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We are being chased for a council tax bill from 2010. The council says they had commenced action within a couple of years of the bill becoming due but the bailiffs were unable to collect. To date the council have provided no information as to the court order or why they were unable to collect. I believe this is now a statute barred debt but I have already received two letters through the door by bailiffs chasing this debt.

How should I proceed?

Jb2019

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Hi and Welcome to CAG

 

I have moved your thread to a more appropriate forum..please continue to post here to your thread.

 

Regards

Andy


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The Council need to inform you of when the Liability Order was issued - date, Court & amount as a minimum. Providing this was within 6 years of the debt becoming due then doesn't matter how long since it will never be Statute Barred.


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I take it that you have moved since 2010. Some Councils aren't great at updating their records so may not have picked up on your new address.

Ploddertom is right on both counts so you do need to contact the Council urgently to see if you can put the bailiffs on hold until you have all the relevant details. And if it is correct that you do owe something confirm that you will pay.

If you have changed address then you will need to ask the Council when they applied for a new Liability order with your new address on it.

You say that you have had two letters from the bailiffs-one would have been to advise you about the debt and giving you time to contact them to sort out payment. For that £75 will have been added to the debt. If you fail to contact them within the timeline they will then call round to collect the money in person. If that was the second letter then a further £235 plus 7.5% on any amount over £1500 will already have been charged.

 

Could you please give us further information to help us advise you. For instance when did you receive the first notification of the debt. did you contact the Council and /or the bailiffs and how long after you knew of the alleged debt. What did they say. Was the second letter from the bailiffs delivered by them by hand or are you still within the Compliance stage where their fees are "only" £75. And how much are they asking for and is it the sort of amount you expected.

You also need a breakdown from the Council of how they arrived at the amount owed and what else has been added since. do the same thing for the bailiffs. You want to know what fees they have added to the Council's on what dates , how much and the reason for each charge.

 

In the meantime, if you have any vehicles outsjde your house you should move them further away to prevent the bailiffs from clamping it/them.

 

The second thing Ploddertom was right about was the bit on Statute Barred.

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Thank you but despite several letters to the council but they haven't come up with anything solid. They say the account has been ON HOLD due to bailiff activity as of 2011 and then say a Liability order was applied at a summons hearing on the 11th January 2012 but no paperwork was received by us or it would have been dealt with.

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was it an old address and you never informed then you'd moved.


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https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/regulation/34/made

 

Regulation 34 Rule 3

 

It's only statute barred if they didn't try to recover it within 6 years. If proceedings were commenced within 6 years it never goes statue barred.

 

Personally, I'd email my local councillor from that area, tell them that you really want to come to an affordable arrangement to pay it off, but you need to see details of the liability order etc first before you pay. Also please could you call the bailiffs off.

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As dx says if it is for an old address and you had not informed them you had moved the Council only have to write to your last known address.


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https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/regulation/34/made

 

Regulation 34 Rule 3

 

It's only statute barred if they didn't try to recover it within 6 years. If proceedings were commenced within 6 years it never goes statue barred.

 

Personally, I'd email my local councillor from that area, tell them that you really want to come to an affordable arrangement to pay it off, but you need to see details of the liability order etc first before you pay. Also please could you call the bailiffs off.

 

The section quoted is from the council tax regulations, and refers to the period between when the default sum is called for and the application to the Magistrates Court for a liability order. It has nothing to do with bailiff enforcement. It is also nothing to do with Statute Barr, as that term is used exclusively for actions which fall foul of the SOL act.

 

 

Also there is no statute barre for judgements, only "new actions taken upon a judgment". Enforcing a judgment is not a new action see forbes vs I forget.

 

The bailiff would however have to apply to the court to enforcie an order after 6 years of inactivity.


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pers i'd godo these tomorrow:

 

stay off that phone to the bailiff follow this:

.

Here is something to be getting on with.

 

First of all establish from the Council how much was owing etc

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

8 - the dates & amounts of any payments

.

.

Next you need to send off for a breakdown of the charges the Bailiff applied.

Here's an example, use and ADAPT at will and best sent initially by email

backed up by a copy in the post.

..

"From:

My Name

My Address

.

To:

Acme Bailiff Co

Bailiff House

.

Ref: Account No: 123456

.

Dear Sir

.

With reference to the above account, Can you please provide me with a breakdown of the charges.

.

This includes:

a - the time & date of any Bailiff action that incurred a Fee.

b - the reason for the fee.

c - the name(s) of the Bailiff(s) that attended on each occasion a Fee was charged.

d - the name(s) of the Court(s) the Bailiff(s) was/were certificatedicon at.

e - the date of the Certification.

.

This is not a Subject access request under the Data Protection Act S7 1998 so does not incur a fee of £10. You are obliged to provide this information.

.

I require this information within 14 days.

.

Yours faithfully

.

Ripped off customer"


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Just a quick clarification DX, does the Acme bailiff letter need amending due to GDPR regarding SAR and £10 fee?


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The bailiff: A 12th Century solution re-branded as Enforcement Agents for the 21st Century to seize and sell debtors goods as before Oh so Dickensian!

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I would think so that's an old text needs updating.


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The section quoted is from the council tax regulations, and refers to the period between when the default sum is called for and the application to the Magistrates Court for a liability order. It has nothing to do with bailiff enforcement. It is also nothing to do with Statute Barr, as that term is used exclusively for actions which fall foul of the SOL act.

 

 

Also there is no statute barre for judgements, only "new actions taken upon a judgment". Enforcing a judgment is not a new action see forbes vs I forget.

 

The bailiff would however have to apply to the court to enforcie an order after 6 years of inactivity.

 

Good information, thanks for that.

 

Sometimes it seems when dealing with Council Tax all rules go out of the window.

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Good information, thanks for that.

 

Sometimes it seems when dealing with Council Tax all rules go out of the window.

 

 

 

Excellent, someone who actually reads difficult replies to queries. Just for you more info:

 

https://swarb.co.uk/lowsley-and-another-v-forbes-trading-as-i-e-design-services-HL-29-Jul-1998/

 

 

 

An application by the judgment debtor to set aside the orders on the ground that they were statute barred under section 24(1) should be refused. A judgment can be enforced after six years, but not any claim for interest on that judgment. Execution was not a fresh action and so was not caught by the statutory restriction. Execution has historically been treated other than as a separate action. s24(1) does not apply to proceedings by way of execution of a judgment in the same action: the expression ‘action upon any judgment’ in s24(1) means, as it did in s2(4) of the 1939 Act, bringing a ‘fresh action’ upon a judgment for another judgment. It did not include the execution of an existing judgment, which could proceed despite the expiration of more than 6 years from the judgment.


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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It will be interesting to see what the OP's request for information shows up.

 

I think he's missing a trick by not going through the local councillor / elected head of local council to get the bailiffs off his back, finding out what he actually owes (if anything) and coming to an affordable arrangement if necessary. This has worked for me on 2 occasions now.

 

Also it's worth the OP looking (if applicable) at the local council's own Code of practice when it comes to debt recovery. Usually it describes vulnerable people in households, eg pregnant women, chronically ill people.

 

In my case I sent the council a consultants note with a list of meds my wife was on, the bailiffs were off our case in 24 hours and fees removed.

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