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I've really messed up with counsel tax and have to go to court help!

11 replies

ShakeysGirl · 05/01/2008 19:11

I've recieved a letter this morning telling me to appear in court in 2 weeks due to outstanding council tax to the amount of £156. I've never paid any and have always assumed i didn't have to as i was on income support and housing benefit. They are demanding the full amount or risk a custodial sentence. stupidly ignored letters they have previously sent (buried my head in the sand) as i just haven't had any money. My debts are huge. Water, gas and electric have all served notice.

OP posts:
ShakeysGirl · 05/01/2008 19:13

Also the credit card company just take money straight out of my bank account whenever they feel like it as i haven't been able to pay them even tho i've begged them not to as i haven't got it to give. Am in the process of changing banks.

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rosalinda · 05/01/2008 19:14

phone them up immediately. i have often had court summons for CT over the years. Its not worth their while taking you to court for 156 quid. If you are on IS I'm sure they will sort it out. Don't worry at all, phone them and it will be fine. worst case scenario they will ask you to pay something, I think minimum is 2 quid a week.

Staceym21AtLast · 05/01/2008 19:15

right SG, get yourself to the CAB first thing monday. they are brill with debt.

as for the impending one for council tax. go to court and make an arrangement to pay with them, hopefully you will have sorted with CAB what you can/can't afford and will have a plan of action.

without knowing specifics i cant help much but i do know CAB are brill and will be able to help you. At least you've woken up and are facing it. it can be sorted i promise!

LIZS · 05/01/2008 19:22

To stop it going to court you would have to make an arrangement to pay but it may have already gone too far . CT is very high on the priority list to be paid , after rent/mortgage, so it cannot be ignored. You don't necessarily get a full discount when on HB/IS. Sounds like you could use independent advice from CAB or the govt debtline. Meanwhile could you bf lend you the money ?

ShakeysGirl · 05/01/2008 19:33

I've been so stupid. My utility debts add up to over £1000 alone and they have refused to take installments as they say it has gone to far to halt court proceedings. I owe £6000 to the credit card which was ok when i was still with H as it came out of the joint account. I was thinking of trying to get a social loan to pay off the utilities? Will go to the CAB on monday, i feel sick. My housing benefit has just been stopped because of an admin error although they will back pay it will take a few weeks.

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ivykaty44 · 05/01/2008 19:37

Get onto CCCS as soon as possible. I telephoned them a couple of years ago and they even offered to have someone come to court. They are a charity for helping sort out debt and really very good.

Staceym21AtLast · 05/01/2008 19:44

SG, not to worry. it will get sorted.

all in all its not that bad. i do kinda know what you're going through, when h left i had to go onto benefits and its daunting enough when you dont have debt.

CAB will sort things for you. take all the info you have on your debt. paperwork of who its owed to, whats owed, etc etc.

you will be able to pay in instalments, they cant just demand the money in court if you havnt got it, it doesnt work like that.

as i said go to CAB, they can talk to your creditors and sort out stopping of interest and repayment plans. oh and also take details of your benefits with you that wqill ehlp.

are you on full Income support and full housing benefit, if you are you should be getting council tax benefit too, might be worth checking with the benefit agency. unless the debt was from when your h was still there?

ShakeysGirl · 05/01/2008 22:35

Sorry for the late reply, i was putting the dc to bed and fell asleep. The debt is just from this house - rented, i moved from the house we owned together. Thank you for the link, i really appreciate the support.

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Fizzylemonade · 07/01/2008 11:37

ShakeysGirl I worked for the council tax department and this is the deal - I assume that this is following reminder, then final reminder. They have to take you to court (and the other 2000 cases that they have at the time) it doesn't go on your credit file or anything as it is a magistrates court not a county court.

They go to be granted a "liability order" which then gives them rights to be able to collect the money by other means than writing you a letter!!!

If you go to court you don't get to stand in front of the judge!!! The council officers will talk to you in private rooms and make a payment arrangement with you. If you are employed the liability order gives them the right to take your employment details and should you fail to keep the arrangement then they could take the money DIRECT from your salary. Or if you are self employed etc then baliff. You do not need to attend court- you can talk to them on the phone and they don't bite!!

The salary bit is scary as it is a percentage set by the government. So depending on your salary it will be (i think 3%) 5% 7% 9% or 12% it goes up in increments (I got to nail my old boss and because he was on minting money, and this was several years ago I got to take direct from his net salary 17% of the first £1450 and then, wait for it, 50% of anything he earnt above that!!! Got the whole bill in one fell swoop).

The council are looking for the difference between those who won't pay and those who can't pay. They need to collect the money in but obviously can't ask you for more than they could get on "attachment to earnings" or attachment to benefit which is around £3 a week.

I really hope this helps.

Fizzylemonade · 07/01/2008 11:40

I should add the liability order just says that you are the liable person for the council tax at the time ie that the bill is correct. It gets stamped by the court (actually we get to sit in a room with a nice rubber stamp and do them as there are usually loads)

Please just ring them, please and get it sorted.

Creole · 07/01/2008 14:01

Also, with regards to the credit card company, surely you can ask your bank to stop any payments or cancel your direct debits. They can't just take money out.

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