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Highland Council using 'Date of First Order' instead of actual Sequestration date?


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Hi,

 

I'm seeking some advice regarding some Council Tax arrears I have with Highland Council.

 

I was sequestrated on 20th May 2015 and discharged a year later.

I was on the understanding that all debts leading upto & including my sequestration date was included within the sequestration.

 

However,

Highland Council have informed me that it's their policy to use the 'Date of First Order' as the date for any arrears, instead of my actual sequestration date.

 

Here's Highland councils response to my enquiry:

 

"Dear Mr frunko,

 

Thank you for email dated 07.04.2017.

 

The Date of First Order is the day that a person who has applied for sequestration is cited to court.

 

 

After this date,

the party is given a period of time to make payment (6 weeks)

but if no payment is received within that period,

it is Council policy that the 'First Order Date' is the date used when dealing with a sequestrated Council Tax account.

 

Therefore,

although you were sequestrated on the 20.05.2015 we had to use the 26.04.2015, as this was the date you were first cited to court."

 

I was wondering if this policy is in line with Scottish law regarding sequestration?

 

The reason I'm asking is because If the Highland Council used my actual sequestration date of 20th May 2015, the whole financial year 2015 - 2016 Council Tax arrears would be included within my sequestration as they had issued a 'final notice' letter before 20th May 2015.

 

Your knowledge or thoughts on this would be very much appreciated.

 

Thanks - Frank

Edited by dx100uk
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it is Council policy that the 'First Order Date' is the date used when dealing with a sequestrated Council Tax account

It would be worth checking with the Accountant in Bankruptcy to see what they regard in the matter - council policy can't override what the Accountant in Bankruptcy says falls under the bankruptcy.

 

On the face of it I can't see how they could use a date where the bankruptcy is not yet confirmed but Scottish law can be odd compared to English law. From what I can see the official Accountant in Bankruptcy guidance states the date to use is the date of sequestration.

 

In England and Wales since 2014 all council tax balances up to the end of the council tax year in which bankruptcy occurred are included (there is no longer any need to have lost the right to pay by instalments for this to be the case). It's worth checking if the Accountant in Bankruptcy's own guidance was revised or not after the 2014 High Court hearing to keep it on line.

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Hi ss002d6252,

 

Many thanks for your reply. Yeah I agree, i just can't see why they can use a date from before a court awards the sequestration.

 

Scottish sequestration laws changed on 1st April 2015, so it's quite hard to find upto date information on this particular subject regarding Councils using the 'Date of First Order' for Council Tax.

 

As far as I'm aware, in Scotland, you must receive a 'Final Notice' Letter from the council before the whole financial year is included within the sequestration.

 

I have already asked Highland Council for further details on whether this policy is in line with Scottish law, I will contact the Accountant in Bankruptcy (Scotland) tomorrow to seek further details on this & update the thread once I've received a response.

 

Thanks - Frank

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