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Several weeks ago I received a letter from a bailiff company called Rosendales regarding an amount owed for council tax in my previous property. I was a bit confused by this as when I moved I contacted the council and the person I spoke to said that they thought I was up to date with my council tax but if there was any outstanding amount they would send a final bill to my new address. Anyway I hadn't heard anything so assumed all was well until I got this bailiffs letter. I called the bailiffs immediately and explained the situation and told them my next step was to call the council. I called the council and it turned out that not only had they not forwarded the final bill, they had also carried on charging for my old property for 7 months after I moved out. I told them the date that I moved (again) and they said they would "call off" the bailiffs and recalculate the amount owed. I didn't hear any more from them for a couple of weeks so called them again and the muppets had been sending the correspondence to my old address!! The woman I spoke to took my new address (again) and informed me that the balance I owed included court fees of £56. I objected to this on the grounds that they sent all requests for payment, court papers etc to my old address after I had informed them I had moved so why should I be liable for the cost of court proceeding that had only arisen through their incompetence. The woman said that when I received the bill from them I should write to the head of finance and explain my position. I finally received the final bill from them on Saturday. The amount I owe them is £95 and they have added £56 to this for court fees. My plan of action was to forward payment of £95 to them when I get paid next week along with the letter explaining why I am disputing the £56. HOWEVER...... I got home from work today to find a letter from the bailiff through my door saying that the attended today to seize goods to the value of £194 (the £151 + his fees). So now I plan to phone the council tomorrow to explain: 1. that I can and will pay the amount I actually owe in full next week 2. that I will not be paying the court fees and why not 3. that I want them to "call off" the bailiff as they originally said they would 4. that I will not be held liable for the bailiffs fees on the same grounds as the court fees. What does anyone reckon my chances are of persuading them that I'm in the right? I sooo do not want to have to deal with these people on my doorstep!

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Send the letter recorded delivery - post it on here first if you want some advice.

 

Send a copy to the bailiffs head office address and in the letter advise that unles bailiff action is stopped and a satisfactory response is received within 7 working days, you will be contacting your local councillor and the local governmanet ombudsman to investigate/take up your case for you.

 

Furthermore, add that this has caused you considerable distress and you feel there should be a reduction in the payments to compensate for this as this was their error and not yours. It's unlikely they will reduce the bill, but it's definitely worth a shot considering what a cock-up this is.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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I've actually phoned the council rather than written to them initially as when I spoke to the bailiff yesterday he said that he would return Thursday so I wanted that dealing with immediately! The council have said they'll call me back as their computers are playing up - hmmm. So I'm just waiting now. As long as they call the bailiffs off I'm happy. I can pay what I owe them next week and dispute the court costs etc in writing afterwards. My main concern is that I don't get any more bailiff visits and that I don't end up paying additional costs because of their incompetence!

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I've actually phoned the council rather than written to them initially as when I spoke to the bailiff yesterday he said that he would return Thursday so I wanted that dealing with immediately! The council have said they'll call me back as their computers are playing up - hmmm. So I'm just waiting now.

 

You should ALWAYS protect yourself and put everything in writing. That way they cannot deny at a later date that there is a dispute, or say you never got in touch.

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Good avice - ALWAYS cover yourself, so by all means speak to your council today, but follow it up with a letter.

 

However, if you send the letters today by special delivery, they will be guaranteed for tomorrow, so that should stave off any action.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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I am going to put it all in writing but I'm trying to contact them by phone first so that I can ensure they contact the bailiff today! Anyway they haven't yet called me back and now I can't get through on their phone number so I'm off down there! I can kill 2 birds with one stone then - make sure they call the bailiff and put my case in writing and hand deliver it - don't worry I'll get a receipt! Wish me luck!

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Good luck - post back later and let us know how you get on.

 

Don't forget to send a copy of the letter to the bailiffs company too.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Well to cut a very long story short I got nowhere. I called them, somebody said they'd call me back and didn't then I couldn't get through so I drove down to their office. I saw an incredibly patronising woman who insisted that there was no record of me informing them that I had moved and wouldn't accept that I had informed them. Stupidly on my part - when I informed them I did it by phone (which I've always done before when I've moved with no problems and is the method they encourage you to use) of course this means I have no way of proving that I informed them. She said that I would have to pay the amount demanded to the bailiff then write a complaint letter to the council asking them to reimburse costs. I pointed out that it was through their incompetence I was in this position and once I had paid the money out I was not naive enough to believe that the council would ever reimburse me. Anyway she refused to budge. I then spoke to her manager who had the exact same take and then I spoke to this second persons manager who seemed to have a degree in condescension. The upshot is that they would not contact the bailiff to remove the account from them, they would not acknowledge that anyone in their department could possibly make a mistake, they treated me as if I was some kind of criminal and I am now in a position where I am going to have to pay the amount I owe (fair enough) + the court costs + the bailiff fees in order to avoid the bailiff turning up again and adding more charges. I will then have to go about attempting to recover these costs from the council and frankly I think there is more chance of pigs flying. I went into the council office with the intention of speaking to them in a reasonable and polite manner and by the time I left I was a seething ball of fury. I now feel entirely defeated and also very stupid as I know full well if I had informed them in writing that I was moving then I would have the proof I had informed them and they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However as I informed them by telephone it's my word against theirs and it seems that it is automatically their word which is accepted. Obviously I will write to them and also drag in my MP and local councillor but I'm not holding my breath. Any advice would be gratefully received but for now I'm going to hide in a corner and lick my wounds.

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Get in contact with the local government ombudsman tomorrow. Also, you can prove you called - phone bills! If you haven't kept a copy of your phone bill, you can request a copy for the relevant time period - this will show your call and although it cannot prove what you said, it can prove you called.

 

Put EVERYTHING in writing from now on.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Thanks for that - I've just ordered my bill for that period from BT so hopefully that will persuade them that I did indeed call them. Don't worry I've learnt my lesson - I'll be putting everything in writing and sending it recorded from now on ( most expensive lesson I've ever had to learn though!)

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Don't give up yet - everything can still be overturned, you just need to be persistent.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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  • 1 year later...

hello can anyone help

 

i have the balliff company equita that want 777.29 by monday i was on a payment plan but they hve decided to take me off it and now want the full amount, i dont know what to do, ive offered to pay some but they just want to tke my thing for the full value,do i let them in or keep them outside if i dont pay can they take it back to court for a warrent t obreak in,, i need help please...

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