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please can someone give me advice, i owe the council 800 in council tax arrears i have tried to contact the coucil to make arrangements to pay this off in installments but they refuse to deal with me. I have had 2 visits from rossendales who now state they are coming to remove goods in my abscence. i have tried speaking to them but the man said he couldnt be bothered to talk to me and he is going to send it for committal whatever that is. Can the bailiff actually do this enter my home without me being there. i have not refused to pay i just said i could not pay it all off in full and all i got was verbally abused on the telephone. I have never met this bailiff and nobody has ever been in my home to levy goods. Please could someone tell me what to to next as it would be very distressing to come home and find my goods gone.

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First of all please do not panic.


If the bailiff has not been into your home they cannot enter uninvited.


He needs to gain peaceful entry.


If he returns do not let him into your home.


If you want to talk to him do it outside closing the door behind you or through the window.


There is an excellent letter on the sticky section just above the posts by zooman send these one to the council and one to the bailiff company.


Make it clear that you are not refusing to pay the debt, just requesting time to pay.


Make sure you offer to repay at an amount you can afford.


To summarise.


Do not panic.


Do not let him in.


Do not sign anything.


Write to them and the council.


Check also what fees have been added to your debt.


Good Luck

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Thank you i feel so much better now because he was really nasty to me. luckily this site was recommended by a friend so was able to check out my rights. The actual bill was for 800 but with the bailiffs costs they have put on they have put it up to 1400 in less than 3 visits. I was actually considering taking the day off and waiting in for them to call in case they broke in and took my stuff. I have never refused to pay it and i have tried loads of times to get through to rossendales by telephone but was unable to do so which is why i actually rang the bailiff who was nasty and rude. Do you know what he meant when he said he was sending it for committall? does that mean prison. I have checked the sticky and am in process of doing the letter offering payment is there anything else you could recommend to do? thank you again so much for taking time out to reply it was really helpful

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Emwat, you should write to the Recovery section of your local Council.

Point out that they are trying to charge you £600 for three visits!! {I assume

that the bailiffs have never sent you a copy of theri charges as they are bound to do.] If you haven't received a copy, tell the Council that in your letter, at the same time pointing out that if Rossendales are overcharging

you, then it will take that much longer fro the Council to be paid.

Say that you are trying to make arrangements to repay the debt with the

bailiffs , but they are just being extraordiarily rude when they talk to you and

refuse to accept any offer you make-they just want the whole amount now.

[it would help at this stage if you told the Council what the maximum you can

safely offer though not if you are alkin £20 a month or so].

And they say they can't be bothered to talk to you and are going to send

the case for committal which you took to be extremely threatening. They have also said that they will come round to your house in your absence and

remove goods-this despite the fact that they have never been inside your house nor obtained walking possession.


PS Remind them that the OFT have stipulated that it is the resposibility

of Councils to oversee the actions of the bailiffs they employ. And see

if in the light of the dreadful behavior of Rossendales, if they would

please deal direct with you in future, rather than through the bailiffs.

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Next, write a letter to Rossendales-never phone them again-this enables them

to say frightening things to you, that they would never dare to put in a letter-

or if they do, you can make a strong complaint against them.


In the letter you send point out three things

1] you want a breakdown of their charges-which you are entitled to

2] a breakdown of their £600 in charges with proof that the charges were

correctly applied

3] confirmation that the bailiff is certificated.


Add that you have written a letter of complaint to the Council, and until you

have received a satisfactory reply to this letter and from the Council, the

case is in dispute and you expect that no action be taken by them until the matter is resolved.

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The send it for commital threat is just that a threat.


You can only be sent for commital if you refuse to pay, which you are not douing and a baillif has no legal right or otherwise to do this, it is up to the courts not them.


What this implies in real terms is a theat to get you to pay money you cant afford.


Follow the advice and keep calm and as lookingforinfo said do not phone them back, as this will only give them a chance to intimidate you more.


Also I think he has added far too many fees on your account, check these out as well. Ask for a breakdown in your letter to them.


If he comes back ask to see his certification make a note of the number, his name and which court issued it.


Good Luck

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In your letter to the council remind them they are responsible for the actions of their agents - in this case their chosen bailiffs - and in any complaint you make about them you will automatically include the council. Find out the name of the councillor in charge of the finance and send him a copy of the letter along with a note stating you hold him resonsible for the action. Finally you would be well within your rights to call the local papers.

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Just an update on my previous post. I was looking for this earlier and couldn't lay my hands on it.

Sometime ago we used to have a bailiff contribute regularly-he wasn't from one of the scummy ones-and he was good enough to compose a letter for

someone on the forum who was having exactly the same problem as you.

I am sure he will not mind if you use it too so that Rossendales, on reading it,

will know that they are on thin ice.


"Please provide a detailed breakdown of the costs you have charged showing in each case the reason for the cost and the actual cost against that item. For any cost which relates to an attendance fee, please state the date and precise time of the attendance and the name of the certificated bailiff making each attendance with the name of the county court where the relevant bailiff obtained his or her certificate."


And don't forget to also ask for their lsit of charges that they should have supplied.

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