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hope you are all well. I have a problem which I hope someone can help me with.


I had a council tax debt of 1079,69 for council tax which went on to the bailiffs Equita. They have only sent letters, 13 in total, but I never had met or spoken to any of them.


I called the council to ask them if I could pay direct and they told me that now I had to go through the bailiffs.


I then called Equita to try to clarify the situation and ask them how I could pay as the letter did not state this, and the central office told me that I had to call this man who was an appointed Bailfill. I called many times and he never answered to phone or replied to the messages I left in the answer machine, although I still received their "nice" letters. Finally I manage to speak to this man who told me I could pay with my credit card but the charge was now over 1400,00.


I then looked in this page and then called the council to tell them that I was going to pay their money but not those massive charges for someone who just sent me letters but never spoke to me or anythig. This time they told me I could pay them direct and they would inform the bailiff. The council told me I would then have to negotiate their fees with them.

I have paid the council all their taxes including those until January next year and some court charges.


I am now having to call the baliff to negotiate their charges and I would like to know what is it he can legally claim from me for not doing much at all. As I said the only contacts I have had with them is some letters and two phone calls I made which where not very helpful in solving the situation.


Thank you very much for your help in advance



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If as you say the bailiff has not been to your home and therefore not levied on goods he can only maje the following charges which are laid down by law under what is called Statutory Regulations.


First visit ( ie: where nobody was in) £24.50


Second visit ( where nobody was in) £18.00


If he did call at your home, he should have left you a letter. Although as you say you have received approx: 13 letters, I am assuming that these were sent by post. For the collection of Council Tax the bailiff IS NOT ALLOWED to charge for sending any letters at all.


So in your case, I would argue that he can charge just the first visit fee...if that.


You would be well advised to write to Equita and ask for a complete breakdown of their fees and charges as allowed under Section 7 the Data Protection Act.


Hope the above helps.

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