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Hi all,

 

Simple question. As per the title, is it illegal for the council to refuse to accept payment for council tax?

 

The story is quite simple, our council tax account has been passed to the bailiffs and as such the council are refusing to accept payments (to the point where they even appear to have blocked me from using their online payment portal), and insist that payments can only be made to the bailiffs.

 

I've no intention of paying the bailiffs anything as a number of years ago (10-12 years) they stole money from us intended for payment of council tax, later telling me it was used to pay their own fees. Long story short, we lost our home as the council eventually made me bankrupt. Our solicitor advised an FVA and the equity in the house was used to pay all their legal fees, effectively leaving us with nothing.

 

We're now struggling again hence the question. The reason I ask is I remember reading somewhere, some time ago that there is an old law somewhere that states that it is illegal to refuse payment for a bill or debt. That's what i'm trying to find out.

 

 

*** PLEASE DON'T GIVE ME ADVICE ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BAILIFFS, THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M ASKING***

 

 

 

Thanks

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to put it blunt..sadly you are mistaken.

 

at what stage are you at with the bailiffs this is they key to how much and what you owe.

 

things since 10-12yrs ago have dramatically changed and the ole game of adding tonnes of fees cant happen now.

 

they can only charge £75 for NOE then if you don't pay can attend and charge an additional £235..thats it!

unless you've let hem in. which I suspect your past dealing have put you wise too already and you haven't:wink:

 

it also worthy to note that even if you resolve paying the council direct, the fees will be fwded by the council.


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The story is quite simple, our council tax account has been passed to the bailiffs and as such the council are refusing to accept payments (to the point where they even appear to have blocked me from using their online payment portal), and insist that payments can only be made to the bailiffs.

In real terms, regardless of how it is paid, you won't escape any fees that are due for action via the enforcement agent.

 

The enforcement agents are the council's appointed agents for the collection and are the ones legally empowered to collect the debt. The council are within their rights to tell you to make payment to the agents.

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As I attempted to point out (but obviously failed miserably), I don't need any advice whatsoever regarding bailiffs. My question has nothing to do with bailiffs. My point is I don't want people to go off at a tangent advising on what bailiffs (enforcement agents if you prefer) can or cannot do or charge etc. That's not what I'm looking for.

 

dx100uk, when you say "I'm mistaken" (I'm not sad, honest), do you mean you know there is no such law or do you mean you're not aware of one.

 

I'm asking because I remember reading a lengthy article a couple of years ago on the lines of a payment for a bill or invoice cannot be refused, with information about an old UK law to that effect, but I can't find it now.

Edited by coolcity
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fmotl twaddle not here..no such 'law'

 

dx


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Hi all,

 

Simple question. As per the title, is it illegal for the council to refuse to accept payment for council tax?

 

The story is quite simple, our council tax account has been passed to the bailiffs and as such the council are refusing to accept payments (to the point where they even appear to have blocked me from using their online payment portal), and insist that payments can only be made to the bailiffs. Thanks

 

The problem that you are faced with is that you are seeking ways in which to AVOID paying legally incurred bailiff fees and whilst I have a great deal of sympathy for what happened to you 12 years ago, the fact remains that in 2014, legislation was introduced which makes very clear indeed that once an account is passed to an enforcement agent, bailiff fees are ADDED to the debt and form part of the 'amount outstanding'. I appreciate that you are not wanting to hear this but it is a fact.

 

The problem that the council face, is that not only have the courts made clear that the bailiff companies compliance fee (of £75) should be deducted first from any payment made (either to them or the enforcement company) but the Local Government Ombudsman had made at least three separate decisions giving the same advice.

 

I appreciate that you do not want to read this, but the following link concerns a person who also refused to pay the Compliance fee and ended up issuing legal proceedings against the local authority and enforcement company. He lost his case and was ordered to pay £7,000 in costs. His overall losses were in excess of £12,000

 

https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?477808-Paying-the-creditor-direct-to-avoid-paying-bailiff-fees-has-landed-a-debtor-with-a-%A37-000-cost-order.

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I'm asking because I remember reading a lengthy article a couple of years ago on the lines of a payment for a bill or invoice cannot be refused, with information about an old UK law to that effect, but I can't find it now.

 

I have no idea which case law this would have been I'm afraid.

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The problem that you are faced with is that you are seeking ways in which to AVOID paying legally incurred bailiff fees and whilst I have a great deal of sympathy for what happened to you 12 years ago, the fact remains that in 2014, legislation was introduced which makes very clear indeed that once an account is passed to an enforcement agent, bailiff fees are ADDED to the debt and form part of the 'amount outstanding'. I appreciate that you are not wanting to hear this but it is a fact.

 

The problem that the council face, is that not only have the courts made clear that the bailiff companies compliance fee (of £75) should be deducted first from any payment made (either to them or the enforcement company) but the Local Government Ombudsman had made at least three separate decisions giving the same advice.

 

I appreciate that you do not want to read this, but the following link concerns a person who also refused to pay the Compliance fee and ended up issuing legal proceedings against the local authority and enforcement company. He lost his case and was ordered to pay £7,000 in costs. His overall losses were in excess of £12,000

 

 

I'm not sure why you are choosing to ignore the bit where I said, "my question is nothing to do with bailiffs", but my question is nothing to do with bailiffs, compliance/enforcement fees or anything of the sort. With all due respect I did very clearly make that point on my original post and reiterated it in my last post. You couldn't possibly be further from the truth if you tried.

 

I'm not trying to be difficult but it's frustrating when I specifically went to the trouble of pointing out the fact, not once now but twice, only to be completely ignored. I'm not a fool, please don't take me for one.

 

It's also nothing to do with the issues that occured in the past. The only reason, the ONLY reason, I pointed out the issues of 10-12 years ago is to emphasise why I'm not paying the bailiffs directly (reminder - because they stole money from us in the past). I didn't say anything about not actually paying any added fees, that's got absolutely nothing to do with my question whatsoever.

 

I'm not wishing to be big-headed and I know you're a long term senior member of this forum, I've been reading it for many years but with regard to bailiffs - I know they're called Enforcement Agents now, it's just quicker to type bailiffs - I probably know more than anybody else online based on my own knowledge compared to the information I've read that others have posted over the years, and I include the debt advice charities in that assessment. Most of the advice that's offered online is actually very "samey" and incomplete. There are a number of ways you can challenge the fees, not least because they have not followed correct procedures, but it's rarely mentioned anywhere and there are some I've never seen anywhere.

 

Lots of things can be challenged if people are prepared to do the reasearch and put the effort in. In 40 years of driving I've never paid a single parking fine or PCN in my life, or any motoring fine for that matter. As a quick tip, many councils fail to follow the correct procedures when sending a case to the courts, likewise bailiffs also fail to follow correct procedures. I could post a whole list of things they have done, or tried to do in the past, that most people will probably never read elsewhere or even imagine is something they shouldn't have done, such as illegally entering through an unlocked door.

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I have no idea which case law this would have been I'm afraid.

 

 

That response at least makes more sense. I've definitely seen something which stated (words to the effect of) "a creditor cannot legally refuse payment for a bill or invoice..."

 

 

I say "words to the effect of" because I can't remember the exact wording but it was accompanied by the relevant extract from law. All I can remember is it dated back to the late 19th century, something like the Bill of Exchange or something to that effect rings a bell. It's probably one of those obscure laws that has existed for a couple of hundred years, maybe more, maybe less but has been long since forgotten. The point of my post is I was hoping somebody else knew about it.

 

 

I do appreciate everybody's efforts.

Edited by coolcity

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yes but sadly its not relevant and has be superseded..

 

anyway good luck.


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I've just had a brief look at the Bills of Exchange Act 1882. It's an Act of Parliament isn't it? I don't want to go off at a tangent but I thought such an Act could only be repealed, not superceded.

 

 

 

From what I've read of it, that doesn't look like the one I had originally seen anyway.

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well it doesn't matter even if it was..whatever you are relating to seeing is irrelevant.

 

not sure why you are so hung up on it.

 

you are stuck with paying the fees no matter who you eventually have to pay.


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You're the one who seems to be hung up on it. I haven't even mentioned any fees. For starters they have to write to us (complaince notice) yet, and not until that point will any fees be incurred. And as I said there are many ways to challenge those fees successfully. If you think differently I'm obviously in the wrong place.

 

 

 

But you're still ignoring one major point. THIS THREAD IS NOTHING TO DO WITH BAILIFFS OR THEIR FEES!!!!!

what part of that don't you understand, or are you deliberately trying to wind me up now?

The whole reason I mentioned the fact is so we WOULDN'T get hung up and waylaid in a conversation about bailiffs. Jeeze....I'm out. :roll:

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well you've got to accept that 99% of people that follow your thinking and say nothing about bailiffs please are exactly looking to not paid fees.

I think even you have spotted that one in your travels.

 

p'haps if you'd said that in the beginning we all wouldn't have wasted 12 posts on it.

 

so now we know we are not actually wasting our time.

p'haps a database search here might reveal your answer.

 

i'll be able to sniff around later for you.

at present i'm out doing radio range checks for the local coastguard as twinter is a comin and a few of the aerials are getting old and I need to ID the ones that need servicing


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I've just had a brief look at the Bills of Exchange Act 1882. It's an Act of Parliament isn't it? I don't want to go off at a tangent but I thought such an Act could only be repealed, not superceded.

 

That one has survived the many years but as you rightly observe, it is not relevant in your case.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bills_of_Exchange_Act_1882

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well you've got to accept that 99% of people that follow your thinking and say nothing about bailiffs please are exactly looking to not paid fees.

I think even you have spotted that one in your travels.

 

p'haps if you'd said that in the beginning we all wouldn't have wasted 12 posts on it.

 

so now we know we are not actually wasting our time.

p'haps a database search here might reveal your answer.

 

i'll be able to sniff around later for you.

at present i'm out doing radio range checks for the local coastguard as twinter is a comin and a few of the aerials are getting old and I need to ID the ones that need servicing

 

Yes, I guess that's a reasonable conclusion, but I have to reiterate that's specifically why I tried to emphasise form the off that it wasn't a thread about bailiffs, or fees for that matter.

 

The bailiffs won't be calling in the near future, if at all (and they'll be wasting their time if they do), I've seen to that already. It's reasonably simple and for those who are currently struggling it's worth it to buy yourself some time if you need it.

 

I shouldn't have really said we were struggling, that was misleading so probably led to people thinking I'm trying to "beat the bailiffs". We had a bad year last year but are past that and just sorting out the remnants of that period of time.

 

I can pay the council via the bank if I want to whether they choose to refuse to accept it or not. If I do, I'm guessing the chances of them returning the money are as close to zero as it's possible to get so it's probably not that big a deal anyway.

 

I'm more curious than anything as to what it was I read a couple of years ago. It could be significant to me for other (unrelated) reasons

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I've looked at many different websites regarding this and not one has said anything remotely like it being unlawful for creditors to refuse payment let alone for it being illegal. At Stepchange they suggest that if payment is refused that one writes again either offering slightly more money or reiterating how hard it is just to make the payment already refused and ask that it be accepted this time.

 

 

On saying that, I can see no reason for the Council to refuse your payment unless you also stated that none of the proceeds were to be forwarded to the bailiffs as that would be illegal for the Council to agree to.

 

Forget about the Bills of Exchange Act as refusal to accept payment of a Bill of Exchange is different from refusal to accept money for a debt. Bills of Exchange are normally prepaid instruments that are payable after goods for example have been delivered and are of the agreed quality and quantity.

Edited by honeybee13
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No, as I said when I looked at the Bills of Exchange thing I was pretty sure that wasn't it. I remember reading something along the lines of "not being able to hold goods in lein of payment" too, and there's nothing like that in the Bills of Exchange Act, so that wasn't it.

 

It wasn't something I saw on a mainstream site, most of those sites all tend to be the same, i.e. you get the same basic information you would get from the gov.uk site or from Citizens Advice, but very little else. I think a lot of the so-called advice on those sites is quite poor to be honest.

 

There's rarely any in-depth advice such as to tell you that a bailiff can't push their way past you, or that you can ask to pay over 12 months instead of 10 for example. A lot of the advice is simply to pay the bill, but if people could do that they wouldn't be looking for advice in the first place. Frankly I could probably give people like the CAB more information than they could give me.

 

Yep, I know that the established advice is to try to offer more if the council (or anybody) refuses. I can see no (logical) reason for them refusing it either, but then I can see no reason for them adding to the bill by sending the debt to the courts in the first place.

 

They're supposed to try to help, not make matters worse. Incidentally, part of our current situation is because we applied for help with council tax and rent last year but after waiting three months they then told me over the phone they had lost the documentation and couldn't do anything so we would have to apply again but they couldn't backdate it. Now they're saying they never received the documentation, yet they quite categorically stated when I first enquired by phone that they HAD received "everything" but they had a backlog so it could take several weeks to sort out.

 

No matter, I sent the payment by bank transfer last night so they can please themselves. As I said there are no bailiffs fees to pay anyway so I couldn't care less what they do with it, there's little point in complaining about that.

 

We all know how incompetent they are at economics which is partly why half the councils in the country are in such a financial mess, despite fleecing millions of out of people with petty parking fines and the like (don't get me started). I'm just really curious to find out what it was I read at that time.

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I'm not sure what FMOTL means, but I'm reading that as meaning that if payment is made (to the authority) then it shall (must) accept it.

 

Correct?

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Not Quite. 17 [1] refers to where the total outstanding amount is paid, not a part payment, and then all enforcement would be stopped and anyone imprisoned by non payment of the Council Tax would be released. This has not happened in your case. The whole amount outstanding in your case includes at least the initial £75 due to the bailiffs by Law even assuming that

you profferred the whole amount of the Council Tax outstanding which you haven't as yet claimed.

I can understand your intense dislike of baiilffs given what happened in the past. However if as you claim you now know all about bailiff Law then you must realise that with the changes effected by the Taking of Control Act your continued obduracy over attempting to avoid their fees could end up with you in Court again with the possibility of going bankrupt again.

Even if you think that the Enforcement agents have circumnavigated the Law in some waythis time that does not mean that their fees are not due. Somewhere along the line as unpalatable as it is, you will have to bite the bullet and pay what is owed in Law, not what you would prefer to pay.

 

PS FMOTL stands for Freeman of the Land which is a misguided bunch of people who misinterpret the Magna Carta I think for their own ends. They always lose when they appear in Court using their arguments. I fear the same may happen to you.

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(edit) THIS IS N.O.T.H.I.N.G. TO DO WITH BAILIFFS, THEIR FEES OR ANY OTHER ASPECT. THE BAILIFFS ARE NOT INVOLVED.

 

IF YOU DON'T GET THAT YET, OR DON'T WANT TO BELIEVE IT, OR ARE READING SOMETHING DIFFERENT INTO IT THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM.

 

Sorry to shout but this is getting beyond farce now. How many times???

 

I also made no mention whatsoever of part payments. My question was bloody simple enough.

 

Nothing to fear about me and courts, but that confirms you're reading something completely different into it. I'm simply asking if it's illegal for the council to refuse payment of council tax. I don't know where the rest of it came from, I'm sorry I even mentioned bailiffs at all because I knew it would descend into this. To be honest it's beginning to resemble a Monty Python sketch.

Edited by Andyorch
Edited

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The council cant refuse it. They may block their payment portal, and thats up to them. Its their admin system. You could just walk straight into your council office and hand then payment there and then. Or even send them a payment via whatever previous means you had such as bank transfer etc, and theyll accept it.

 

Regarding other peoples posts, i think some are getting a bit ahead of themselves, as if the council get a LO, the CT still isnt paid, THEN they could ask bailiffs to intervene. Only then will you become liable for any costs, but from reading your posts, i see youre aware of that.

 

If Bailiffs have not gotten to your CT yet, and the council still have it, just send them the money, or hand it in at their office with a reference number and get a written receipt.

 

I've done that a few times myself when Flintshire CC decide to screw around.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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so sorted then..well done.

 

for want of ref...FmoTl is Freeman of the land or Sovereign Citizen stuff..

 

which, if you were on one of those sites without realising it, is most probably where you read it.

some of them are quite cleverly disguised now.

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Ah, yes, I'm aware of that site now you mention it. Not interested, I've heard it all before. I wouldn't have found it anywhere like that, not the sort of place I hang around. They're only of novelty value.

 

 

@renegadeimp, Thanks, but yes I'm aware of all of that, it's not the question I'm asking. I only wanted to know the official legal position on their "refusal" to accept payment as a point of law, partly so I could quote that law to them.

 

I'm not looking for any advice on dealing with bailiffs, making payments or any of that. Actually physically making the payment (regardless of what they say they will or will not accept) isn't the issue - as I stated above, I made a payment yesterday by bank transfer.

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Hi all,

 

Simple question. As per the title, is it illegal for the council to refuse to accept payment for council tax?

 

The story is quite simple, our council tax account has been passed to the bailiffs and as such the council are refusing to accept payments (to the point where they even appear to have blocked me from using their online payment portal), and insist that payments can only be made to the bailiffs.

 

I've no intention of paying the bailiffs anything as a number of years ago (10-12 years) they stole money from us intended for payment of council tax, later telling me it was used to pay their own fees. Long story short, we lost our home as the council eventually made me bankrupt. Our solicitor advised an FVA and the equity in the house was used to pay all their legal fees, effectively leaving us with nothing.

 

We're now struggling again hence the question. The reason I ask is I remember reading somewhere, some time ago that there is an old law somewhere that states that it is illegal to refuse payment for a bill or debt. That's what i'm trying to find out.

 

 

*** PLEASE DON'T GIVE ME ADVICE ON HOW TO DEAL WITH BAILIFFS, THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M ASKING***

 

 

 

Thanks

 

You are correct, there is such a law. I remember being told about it several years ago by a top London lawyer after we had what seems to be on the face of it very similar issues to yourself with bankruptcy and council tax.

 

Unfortunately I couldn't afford his £1250 an hour rate, but I do know he said we had a stonewall case against the council after they refused to stop the bankruptcy proceedings after I offered them payment IN FULL.

 

Like yourself I got tons of basic advice, everybody repeating the same thing time after time but no real help. That lawyer was the only one I ever spoke to who really seemed to know the real ins and outs of the law, not just the type of thing you read on Stepchange, CAB or the bailiff advice sites.

 

Unfortunately I can't remember the actual law or the details either, but you're right about the "not being able to hold goods in lein of payment" bit, I distinctly remember that too because I had never heard of the word lein before and had to look it up.

 

I'm pretty busy at the moment but I still have all my old files on my case, hundreds of pages of info I accumulated so I'll have a look through them and see if I noted it down anywhere, but I do believe you're 100% correct about this.


I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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