved out you would no longer be liable for the tax.

Then it would be down to the daughter and prior to that you and your husbands estate.

 

 

You could take an educated guess when you move out since you would know when your partner passed.

 

Land Registry have records going back to 1995 to see when your property was sold.

 

You can probably remember where you first moved to even though you cannot remember when.

Was it in a different Council and did you pay C/T there.

 

 

Whichever, it could be worth contacting that Council or see if that property is still owned by the same landlord

and check if they have records going back that far.

 

However it is still up to the Council to prove you are liable.

It is not enough for them to say it is owed and leave it at that.

 

 

It might be worth sending them a SAR along with £10 and see what they have.

That should confirm the amount outstanding at that time, whether they claimed from the estate

( they should have as they would have been informed of your partner's demise;

when they issued the Liability Order and in whose name;

The address that the L/O was sent to as well as attempts to trace whoever was mentioned on the L/O.

 

I find it hard to believe that it has taken as long to trace you.

It is not as if you have been living under a stone all this time.

 

 

An obvious way would have been to send a letter to your bank asking them to forward a letter to you

-it isn't rocket science.

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well just remember

this is for a CTAX DEBT

 

 

they have no right of entry

and you are under no obligation to even converse wit them.

 

 

dx

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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Thanks everyone for all your advice - I will certainly sit down and go through it all and, hopefully, will get to the bottom of it and come out the other side!

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Thanks everyone for all your advice - I will certainly sit down and go through it all and, hopefully, will get to the bottom of it and come out the other side!

 

NannyB

 

Please do try to get to the bottom of this as otherwise, I fear that you may well have to pay the amount demanded.

 

A case regarding the enforcement of a very old 1993 'poll tax' debt was recently the subject of a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. Unfortunately they did not find fault with the local authority !!!

 

A short description of the decision is outlined below. You can read the full decision by visiting the link below:

 

 

 

Old community charge from 1993 can still be pursued (even though council do not have a copy of the Liability Order.

 

 

Analysis:

 

 

Paragraph 15:

 

I consider the evidence provided by the Council is enough to show it gained three liability orders. The Council can show when and where a liability order was gained and that resulting action was taken which was only possible once the Council had gained a liability order. Once the Council has obtained a liability order the statute of limitation does not apply.

 

Paragraph 16:

 

In recent years the Council has taken a decision to pursue arrears of community charge and council tax. The Council is entitled to collect old community charge and council tax debts. Where the debts are for money properly owed to the public purse, I cannot say the Council is acting with fault in collecting them.

 

Paragraph 17:

 

A significant period of time has passed in which the Council did not take recovery action and I am critical of the Council’s delay in pursuing such debts. However, the Council’s records show the money is owed and without any evidence to the contrary I cannot question the validity of these records. I cannot say the delay in itself is enough reason to say the Council should not pursue the debt.

 

http://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/bene...her/14-019-796
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  • 3 weeks later...

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you on this one, but 2 family bereavements in quick succession took up most of my time.

 

However, I have wonderful news! I was about to chase Hounslow for the original copy bill and Liability Order and found they had responded to me :

 

CouncilTax, Hounslow Jul 5 at 1:57 PM

Message body

Dear Ms xxx,

 

Thank you for your email regarding Council Tax arrears at the above property. On reviewing the case I have decided to write off the debt. This is due to the age of the debt and not because it is not legally collectable, which it is, having been summonsed at the time the payment was due. This means that recovery will stop, the bailiff has been withdrawn, and you should have no further contact regarding the debt.

 

Thank you for your co-operation in the matter, and if you have any further queries regarding Council Tax please do not hesitate to contact this office.

 

Regards

Revenues Officer

Hounslow Revenue Services

London Borough of Hounslow

P.O. Box 355

Hounslow

TW3 4PJ

 

So it seems that sometimes they do apply common sense - in the current circumstances (having lost my dear mum in May, followed by my brother a month later and then a beloved aunt 2 days after that) it has taken a great weight off my shoulders!

 

I want to say a huge "Thank You" to all who responded to my original query. Keep up the good work!!

Edited by honeybee13
Name removed.
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Hello there.

 

Well done you, especially when you were in the thick of things emotionally.

 

I've removed your name from your post, to keep this anonymous.

 

Edit: and I've also amended your thread title. :)

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Excellent, thanks for getting back to us, a bit of good news really cheers us up arround here. :)

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES TO COLD CALLERS PROMISING TO WRITE OFF YOUR DEBTS

DO NOT PAY UPFRONT FEES FOR COSTLY TELEPHONE CONSULTATIONS WITH SO CALLED "EXPERTS" THEY INVARIABLY ARE NOTHING OF THE SORT

BEWARE OF QUICK FIX DEBT SOLUTIONS, IF IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT INVARIABLY IS

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Don't worry Ploddertom - I have printed a copy which will be kept with the original correspondence they sent me and I have saved on to a memory stick, as well as the archive file in my email! Think I've covered all options!

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