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Hi I was wondering if anyone might be able to help, My girlfriend and I recently moved house and received a final council tax bill from our last property. This account was only in my partners name and apparently she owes £300 to them dispite me thinking we were pretty much upto date. She had missed a payment earlier in the year and as such they added another £100 to the bill then.

At the new property we are upto date with the council tax and there is joint liability for it (despite my asking for the account to be solely in my name they added her anyway). The trouble is that on the closing account bill we received it said at the bottom it was subject to legal procedings. Does anybody know what this means? My girlfriend is petrified the baliffs are just going to turn up at our new property.

I have written to the council asking them to consider a repayment plan. Thus far no reply. I did notice that on the bill they didn't give any dates when the bill had to be paid by. This struck me as a little odd.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated

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Usually there are procedures the council follow before baliffs become involved.

You will normally get a reminder letter,followed by an intention to begin proceedings.

After a court has issued a liability order or distress warrant its normally 14 days before the baliffs are on the case.

Whilst councils have discretion to take the baliffs off the case following the issuing of a liability order,its not something that they will agree to unless there are very visible good reasons.

They will also be insistent that extra charges incurred by their court action are paid too.

Baliffs who act for councils are court appointed and have to follow very stringent rules and work to a code of contact.

For a brief resume of this read the other posts in the baliff and debt threads.

Depending on your circumstances it may be possible to deal directly with the council,but they are more likely to tell you that they cannot now intervene until the file is returned as uncollected by the baliffs.

The way round this would be to pay the amount you owe them by online payment,since there is no way they can reject this.But this depends on your council having the online payment facility in place.

If baliffs do call then you are not obliged to let them in nor sign anything.

They are limited to what they can charge for each visit they make to you,and must provide a breakdown of these charges to you when they attempt to collect payment.

Remember they cannoty break into your house,send for the Police,ask the court to send you to prison or other intimidation tacs.

You should however keep any vehicles that you own out of sight as they may try to levy these.


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