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Council Tax: bailiff action threatened with no notice

(8 Posts)
Seren2017 Sat 27-May-17 17:14:49

Council Tax 2017-18. DH & I were unable to start a payment plan from April when the CT year started again. DH had lost his job & we were surviving, somehow, on my modest income. No benefits. Still supporting young adult children at uni & one who does very little work (another story). We contacted Revenues to let them know, at least twice. They said not to worry - we could expect chase up letters but they no indication that if after a couple of months we hadn't been able to set up a plan, we could expect court action.

DH now has occasional work with rather more to come from the start of July. We were therefore, knowing CT is a priority debt, about to re-instate our old DD plan when today a 'Notice of Issue of Warrant of Control' came saying that we haven't made 'payment under the judgement (you) were ordered.' If we don't pay within 2 weeks, we can expect bailiff action. The ordered sum is well over £1, 000 more than the annual CT bill (which is high enough incidentally).

We never, in this time, received any notification from the Court of an impending hearing (which there must have been for this to happen). There is, in the Notice of Warrant, no reference to any previous correspondence date, judgement date.

If we had received anything at all along these lines, we'd have taken immediate action - writing in etc. As it is, we kept in touch with Revenues explaing our situation (which has been very difficult) and saying that we'd set the plan up just as soon as we could and certainly within a couple of months.

What do we do? Any suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking of making a payment for a month - will see us will nothing until pay day - but I think I should. And setting up the plan though my guess is that Revenues will say that it's too late for plan. Could the Council reprise this from the Court? I think, too, we should be on their doorstep first thing on Tuesday to tell them all this and that we have not received anything from the court unti today. Thanks for any advice!

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 27-May-17 17:19:30

Please Google Legal Beagles. . There is a specific form you can submit to court stating that you have never received the necessary previous correspondence.

flumpybear Sat 27-May-17 17:27:34

Yes as above
And feel a plan to pay what you possibly can

KanielOutis Sat 27-May-17 17:57:16

I work in revenues. Not Council Tax directly but not far off. The recovery steps taken this year are brutal and nothing like I've ever seen before. There are no delayed payments, no repayment plans, no second chances. The council is cut to the bone and the main income is Council Tax so they have to make sure it's collected.

From the perspective of someone on the other side, there are benefits to help when you're out of work and you are exactly the people they are for - bridge the gap while you are between jobs. Also why are you supporting adult children when you can't pay your bills. I hate to judge but in the order of priority bills are first, then giving money to others.

KanielOutis Sat 27-May-17 18:01:01

The no notice thing can't be accurate though. At the minimum you would have had a bill, a reminder, a summons to court, and a letter following court giving 14 days notice of recovery action. It's a quick process - about 2 months from first bill to summons but the notices are statutory.

Seren2017 Sat 27-May-17 18:05:29

Thank you, all. I've googled for the Legal Beagles form and am having some difficulty finding the specific form. If you know where to find it or what's called, I'd appreciate it - thanks!

Kaniel - that's interesting about councils. I understand the need for them to collect CT just as promptly as possible but we were, rightly or wrongly, told not to worry for a couple of months. And we certainly didn't receive any indication from them or from the court itself that there'd be a hearing etc. I doubt whether we are eligible for benefit - mine is just above the threshold. I'm OK to help my uni child out in the way I do but, yes, the one who could be working and contributing - that's another story and there I do agree with you. We've tried, we really have.

Seren2017 Sat 27-May-17 18:09:00

Kaniel - we had the chase up letter from the Council which we were told to expect but no summons and no post hearing letter giving notice of recovery action. Those letters, did they ever exist, simply didn't reach us.

Seren2017 Sat 27-May-17 20:50:48

Been on the council website. There's clearly a process before it reaches this point. But we have had one reminder letter and made a couple of calls - after each we were reassured that that letter was standard.

Is it likely that the council could step in at this stage? There are two installments outstanding - I could move heaven and earth to pay one of them now and the other come pay day middle of next week. Or it the court and the bailiffs we deal with now?

Will certainly be at the council on Tuesday to discuss these steps and find out why it was that correspondence on the subject was minimal. Very anxious - a horrible situation to be in.

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