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Hello

 

It feels like I'm running round in circles at the moment in regards to our council Tax debt and the zero co-operation I'm getting from the Council or Baillifs in regards to paying it off!

 

We owe 2 amounts to Baillifs Penham Excel 1x £934 and 1x £1465 - both way over what we actually owe the council!

 

Baillifs have been 4 times now and each time I've refused entry into the house to do a walk in possession, but today he turned into a smart a*** and said he would go away and get an order to take away my car (no finance on it and only worth around £1200).

This has really worried me as I have to have it to get my 5 year, who is Autistic, to school 3 miles away and then my other son to nursery.

Can they take my car? If yes, then would I be wise to change the ownership to my Mum so if they come back to take it, it isn't officially mine?

The baillif has insisted that we pay the first amount in full and maybe they will come to an arrangement for the second amount if I allow the walk in possession. No bloody way, does he think I'm stupid? I've read about people who've done that thinking they can get a good arrangement set up only to find they've been ordered to pay it off at £400 a month and then have no option but to pay it or lose there things!

 

Spoke to the council to see if we can pay the debt off at £50 a month direct to them and they refuse to help as "it's gone too far now" and they said if it get's handed back by the Bailiffs they will go for a committal to prison!

 

I slightly lost my cool with the woman I was speaking to and told her that this is going to leave us no other option but to go Bankrupt as we also have other massive debts in our name, a repossession order on our house (which is my number one priiority to pay every month) and no one is offering to help us!

 

Is there any other way out of this? I did suggest an attatchment of earnings, but she said that would be at least £250 a month, the £50 we're offering would push us quite a bit.

 

HELP!

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Send this one to the bailiffs with you filling in your details

 

re: YOUR ADDRESS

 

YOUR COUNCIL appears to have instructed you to recover unpaid council tax from me.

 

This letter gives you notice that you are not being given peaceful entry to my home or to levy goods contained within and I will not be signing anything for you. This notice revokes your eligibility to charge a Walking Possessions fee or other fee relating to the handling of goods.

 

Due to my circumstances I am unable to pay the debt as you demanded because it is unrealistic. I have sent an affordable payment direct to the council along with a written schedule of repayments.

 

Please be advised it is not a "criminal offence" for me to deny a bailiff entry to my property, the law says I have to settle the debt; it does not obligate me to do business with you. If you suggest to me otherwise I will automatically report you to the police and you may receive a criminal record.

 

I AM NOT REFUSING TO PAY THIS DEBT.

 

Meanwhile please provide me with a written breakdown of your fees you have demanded and put it through the letterbox and quietly leave the property. If your fees are found to contradict Regulation 45(2) of the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 I will automatically file a Form 4 complaint against you at your certificating court for attempting to defraud me under Sections 2 and 4 of the Fraud Act 2006.

 

This document was sent to you recorded delivery to the above address and a copy was sent to HEAD OF council tax Recovery Dept.

 

Please also supply me with a breakdown of the fee's you have charged me

 

 

Yours Faithfully

 

 

 

 

AND THIS ONE obviously fill in your details to the council and enclose a payment plan that you can afford for the ct you owe

 

Re: your details

On DATE I was visited by your bailiff collecting unpaid council tax who overcharged me with his fees. We were unable to reach an amicable resolve and the bailiff showed threatening behaviour and became vexatious in nature. I also received a letter stating I should pay WHAT THEY ASKED YOU per month to clear the debt which is unrealistic with my present financial state.

 

I now ask the council to:

 

a) Take the case back from the bailiff.

b) Accept my original offer to pay Your payment extra of what I pay already a week to clear the arrears

c) Pay me a reasonable compensation for my inconvenience and for my efforts in seeking discovery of information and

d) Receiving an over-zealous bailiff acting for you making unrealistic demands of money.

 

If you fail to satisfactorily complete the above I will automatically escalate the complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman in fourteen days from the date of this letter.

 

Due to my circumstances I am unable to pay the debt as demanded by the bailiffs and I will make payment of Your payment each week for 249 weekly installments with a final installment of Your payment This may seem a long time but it's all I can afford and allows me to pay future liabilities without falling into arrears. I confirm I am not refusing to pay this debt.

 

This letter is delivered by Royal Mail and I deem it to be served on you by the ordinary course of Recorded post in the meaning of Section 7 of the Interpretation Act 1978, Please pass this to the relevent person within your organisation.

 

 

 

 

Yes they can take your car so you need to do what you need to do with regards your idea.

Thye won't send you to prison if you are paying something

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It feels like I'm running round in circles at the moment in regards to our council Tax debt and the zero co-operation I'm getting from the Council or Baillifs in regards to paying it off!

 

That's quite normal

 

We owe 2 amounts to Baillifs Penham Excel 1x £934 and 1x £1465 - both way over what we actually owe the council!

 

You should ring the council, don't discuss anything just ask them how much the liability order was for; you are entitled to this information.

Once you know how much a liability order was for, you will know exactly what fees the bailiffs have applied.

 

Baillifs have been 4 times now and each time I've refused entry into the house to do a walk in possession, but today he turned into a smart a*** and said he would go away and get an order to take away my car (no finance on it and only worth around £1200).

 

The question is, did he leave any paperwork indicating that he had seized the car?

 

Can they take my car? If yes, then would I be wise to change the ownership to my Mum so if they come back to take it, it isn't officially mine?

 

Yes you would be wise to change the ownership, but the ownership must have changed before the date of any levy/seizure on the car. After that date the car becomes the bailiffs property and you may not dispose of it, before that date you can do what you like with it.

Incidentally, if you do sell it to your mum, uncle Fred, auntie Georgina, or whoever; you must get a receipt and any insurance policy must reflect their interest, because of course in the event of any loss they will be the new owner of the car.

 

The baillif has insisted that we pay the first amount in full and maybe they will come to an arrangement for the second amount if I allow the walk in possession. No bloody way, does he think I'm stupid? I've read about people who've done that thinking they can get a good arrangement set up only to find they've been ordered to pay it off at £400 a month and then have no option but to pay it or lose there things!

 

You are quite right, it's appalling the way some bailiffs and council workers are prepared to treat ordinary people who get into difficulties.

 

Spoke to the council to see if we can pay the debt off at £50 a month direct to them and they refuse to help as "it's gone too far now" and they said if it get's handed back by the Bailiffs they will go for a committal to prison!

 

That simply wasn't true, and that woman should be ashamed of herself -- it's never too late, the council can instruct the bailiffs to accept a payment arrangement, and as for prison, as long as you are either attempting to pay, or show a willingness to pay, or simply state that you are willing to pay, or simply state that you are not refusing to pay, you have more chance of being struck by lightning than of going to jail.

 

I slightly lost my cool with the woman I was speaking to and told her that this is going to leave us no other option but to go Bankrupt as we also have other massive debts in our name, a repossession order on our house (which is my number one priiority to pay every month) and no one is offering to help us!

 

There is no point in losing your cool with anyone, in fact there is generally little point in speaking to anybody on the phone unless you are gathering information for a complaint. People who work in the council tax department are usually under pressure to apply pressure to debtors.

 

Is there any other way out of this? I did suggest an attatchment of earnings, but she said that would be at least £250 a month, the £50 we're offering would push us quite a bit.

 

Well yes in my view there is, if I were in your position I would do the following:

I would start paying the £50 you're offering direct online. No one can stop you doing that, and it will start reducing your debt straightaway without any of it being diverted into the bailiffs pocket.

It will also guarantee that you cannot be threatened with committal to prison.

 

I would write to the bailiffs informing them that your account with them is in dispute, because of the excessive charges they have applied to your account. You give them 14 days to amend their records and confirm that the excessive charges (which are fraudulent under the fraud act 2006) have been removed. You also ask them to stop all enforcement action while the account is in dispute. Don't bother asking for compensation, you won't get it, what you need to be doing now is building up a good case. From now on you need to sound very reasonable indeed.

 

Any letter you send, ought to be scanned/copied and e-mailed to the council tax department, the head of revenues, your local councillor, and if he/she proves to be unhelpful your local MP.

That is why any letter you send needs to sound reasonable. I would still use Ambershadow's letter, but I would modify it slightly and tone it down a bit -- remember this letter may be read by a judge at some point.

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Thank you both very much for your replies you have given me some fab advice :)

 

The only letter the Bailiff left yesterday was a notice of attendance regarding Council Tax debt, thankfully there is no mention of my car, so I will get the V5 changed and sent to DVLA today and hide my car in a back street until the DVLA change their records!

 

I know I shouldn't have lost my cool, but I think the whole frustration of listening to this silly cow going on about prison etc my emotions just boiled over (I'm also 6 months pregnant so there were a few extra hormones thrown into the mix as well:oops:)

 

Thanks again

Lisa

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Pregnant?

 

 

Then you should send them this, modified of course to suit your circumstances.

Date:

 

 

Bailiff Company

 

Address

 

 

 

 

Dear Sirs,

 

Re: Account reference XXXXX

 

 

I refer to your letter dated (enter date) informing me that your company have been instructed by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX to enforce a warrant against me.

 

 

In your letter you state that you will be returning to my home to seize my goods unless full payment of (enter amount) is made by return.

 

 

The purpose of this letter is to advise your company that I believe that my circumstances fall within the category as contained within the National Standards for Enforcement Agents of “vulnerable situations”. The reason for this is that:

 

I am an expectant mother in the late stages of pregnancy

 

Accordingly, I would like to request that you do not visit my property as this would cause undue stress and anxiety. Instead, I would like to request that you accept £xxxxx per week as previously offered in my letter to you of (Date) or pass the account back to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX Council so that they can make alternative payment arrangements.

 

 

I would be grateful if you could confirm safe receipt of this letter, and confirmation that the payment terms are agreed.

 

 

I am copying this letter to XXXXXXXXXXXXX.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

 

XXXXX

 

 

Vulnerable Groups include:

 

The following are defined as “vulnerable groups” according to the National Standards for Enforcement Agents:

 

• Disabled

• The debtor or the debtor’s partner is suffering a long term illness.

• Single parent.

• Expectant mothers in the late stages of pregnancy.

• Elderly and /or infirm.

• Individuals suffering from mental confusion.

• People who are either blind or deaf.

• Persons where there has been a recent bereavement in the family.

• Those persons whose first language is not English.

• People who are in receipt of benefit

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Wow! Thanks for that advice, very handy to lknow!

 

What also concerned me yesterday was my 5yo son was with me when I confronted the Bailiff as he turned up just as we were getting home from the Docs.

Now Sam is on the Autistic Spectrum and is Diagnosed with Aspergers syndrom. He gets very confused and upset with unfamiliar situations and I di ask the Baiiff to go as my son was present (briefly outlining his condition) but he just glared at me.

Needless to say Sam was getting very confused and quite upset as to who this person was and I'm worried about him getting affected by this again.

 

Would he fall into the Vunerable group as well, even though the debt isn't anything to do with him he is still affected by these people turning up and causing upset?

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Well it's one more reason to add to the letter, and I would say that you were a single parent caring for a handicapped child.

 

Note carefully the words that I've used there, so underneath the line which says I am an expectant mother in the late stages of pregnancy, you would put also in bold,

I am a single parent caring for a handicapped child.

 

Now there are two reasons! :-)

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Chris you made me choke on my coffee! :D

 

Anyway Lisa do as Chris directed, your pregnant and as such the bailiff should refer your debt back to the council as you are classed as "vunerable" according to the National Standards for Enforcment. You will need to enclose some proof of your pregnancy, MATB1 form etc?

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Also you need to start paying the council DIRECT. If I was you along with your letter about being vunerable I would send an income and expenditure sheet and a reasonable payment schedule to clear the arrears, and start paying them ASAP. You need to demonstrate that you are willing to pay.

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Details, details........

 

 

So throw him out, it'll keep your letters honest ! :D

 

 

You owe me a new keyboard now mate :-)

Tip us a wink on my scales if you think I may have helped at all;)

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You will need to enclose some proof of your pregnancy, MATB1 form etc?

 

The bloke could clearly see yesterday that I'm pregnant, my bump is huge! I also pointed out the fact that "my 2 kids plus the one on the way" were my number one priority such as food heat and a roof over their heads!

 

I'm going to phone the Bailiff company now to point all this out to them and let them know it's also being put to them in writing, as the Bailiff stated he's coming back today. If he turns up when I've already spoken to his company I will threaten him with allsorts rather than it be the other way round for a change :p

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well that went down like a sack of sh*t with the Bailiff :lol:

 

He tried to say that my Husband could deal with it as it's in his name as well until I pointed out that my Husband is out at work from early morning till late evening so no he couldn't!

 

He said I have to call the council to get them to recall the debt, no doubt they'll talk a load of twaddle at me as well :rolleyes:

 

Will offer them £40 a month to clear the debt, they can take it or leave it as that really is all we can afford

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The bailiff will tell you whatever suit s/he they are only interested in making money out of you. The councils do not pay the bailiffs to collect the debt, the only money the bailiff and co make is out of you.

 

The reason I said for you to enclose proof of your pregnancy with the letter to the bailiff company is because the bailiff wont tell his/her company that you are pregnant, and even if s/he did it wouldnt mean that the company would stick to the rules and back off from you.

 

Thats why you must keep everything in writing, send recorded, keep copies and send duplicate letters to the council.

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well that went down like a sack of sh*t with the Bailiff :lol:

 

Of course it did, he only has one or two programmed responses and each one ends with you have to pay me now!

 

He tried to say that my Husband could deal with it as it's in his name as well until I pointed out that my Husband is out at work from early morning till late evening so no he couldn't!

 

You really must stop talking to bailiffs.

You will never get them to accept that what you're saying is acceptable if it doesn't include an offer of immediate payment, in full, with whatever fees he can dream up at the time. Not every bailiff is like that, fortunately, but you do seem to have a right one there.

 

He said I have to call the council to get them to recall the debt, no doubt they'll talk a load of twaddle at me as well :rolleyes:

 

No that's not right, you must not call the council or make any more phone calls to the bailiff.

You must send the letter I've given you to the bailiff, e-mail copy to the council, copy to your local councillor, and a copy to the head of revenue.

 

Only if you do it in this way would you get the response you're looking for, i.e. a reasonable one.

 

Will offer them £40 a month to clear the debt, they can take it or leave it as that really is all we can afford

 

I hope you mean the council?

 

In any case the council won't be interested, and if you simply start paying online you will present them with a fait accompli.

 

Any other contact with the council will probably involve an income and expenditure form, because their options include a charge on your house, attachment of earnings, bankruptcy proceedings, oral examination (no not that sort :-)), or simply accepting your payments as and when you can make them.

 

Councils no longer write off council tax debt except in the most extreme situations -- that's policy now.

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The bailiff will tell you whatever suit s/he they are only interested in making money out of you. The councils do not pay the bailiffs to collect the debt, the only money the bailiff and co make is out of you.

 

The reason I said for you to enclose proof of your pregnancy with the letter to the bailiff company is because the bailiff wont tell his/her company that you are pregnant, and even if s/he did it wouldnt mean that the company would stick to the rules and back off from you. Thats why you must keep everything in writing, send recorded, keep copies and send duplicate letters to the council.

 

I second that :-)

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Just spoke the supervisor at the Council (sorry didn't read the replies before I called! and even though it started off down the same track I've been, I kept on pointing out to her that I want the pay this debt off but refuse to give the Bailiff anything as all it will do is go in his pocket and not anywhere near the debt.

 

It ended up with her agreeing to call the Bailiffs off for 28 days while I get a financial statement done and they can consider calling back the debt to accept monthly installments.

 

I will get everything in writing, duplicated recorded delivery etc as well and won't speak another word to a Bailiff as long as I live, I promise!

 

Thanks

Lisa

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I have this whole thread and ONCE AGAIN problems are being encountered because an arrangement is made without a LETTER BEING SENT.

 

Make SURE that everything is in writing.

 

From reading the thread it would appear as well that a breakdown is fees has now been provided.

 

The MAXIMUM amount on BOTH accounts is just £42.50

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  • 2 years later...

Hi,

 

My husband has just discovered an attachment of earnings for Council Tax, the monthly amount is double the amount we couldn't afford to pay previously also we have moved to a different authority so we have that council tax to pay as well. The attachment is taking £254 per month, we cannot afford to live.

We had no idea this was going to happen as we moved house back in March and when this was put to the old authority that have got the attachment, they very rudely said they sent the forms to the old address so tough!

He has been on long term sick and next month goes on to half pay

Any advice on what we can do?

Thanks

Lisa

Edited by lisadp1970
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Hope someone can offer some advice.

My husband has just opened his pay slip to find an attachment of Earnings has been made for £253 from our Ex local authority.

We moved in March after our home was repossessed, owing quite a lot to our then council.

We never received any forms from the court so this was a total shock.

My husband has been on long term sick with chronic thoracic back pain and next month is going on to half pay so we cannot afford this at all

We have 3 young children to support, 2 are Autistic which I receive carers allowance for and we also receive some housing and council tax benefit. alongside the usual Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit.

 

When my husband contacted them they said they sent the forms to the address where the council tax was owed and basically it's tough luck that we didn't get them. He argued that we left there back in March, the woman said "yes we know the occupancy for paying C Tax ended on 31st March.

Surely if they knew we weren't living there we have a case to appeal?

It's not that we are refusing to pay it's the fact we cannot afford what the amount that's bee set.

 

Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Lisa

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You will find the rates they are allowed to charge in this document http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/CouncilDemocracy/CouncilTax/ArrearsRecoveryPolicy.htm and will find this is the same rate allowed for each Council.

 

PT

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Do get to A of E stage there would of been a court case which was prob won in default (as you didnt know about it and didnt turn up), a CCJ would of been issued and the the A of E.

 

I would of thought there are grounds to appeal/set aside the original judgement in that you didnt receive the original court claim forms.

 

Andy

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As this is council tax then there is no CCJ - the council present the cases in arrears to the magistrates (usually in batches of hundreds at a time)- you should get notification of this but as you have moved and they do not have your new address you obviously didn't know. They then get the liability order (magistrates just rubber stamp the pile of paperwork the council gives them!) which then allows them to issue an attachment of earnings - they find out where you work via Inland Revenue! You should write a letter of complaint to the CEO of the council - send it recorded delivery and keep a copy. If you need help with the letter please let me know and I'll draft one for you.

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