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Bank Arrestment - What's The Story?


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Please note that I live in Scotland, this may have some affect on your advice.



Checked my account yesterday and noticed that an amount had been removed with ARRESTMENT noted in the details. Phoned up the bank and they said it was probably something to do with council tax but couldn't give me any details (for this I would have to go into a branch with ID).


So I phone the council to find out what's going on and they put me onto their sheriff officers. After speaking to them they said they have made the arrestment. It was for outstanding council tax stating I owed the following:


£380 from 05/06

£788 from 06/07


I had previously spoken with the council to arrange to pay this back and have a DD in place that is currently paying out every month.


So I phoned up the council to find out whats going on and they say that the DD and been set up with only the 06/07 tax included and that the £307.31 (note the difference) from 05/06 couldn't be added as it was with the sheriff officer. I was not informed of this when I set up the DD and was under the impression that DD covered it all. Also said that the sheriff officers should not have made the arrestment on the £780 amount and would fax them detailing this.


Anyway, to the point. I received no correspondance from the Sheriff Officers stating that they would or may in future make an arrestment on my account. This is probably because they had my old address on file and would have sent all letters there. Shouldn't they have confirmed that they had the correct address they were sending mail to?


Finally, the arrestment on my account is for £1220 and I have to wait for a mandate to be posted out from the sheriff officer and take it into the bank to have the arrestment lifted. Thing is, it shouldn't be anywhere near this amount. Is there something I can do to get this changed quickly to only the £380 that is owed?? Rather than going through the whole mandate ordeal.


Finally, it appears that the sheriff officers have added £50 of fees onto of the councils 10% statutory charge on the amount owed, that being £307.31. I've no idea what they have lumped onto the other amount. Can I reasonable dispute these extra fees?


Sorry for the long post but I think it needed it.

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I've been trying to get this cleared up but am still having problems. The sheriff officers have accepted that the arresment should not have been for £1220 but for something closer to £350. They've issued me a mandate to sign so the bank can release the money to them. The problem is that the mandate is for £1050 and not the correct amount (around £350). I've spoken on the phone to point out this issue and they said they would reissue the mandate with the correct amount.


I received the new mandate on Saturday but it's got the same amount as the last one, £1050. Tried to phone again but the person dealing with me was not available.


So now I have around £700 arrested that should not be. Guess I just have to sit and wait for them to send out a corrected mandate. :(

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The system is stacked in their favour - and as you've found, incompetence rules. As for their fees, these are mandated by the courts and cannot be challenged as they are 'doing their job'. The fees are not directly related to the amount of money owed, but the service provided, so their incorrect amounts - whist a PITA - would not affect the amount you would have to pay them.

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Russell, you are not the first person to have fallen foul of the new Scottish legislation that came into force in !992 as a method of collecting debts

withouit the need for bailiffs.

Unfortunately, in many cases the defendant iappears not to be notified of the

court date and so like you, the first thing they know is that the money has been earmarked from their account.


Apparently it is very difficult to halt this once the court order has been made

as you probably are finding out.

I understand that your bank can refuse to carry out the order especially in

your situation where the amount is wrong. However as you may have done everything over the phone, rather than in writing, you may find it difficult to

get them to disobey a Court order.


I have tried to help a couple of people in similar circumstances in the past by

suggesting they contact the Court and ask for a rehearing because a] the

amount is wrong and b]you were given no notification of the case [breach of

the Human Rights Act] and using the Act of Sederunt to have the decision

set aside.

Neither of the people came back and said whether the suggestion worked or

not so I am afraid I can't be of much more help, since that was all I could

find to possibly counteract the arrestment.


You could try and contact the Govan Law centre for further advice on getting a

rehearing as well-but don't forget to check with your bank as well.

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Lookforinfo, you can't be located in Scotland if you think this changed in 1992 (and we don't have any requirement for bailiffs either). There is no requirement to be 'notified of a court date' there isn't one. The offence is absolute, a Sheriff in chambers hears an application in private, agrees the list, and Sheriff Officers are empowered to collect.


The advice you outlined would not work, as Council Tax prosecutions are handled differently, and have an inside track not available to the rest of us. The debit is either owed or not, if the former, and no Council will suffer it it accepts a staged payment plan but still completes the legal formalities.

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I finally got a mandate through for the correct amount (approx 350) so i will take that along to the bank and get this cleared up. Should keep a better handle on my finances...

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Busby, I was born in Scotland but left before I was old enough to fall foul

of the Law ]though I have a couple of run ins with traffic Police since :D].

I appreciate you putting me right on certain matters relating to arrestment

though it does appear that the abolition of poindings back in 1991/2 seems to

have increased the number of arrestments.

It wasn't easy getting info on how to challenge the decision and it did seem

that the Act of Sederunt provided just that avenue should the bank choose not to argue with the Order. And of course because none of the others came back and said that it did or didn't work, I had no idea how effective the

advice was. Which is why I pointed out that it was uncertain. At least I now

know what doesn't work.

Though I still don't know how to challenge the decisions, especially in

Russels case where the amount claimed was so wrong.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I've just got back from sea to fimd out I've had a wages arrestment for council tax arrers I thought had been sorted two years ago. I spoke to the court to find that you don't have any legal right to be informed that anyone is seeking to have the order made, you only have a right to appeal. In other words, guilty until proven innocent.


I shall be visiting my local CAB to find out HOW to appeal, and will be writing to Scott and Co. to demand a detailed scedule of payments made. If I AM successful in my appeal, I can apparently have fees removed if it's found that there was no basis to chase me for this.

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