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Council tax and bailiffs

(25 Posts)
IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:29:36

Ok, bit of background. I split with xp in Feb 06. Previously to that we did have council tax arrears and were slowly paying them off.

Not long after the split bailiffs got invovled and I paid them over £200 which as far as I knew was all the we owed.

From Feb 06 I have beenn claiming full council tax benefits and have never had any further letters from the council saying I owe anything as as far as I were aware it had all been paid.

Today I have had a letter from a bailiffs company saying they are going to come and remove goods because I have refused to pay £257.35 and have ignored all of their previous letters.

I have never had any letters from this company before.

I rang them and they said it is for unpaid council tax from 1st April 05 - 3 Feb 06.
They insist they they have written to me on 3 previous occasions, but I haven't recieved any letters from them or from the council about this debt.

I don't understand it. The council lines are shut so I can't do anything until Monday.

Colditz Sat 29-Nov-08 10:33:48

leave it until Monday. Don't engage with these bailiffs any further. If you owe the council money, then so be it, but you cann sort this on Monday morning, and I suspect you actually don't owe them money and this is a cowboy company trying to rip you off. Talk to the council before anyone else.

Colditz Sat 29-Nov-08 10:34:29

Who is the bailiff company? Is it one you've heard of?/ Do they have a land line?Can you check their credentials online?

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:34:46

I have googled them and they look like a proper company.

I just don't understand it.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:35:51

It's Jacobs Certificated Bailiffs

Here

Am shaking like a leaf.

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 10:35:53

They cant take goods wthout previously coming into your home listing goods, that tou then sign, they also have to offer you a repayment plan, so dont anick, no-one is gonna come banging your door down, call the council Monday, it may be a mix up, and if you can get prove of payment, reciepts, bank statements etc.

Colditz Sat 29-Nov-08 10:36:47

Don't panic.

Worst case scenario - you owe them money and can't repay it/.

They take you to court and you are ordered to pay £10 a month.

That's it, I think that as long as you are cooperative that's all they can do - but I'm pzzled why your council would go to a private bailiff when usually they use the courts.

Who is the company?

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 10:38:21

If you are claiming Income Support, they cant legally take more than £3.05 a week from you, which can be taken straight from the benefit.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:40:41

Thats what I don't understand though. The only letters I have had from my council since the split are statements showing that I am entitled to full council tax, thats it.

I have had nothing else, no reminders, no court letters or anything.

I can't understand how they can suddenly find this debt from nowhere and say that I have refused to pay it when I knew nothing about it.

I can't prove I haven't recieved letters and threw them away though can I ?

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:41:06

Trouble is who, i start work in Jan, so then won't be on IS.

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 10:44:13

How did you pay the arrears back in 06? can you get prove it was paid?

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 10:45:36

I can only assume its a mix up, as surely you would ave had letters from council tax, even if to just tell you they were passing the debt on.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:50:06

As far as I can remember the year before xp mocved out, we had been paying the council tax fine. We did have arrears for a previous year and that is why we ended up with a bailiff at the door.
I paid him over £200 and that was that.

Unfortunatly I don't have anything to prove what I have previously paid. I did keep them for a while but then because it had been so long and I was on full council tax benefit anyway I chucked them, Stupid I know.

The thing I don't get is, that even if I do owe them the money, anmd if I do then I don't get how. How come I have recieved no letters about this from the council at all ever.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 10:52:10

Is my council likely to let me have a statement of payments made ??

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 10:58:54

Did you pay cash then? if you paid by card or cheque, bank statements will provide the prove.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 11:21:57

Pid cash.

Am now wondering if that payment ever got applied to the account at all.

When I ring the council on Monday I am going to ask if they can tell me which bailffs company they used in 2006.

solidgoldbrass Sat 29-Nov-08 11:25:06

SPeak to the council on Monday. If bailiffs appear at the door, do NOT let them in, tell them that you have paid what you owe, a mistake has been made and that you are not going to let them into your house (if need be, step out of the house and shut the door behind you).
Bailiffs can't force their way into your house without a court order. Also, legitimate bailiffs will allow you to make arrangements to pay in installments anyway - if they are not legitimate you can have them arrested.

whoingodsnamewasi Sat 29-Nov-08 11:27:22

If it was'nt applies to the account I cant imagine they would leave it this long before contacting you again, even if they say they have been sending you letters, they would have turned up on your doorstep long ago, try not to worry to much til you speak to the council on Monday. Do you have your council tax ref number, am sure you can bring your account up online.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 11:38:46

I can make payments online but not bring up account details unfortunatly.

I am waiting for xp to ring me back so I can ask him if he remembers anything about what we did pay before.

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 13:38:03

MNini update : Have spoken to xp and he said that if it turns out that we have to pay the money then he will pay it. Thats a relief but I am still determined to get the bottom of a) if we owe it at all, and b)if we do, why has it only just come to light.

This isn't the first time this has happened either. Yeras and years ago they suddenyl werote

IllegallyBrunette Sat 29-Nov-08 13:38:21

Mini update : Have spoken to xp and he said that if it turns out that we have to pay the money then he will pay it.

Thats a relief but I am still determined to get the bottom of a) if we owe it at all, and b)if we do, why has it only just come to light.

AnarchyAunt Sat 29-Nov-08 13:49:23

This happened to me last year.

I started getting text messages from a company I had never heard of, calling me by my full first name (which I never use) but no surname, and threatening 'action on my account' if I didn't call an 0871 number within 24 hours. I assumed scam and ignored them. Then after a week I got one telling me that an enforcement agent was calling at my home that morning. I panicked and called the number, to find it was the bailiffs shock

They told me I owed £800 and refused to discuss details with me at first as to how/when/why/where the debt had come from. They said they had been writing to me for two years - turned out they had been writing to the wrong house (added a 0 onto the number). Turned out it was for unpaid council tax from 2001, from a house I moved out of in 2000 hmm

I had to contact the council in question who were arsey at first, but helpful once they realised I wasn't just trying to get out of a debt I owed. They cancelled the debt and called off the bailiffs, who tried again 6 months later anyway! I called the council again and they dealt with it, hopefully for good now.

LIZS Sat 29-Nov-08 17:46:29

Someone else on mn recently had dodgy dealings from that same company thread here. Perhaps they are trawling through old paperwork in the hope fo getting payments hmm Doesn't mean they are right all the time though. Good luck, speak to council first as to what records they may have, perhaps CAB too, then write stating when you made that payment as full and final settlement.

IllegallyBrunette Sun 30-Nov-08 09:41:31

Thanks Liz, will read that now.

IllegallyBrunette Mon 01-Dec-08 10:50:45

Right, have just got off the phone from the council.

I explained why I was ringing and the girl asked me what amount was on the bailiffs letter etc and then she said that yes it was correct and we did owe the money.

I asked why I hadn't recieved any letters about it and she said 'because you didn't give us a forwarding address '. Hmm, that might bebecause I haven't moved anywhere then.

She seemed a bit stumped when I told her that and put me on hold. She then came back and said that they last sent a letter to this address in 05, so 3 years ago. She said it was a court summons and we didn't contact them and so it got sent to bailiffs.
I never had that letter, I don't care what they say, there is no way I would of ignored a letter like that, I am not stupid.
Surely if it went to court i would have been issued with a CCJ which would effect my credit rating ?? Funny that as my credit rating has been good enough to cat a cataloge and credit card in the past 2 years.

I then asked about the previous amount that we paid to bailiffs in 2006. She said it was to Equita bailiffs and was for £210 and related to 2004 council tax hmm. Oh and she also reckons that the bailiffs didn't send the payment to them until May 07, but I know i paid it in 2006, so they held onto it for nearly a year.

So, the upshot is, they reckon we do owe it and we can only deal with the bailiffs now.
Xp has agreed to pay it off in full, so have rung the bailiffs to request a payment slip.

I reckon the council seriously fucked up here and it has only just come to light.

Oh i also asked the council to check all other accounts to make sure we definatly owe nothing more and she said they all stand at £0 owing.

I am still fuming with them though, and now even more scared of them fucking my claim up when I go back to work.

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