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Hi all,

 

I have a long winded situation.

I have council tax debt that has gone up to £5,000.

This has been going on from more than 8 years from a different house I lived at before moving in to my own house.

 

The council has passed all dealing and account to solicitors who I have had a few email communication with confirming I will be making a £100 monthly payment towards the debt as well as paying £1200 of council tax on my current property yearly.

The house is worth £285k today.

 

Three different Charging Orders have been applied to the house for council tax debt as I have tried to keep up with paying for the council tax going forward and also paying for the debt owed from years back.

 

It has been such a challenge as the type of work I do is contracts which is not too regular.

I am currently not working,

I have three children with the youngest a year old and oldest 8 years old.

My Partner works part time.

 

I have just had this bulky document come through the post.

They are court papers.

The Council are taking me to court to push for a sale of my house I live in to recover 5k of the money owed.

 

This is very distressful and annoying to say the least.

I have offered to be paying £100 towards the debt, who refused it contending that their client - the council - are not accepting this as it will take too long to pay off the money owed.

 

The court date is for the 18th of October next month

in the meantime,

there is a job I am scheduled to commence on the 2nd of October too which will enable me make some bigger payment towards the debt.

 

The issue now is,

legally,

where do I stand

and how do I contest this as it stands.

 

 

I have evidence of all the payments I have made so far and email correspondence

 

What advice and how do I proceed,

it can not be just and equitable to push for a sale of a house worth £285k over a 5k debt with children in the house!!

I am not disputing the money owed either, I just need more time to come up with some of the money.

 

I am not in receipt of any benefit from the state either.

 

I await your responses and thanks in advance all.

:o :o :lol: :D :D

 

 

 

 

More Power to the PEOPEL!! LONG LIVE the CAG!!!

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Hi There,

 

I'm not a lawyer so can't advise you on your rights, but I have been £5000 in Council Tax Debt before.

 

So a quick question. Have you been in contact with your local councillor and elected head of your local council yet?

 

Regards

 

Jonathan

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Can the Council sell my home?

 

Technically, yes. If the Council has a final charging order, it could apply to sell your home to pay the debt although it is up to the court to decide whether to make an order for sale or not.

The court can order a sale where:

 

• the debt is in your sole name and you are the sole owner; or

• the debt is in both names of the joint owners of the house;

• if the debt is in your sole name and the house is in joint names, the Council gets an ‘interest’ in the house once the charging order is made final. This means the Council can apply to the court for an order for sale to realise their ‘interest’ in your house. All joint owners (or a married person who is not a joint owner but has an ‘interest’ in the property) should be part of the court proceedings so they can explain their case to the court as well. They would be sent notice of the hearing and be allowed to attend

 

Further information...

 

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/action-your-creditor-can-take/charging-orders/#h-what-happens-if-there-s-an-order-for-sale

 

Regards

 

Andy

We could do with some help from you.

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I am sorry you find yourself in this position-it must be very difficult for you.

 

Are all the charging orders for your previous property or do you have any for your current one?

 

 

The reason I ask is that as I understand it, Councils can only take you to Court to force a sale if the charging order is on the particular property you are living in. Though it does beg the question why you have a charging order on another property but now live elsewhere.

 

 

One would have thought that on the sale of the property with the C/O the sale should have triggered the Council tax repayment.

Of course the C/Os could have been placed on this property even though your problems began on the previous one.

 

A factor that the Court will take into consideration [and it is by no means certain at all that the Court will agree to the forced sale] is whose debt is it -just yours or yours and your partner.And is your property solely in your name or you and a partner.

 

As you will be liable for the legal costs involved in the case [and they are likely to be quite high] it must be worth trying to avoid that scenario if at all possible. Do they know that you have this

 

new job coming and that you will be able to make a higher contribution afterwards towards the debt?

Have you asked them what sort of level of annual repayment[not monthly as I gather your earnings are irregular] would stop the Court procedure from going ahead? And could you get anywhere near the amount they are asking?

 

Do you have a life insurance policy that could be used to reduce the debt or a pension plan that might enable you to take an amount of money from it?

These last two would only be offered by you as a last resort but it might be better doing that than finding yourselves homeless .

 

 

Courts may find it difficult to enforce the sale when there are children are involved but that may it also depend on the Council's attitude and whether they believe that you are deliberately stalling on repayments.

 

Good luck and I hope you can reach some sort of settlement with the Council.

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Hi all,

 

I have a long winded situation. I have council tax debt that has gone up to £5,000. This has been going on from more than 8 years from a different house I lived at before moving in to my own house.

 

The council has passed all dealing and account to Wilkin chapman LLp solicitors who I have had a few email communication with confirming I will be making a £100 monthly payment towards the debt as well as paying £1200 of council tax on my current property yearly. The house is worth £285k today.

 

Three different Charging Orders have been applied to the house for council tax debt as I have tried to keep up with paying for the council tax going forward and also paying for the debt owed from years back.

 

I am currently not working, I have three children with the youngest a year old and oldest 8 years old. My Partner works part time.

 

I have just had this bulky document come through the post. They are court papers. The Council are taking me to court to push for a sale of my house I live in to recover 5k of the money owed.

 

This is very distressful and annoying to say the least. I have offered to be paying £100 towards the debt via Wilkin chapman LLp, who refused it contending that their client - the council - are not accepting this as it will take too long to pay off the money owed.

 

The court date is for the 18th of October next month and in the meantime, there is a job I am scheduled to commence on the 2nd of October too which will enable me make some bigger payment towards the debt.

 

What advice and how do I proceed, it can not be just and equitable to push for a sale of a house worth £285k over a 5k debt with children in the house!! I am not disputing the money owed either, I just need more time to come up with some of the money.

 

I would hazard a guess that there is a fair amount of 'history' about this matter as local authorities do not issue these type of proceedings unless as a very last resort.

 

Are the Liability Orders that are subject to the charging orders in your name only?

 

You mention that your property is worth around £285k. Is there much equity in the property?

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I agree strongly with the above post about making a complaint. You need to ring and email the elected head of your council , who has the power to stop this immediately. Right now speaking to the Recovery dept or the call centre is going to be a waste of time. Your HOC details should be freely available online. I would explain the whole situation, including your new job and the potential to meet a new payment plan.

 

It is strongly not in the council's interest to have to spend huge sums of money on rehousing a homeless family, for a simple 5 k debt. Please do this, you have nothing to lose and a better than 50% chance of having this immediately stopped in their tracks.

We could do with some help from you.

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If you have 3 separate charging orders, this must have been a frequent issue and the council will almost certainly have attempted using bailiffs and trying to make an attachment of earnings order, prior to reaching this crisis point. It will also be the case that once the charging order has been obtained, you will have had opportunities to address the debt by way of paying in installments. The council's argument is likely to be that they have attempted all of these options and none have been successful, hence the application for a sale. What were the dates of the 3 charging orders and what previous attempts had been made to repay the debt?

 

LFI has made some valid points, most importantly, the fact that you will be liable for hefty costs involved in the application. Further to that advice, is it possible for you to take a loan out for £5k or even re-mortgage? Can you get access to any amount of money that could bring the debt down to about £4k?

 

Given the severity of your situation, I would urge you to consider seeking advice from the CAB as it costs you nothing.

 

As LFI aslo correctly stated, it is unlikely that a council would succeed in forcing the sale of a £285k house for a debt of just £5k, if a reasonable repayment offer is in place, even less likely given young children are housed there.

 

I would also consider writing to the council , heading the communication: "Formal Complaint - Stage 1" I would then state that you consider that the council are acting disproportionately and unreasonably by pursuing this course of action. especially given that 3 young children are housed in the property concerned. Remind the council that it is extremely unlikely that a court would want to make a family homeless in these circumstances, especially as you have offered to repay the debt at £100 per month and from (insert date) you can increase payments to (insert amount) per month.

 

Ask that due to the unreasonableness of the council's action, the disproportionate action given an amount of just £5k is owed and the fact that an offer has been made to repay, the council instruct their solicitors to place action on hold. As the council will be aware that a court would be extremely reluctant to force a sale of the house given your offer to repay in installments, the action seems futile and will only succeed in placing a debt that is already proving difficult to repay, even further away from settling. Should the council continue with their action despite this complaint, you will produce this letter to the court on every occasion that costs fall to be discussed.

 

You can send the complaint preferably by email or alternatively by post. Head the email URGENT complaint re Proceedings to Force sale of House. Given the severity, I would send the email to the CEO of the council and also the recovery manager (you may need to find the email addresses)

 

Do not hang about with this. Get to the CAB, asap. Ask about the possibility of obtaining legal advice.

 

Hi there,

 

just wanted to say thanks to you and everyone that responded. As mentioned, I have put in a letter of complaint to the head of my council and yet to get a response.

 

I have also been to CAB and advised to bring in a break down of my financial statement stating my outgoings and incomings.

 

This will be used to ask for more time in the courts. Taking that in by the 28th to the CAB. Still getting it written up, any ideas or template to use anyone can suggest will be good. If not, good old excel is what am using.

 

Once more, thanks to every one for taking the time respond.

:o :o :lol: :D :D

 

 

 

 

More Power to the PEOPEL!! LONG LIVE the CAG!!!

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Hi, affixed is the budget sheet we use in similar cases - it calculates automatically as you fill it in.

Budget Sheet.xls

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Hi, affixed is the budget sheet we use in similar cases - it calculates automatically as you fill it in.

 

 

Hi Ell-enn,

 

Thanks for the sheet, precisely the sort of budget calculator I needed. Really good and well suited for my purpose.

 

Thanks once more.

:o :o :lol: :D :D

 

 

 

 

More Power to the PEOPEL!! LONG LIVE the CAG!!!

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Glad you found it useful :)

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Hi Glad to hear you have put all this into action,

 

However, try to call (Not just a letter)

 

A. Your local Councillor

B. The head of the council.

 

Leave a voicemail / send an email.

 

All contact details should be available either on the internet or by ringing the council. These people are elected to serve you ! Most people can't even be bothered to turn up and vote at council elections but effectively they can be on your side far more than any local MP.

 

In my case I got 2 AOE's slapped onto my paycheque with no notice and was put into a situation where I couldn't afford my rent that month ( £600 deduction !). I got completely blanked by anyone working in the call centre or revenue collection, who told me tough luck! I was also told (by recovery) that legally an AOE could not be revoked ( A complete lie)

 

My line of complaint to the Head of council was along the lines of.

 

I understand the importance of me paying this debt off , it will be hard but I am prepared to pay 1 AOE, but 2 will mean that my family will have to choose between paying rent or not eating'.

We could do with some help from you.

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When the OP started this thread, I thought that this was another that I was currently assisting given that the circumstances (apart from having 3 children) are almost the same (even down to the same firm of solicitors !!). In fact, these are two different cases but given the seriousness of the situation, and the popularity of this forum it may be useful for anyone reading this thread to be aware of the extreme danger of allowing council tax arrears to get to the stage where a charging order is made against the property.

 

The other is simply unbelievable:

 

They had arrears of approx £2,000 in around 2007 and a charging order imposed on their property.

 

Two further charging orders were imposed in 2008 and 2009 for £1,900 and £2,000.

 

From 2010 they managed to get 'back on their feet' and pay their yearly council tax in full. They have not defaulted on council tax for 7 years.

 

Their mistake has been to ignore the charging orders.

 

In early 2016, the council requested the court to order the property to be sold. The council tax arrears of £6,000 had turned into a £11,000 debt to include solicitors costs and yearly interest of 8%.

 

The court agreed to suspend the order as long as monthly payments were made.

Instead of paying as ordered, they paid the council tax arrears in full and has spent many months arguing about the charges.

Legal charges for that hearing were in excess of £2,000

 

The current position is that the court have agreed an eviction date (for next week). That hearing of course incurred further legal costs.

 

Having spoken with the council, they confirm that council tax has been paid in full for the past 7 years and furthermore, that there are no arrears at all owed to the council. The order for sale is purely to enforce the solicitors charges and statutory interest charges of 8% per annum.

 

They have just days to find £8,500. their property is mortgage free and is worth around £350,000.

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Has he made an application to have the eviction stopped (N244) ?

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Has he made an application to have the eviction stopped (N244) ?

 

No Ellen he hasn't and is worried at doing so as this could lead to even more legal fees being added to the debt and I can fully understand his reasoning.

 

He is trying his level best over this weekend to borrow some money and it is hoped that the solicitor will agree to stop the planned eviction with a lump sum payment and a sensible ongoing payment arrangement to clear the balance. Given the importance of the subject, I will update the forum with progress.

 

For the avoidance of doubt, the council tax arrears were £6,000 and legal fees and interest charges stand at almost £9,000

 

It is important for anyone with council tax arrears to be aware that a charging order will not only include legal fees for the legal firm contracted by the local authority.....but will also attract statutory interest of 8% per annum.

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If the solicitors don't agree, he will have no option but to apply for a hearing and the judge is almost certainly going to agree to stop the eviction given the value of the house compared to the amount owed. He would ask for no costs to be added for the hearing due to the fact that they have unreasonably refused his offer. If he needs help with the statement let me know.

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If the solicitors don't agree, he will have no option but to apply for a hearing and the judge is almost certainly going to agree to stop the eviction given the value of the house compared to the amount owed. He would ask for no costs to be added for the hearing due to the fact that they have unreasonably refused his offer. If he needs help with the statement let me know.

 

Thank you so much for your excellent advice and offer for help. I will know more tomorrow.

 

PS: With the OP's case that this thread relates to, I notice that he has also posted on MSE. Rather unhelpfully, he has been told by one poster that he is sitting on a sizeable asset and that the council are entitled to be paid.

 

Another poster has advised him that if he had paid £100 per month from when the charging orders had been in place, he would not be in the position that he is in now. Whilst both answers are being brutally honest, they are not helpful at this present time.

 

I am pleased that he is now receiving help from the CAB and that a Income & Expenditure is being prepared etc.

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There are 3 kids in the house, one of them a baby !!!

 

I'm not sure what universe his local council is in, but the sheer vunerability of his household in this situation. means that this should not be happening. In fact the OP should be looking at his local councils Code of Practice, .I don't doubt that they are in clear breach of their own guidelines.

 

The council is going to be responsible for the ongoing housing for a homeless family of 5 for the sake of £8k ?l Seriously ??

 

The OP should be all over his local council representatives and MP on this. ! Talking to recovery people in the council is p*ss*ng into the wind !

We could do with some help from you.

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Vunerability?

 

A professional law firm is trying to evict a young, indebted, unemployed / underemployed family with a baby from the family home of 8 years. The family have been offered zero legal advice, legal representation or

Legal aid to defend themselves but they may be forced to sell their home for the sake of a debt the relative size of a pin prick

 

I bet his elected head of council and local MP would think that a little bit unfair or bullying? It's the OP's responsibility to make sure they know about this. For goodness sake , he should be at the next MP surgery!

 

And yes the OP needs to take some responsibility for this and be out pulling pints / stacking shelves/ delivering pizzas if he can, in order to bring in some money to help resolve the situation!

We could do with some help from you.

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