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Thread: Council refusing to accept payment

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    Default Council refusing to accept payment

    Hi,

    I am new to this but desparety need help.

    My husband and I are really behind in our Council Tax, we owe £1,758. It has since been passed onto a bailiff company called Rundle & Co. We arranged to pay in installemnts and we were late with a payment. It has since gone to a bailiff who has informed us he will coming to our home to remove goods.

    I called the bailiff and asked if we caught up with our payments could we carry on paying. He refused and is insisting that we pay in full. We simply do not have that kind of money. My husband and I both work full time but we can't pull that amount of money out of thin air.

    I have called the Council on three seperate occasions to try and get them to take the account back so that we can pay in installemts. I thought that ubder the Council Collections and Enrocment Regulations Law and also the Local Goverment Finance Act that if you made an offer of oayment to the council they are legally bound to accept it and call of the bailiffs so to speak.

    However the council in the three sepearte calls I have made both assure me that this is completly untrue and that I have no alternative but to deal with the bailiff.

    Plerase can someone clarify for me if this is true or not. Also if I can force the council to take the account back what section of the Council collections and Enforcment Regulations Act 1992 does this apply to?

    Please can any one help I am at my wits end.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    My husband and I are really behind in our Council Tax, we owe £1,758. It has since been passed onto a bailiff company called Rundle & Co. We arranged to pay in installemnts and we were late with a payment. It has since gone to a bailiff who has informed us he will coming to our home to remove goods.
    Have you given the bailiff access to your property? If you have not, then there is nothing he can do despite what he says.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    I called the bailiff and asked if we caught up with our payments could we carry on paying. He refused and is insisting that we pay in full. We simply do not have that kind of money. My husband and I both work full time but we can't pull that amount of money out of thin air.
    A bailiff will insist on this, or he and/or his company will not get paid.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    I have called the Council on three seperate occasions to try and get them to take the account back so that we can pay in installemts. I thought that ubder the Council Collections and Enrocment Regulations Law and also the Local Goverment Finance Act that if you made an offer of oayment to the council they are legally bound to accept it and call of the bailiffs so to speak.
    Technically speaking once you default on the installments you are given initially i.e. 10 months, then this is revoked and the full amount becomes payable immediately. However, if you are unable initially to pay the full amount then you are hardly likely to be able to pay the full amount subsequently and the council can and should accept an offer to pay. As only a refusal to pay is punishable. Being unable to pay is not a crime. Yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    However the council in the three sepearte calls I have made both assure me that this is completly untrue and that I have no alternative but to deal with the bailiff.
    Then they are talking rubbish and you should not listen to them.


    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    Also if I can force the council to take the account back what section of the Council collections and Enforcment Regulations Act 1992 does this apply to?
    A local council is perfectly able to recall an account or debt from a bailiff, but they are stupid and unwilling to do so as it saves them a job. Write to both the council and the bailiff company. If you need any help, then post back and we can proof your letter for you.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Thanks for your quick reply. I know it's really late.

    I have never let the bailiff into my property.

    Do you have a standard letter that I can use to help me write a letter to the bailiff and council?

    The council are being extremly uncooperative and basically just refer me to the bailiff.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    Thanks for your quick reply. I know it's really late.

    I have never let the bailiff into my property.
    Try not to worry. I know it's hard, but honestly if you haven't allowed the bailiff peaceful entry into your home there is nothing they can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    Do you have a standard letter that I can use to help me write a letter to the bailiff and council?
    No because really a templated letter will do you more harm than good. Post up what you have and we will help you edit and perfect it.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    The council are being extremly uncooperative and basically just refer me to the bailiff.
    They are stupid and they need it pointing out. As above, post up the draft and between us we will do this.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    thanks for all your help.

    I am typing a letter now and I will post it when this is done.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Nice one, Amy!,

    Bailiffs tend to be nowt but bullies & thugs, with a scant regard for legal niceties or any kind of moral decency.

    Some years back, a friend of mine was working for a council contractor. The contractor subsequently started to do bailiff "work" (if you can call threatening & abusive behaviour "work").

    Contractor then told my friend he would have to do this work, or lose job.

    First "punter" on the list was my friend's own aunt!!

    Friend told contractor to shove the job up where the sun don't shine!

    Keep up the good work,

    cnjw

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Hi Amy

    Here is my letter to the Council. Would you be so kind to help me with it. As follows:

    12th October 2009

    Ref: Complaint Number 1
    Account Number: 347935F


    Dear Sir/Madam

    I understand that my Council Tax account is in serious arrears of £1,753.00 and has been passed onto a bailiff company Rundles & Co which is attempting to collect this debt from my husband and me.

    Mr M E*****s whom is the Bailiff that has been given our account is acting on your behalf and as such, is a representative of Gravesham Borough Council. Mr M E*****s has refused to allow us to pay in instalments and is demanding that we pay the outstanding debt in full despite my explanation of our position. Unfortunately we do not have this amount available to us and it is ridiculous for anybody to demand said payment with no concession to our individual circumstances.

    Mr M E*****s was quite misrepresentative of his powers as a Bailiff to my husband in their telephone conversation on the 6th October and implied that he could enter our home without our consent as he had a Court Order. Also the letter we received from Mr M E*****s was very misleading, boarding on illegal in my opinion as to his exact powers as a Certificated Bailiff (I have enclosed a copy of the letter we received). Fortunately I am fully aware of my rights in this matter and we were not duped into allowing this man into our property. I can not imagine what effect this would have on someone whom is more vulnerable and even that a Council would condone such tactics. It is disgraceful to say the least.

    I have telephoned your department on three separate occasions trying to discuss the situation and make an offer of payment in instalments that is mutually acceptable to us both. Also a realistic amount that we can offer that will not leave my husband and me in serious financial hardship and subsequently in a position where we would again be in arrears for the forth coming 2010 Council Tax bill.

    On the three occasions that I have called to discuss this subject, I have been told in quite a decisive manner that I have no alternative but to negotiate with the Bailiff and that you will not have any further dealings in this matter. Also I was advised by one of your employees in your department on my first telephone call to actually allow the Bailiff into my property, how on earth do you justify this blatant attempt to gain a levy on our goods. I find this totally unacceptable and a deplorable attitude for a Council to take towards my husband and myself that is, in this current economical climate struggling with our finances. Surely it is in your best interest to accept payments so that the debt is recovered regardless of who takes them. It should be noted that we are not at any point refusing to pay this debt to you but only asking for a fair payment period considering our circumstances. In my third and final attempt to discuss this matter over the phone on 12th October with Mrs H*****d in your department I strongly feel that being told I have had ample time to pay is not a fair or suitable remark to make. It is not a crime to be unable to pay only a refusal to pay can be classed as a crime which we have never done. A comment of this nature was most unhelpful and uncooperative. It gave me the impression that you as the Council where not interested in the slightest.

    It is within your power to recall the account from Rundle & Co as you appointed them in the first place to act on your behalf. It is absurd that you continue to insist that I must only deal with a Bailiff who is uncompassionate and categorical in his manner towards us in his attempt to make money from the account. I ask that you allow us to deal with you directly as we will be making payments to you in future and not the Bailiff company. I have written a letter to the said Bailiffs informing them of our intention to pay you and a break down of any fees that have been applied to our account their end. This will give them only one option to return the account to as they have been unable to collect the amount owing.

    I would like a break down of our overdue account which is being held on your system for 2008 and 2009 posted to me as soon as possible as it is my belief there are also serious irregularities that I need to confirm. As far as I was aware it was only the 2009 Council Tax bill that we were in arrears on and the 2008 bill had been paid.

    We have an offer of payment to you that I hope you find acceptable. We are able to pay an amount on the £700.00 as an act of good faith immediately. We will pay this to you on your online payment system if you refuse to take the payment over the phone. We will then pay an amount of £200.00 every four weeks (or £50.00 a week) until the amount in arrears is cleared. This amount will enable us to pay the arrears in a reasonable amount of time and will not cause us serious hardship in our finances.

    I know that we should have paid our Council Tax promptly and on time in the first place and with hindsight we would have made every effort to have done so to have avoided this nasty situation. However we are a struggling couple who have purchased their first home together just over two years ago and are currently fighting financially to keep it. My husband has faced threatened redundancy and also times of unemployment this year where we have only been able to rely on my wage as an income. My wage alone barely covers our mortgage payments which is our first priority as it is the roof over our heads, regardless of our best efforts we have fallen into arrears on our mortgage also at present. As I was in full time employment my husband was not entitled to benefits of any kind that would have been a great help. We want to repay this debt as quickly as possible and would ask that you take this into reflection.

    I look forward from hearing from in a timely manner.

    Yours sincerely


    Mrs C C*****r












    I hope this is not to much and any adjustments that you feel I should make would be greatly appreciated.


    Thanks
    Last edited by stessedout; 12th October 2009 at 23:44:PM. Reason: Forgot to take out personal names

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    No problem, I'm working on it for you.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Do you know what, your letter doesn't need any changes. It's excellent. It's honest and gets your points across perfectly.

    You should send it as soon as you can.

    The only things I would include are:-

    1. an income and expenditure form to show that you cannot afford this all in one go.

    2. your first payment with this letter.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Trust me if Amy says it's good then it is. Well done on a great letter.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Blimey, get a gold star for the letter if Amy says its good.
    POLITE NOTICE: FOR YOUR PROTECTION AND MINE I DO NOT GIVE ADVICE VIA PRIVATE MESSAGE, ANY ADVICE I MAY GIVE IS DONE FREELY AND WITHOUT LIABILITY, IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE CONSULT A FULLY QUALIFIED AND INSURED PROFESSIONAL.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Thanks for your help. Sometimes it's just a confidence thing. I will be sending the letter by special delivery ASAP. Also I will do as you reccomend and include a income and expenditure report and our first payment of £700.00 will be placed to the council first thing this Monday. Gotta wait til my husband gets paid at the end of this week.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    XX

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    Thanks for your help. Sometimes it's just a confidence thing.
    Then you can be very confident. You've done really well.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Hi stessedout...
    Just a thought Amy if they still refuse to accept the payments....
    Can they send a copy of their letter to their local MP as well?
    They usually love points scoring especially with a general election looming....
    only a thought....
    Russ
    Any advice I give is just that.....Advice....I am not legally trained or God....so I don't claim to know everything....lol

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Forget MP's.
    Find out who your local Councillor is and send a copy of the letter to them with a covering explanatory letter.
    I work at a Council and trust me, when the Councillors get hold of something they dislike they cause one hell of a fuss, especially if they think a department has not followed proper procedures.
    Councillors work in the same office buildings as the CT team you are fighting, they can and do get quick results.
    Also cc your letter to your Councils Standards & Complaints Team and the Chief Executive. They do read the letters and they will act.

    Best of luck








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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Hi

    I got a visit form the bailiff today. Luckily I wasn't in but he has left two letters for me.

    Letter 1

    Headed

    ATTENDANCE NOTICE
    THE CLEARANCE OF GOODS

    Your debt remins outstanding despite our previous applications of payment.

    I called today with transportation to remove your goods. I shall be calling back within the next 48hrs with the Police in attendance if necessary, to complete my task. This action will be taken without further notice.

    I may sieze goods and remove sufficiant goods and chattels as are necessary to clear the debt at public auction, this may include vehicles. The cost of removal contarctores and autioners will be deducted from the proceeds of the sale of your goods.

    TO AVOID THESE DISTRESSING AND COSTLY ACTIONS, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATLEY.

    Removal Bailiff in charge: SIGNED


    Second Letter posted through door by hand also:

    Headed

    FORMAL NOTICE OF INTENDED PROCEEDINGS

    MAGITRATES LIABILITY ORDER DATED; OCTOBER 17TH 2009

    We have attended to today with referance to the Liability Order, which has been issued in respect of unpaid Council Tax due to Gravesham Borough Council.

    So far we have not been succesful in seizing your goods and chattels in respect of the above debt. However this does not mean that we will continue to be unsuccesful. Your actions leave no alternative but to call at your premises unannounced with suitable transport in order to sieze and immediatly remove your goods to public auction. The cost of removal contractors and auctioners will be deducted from the proceeds of the sale of your goods.

    We trust that you will make this drastic and expensive course of action unnecessary by contacting our office immediatly.

    In case of hardship we may be able to enter into an arrangement for you to discharge your debt over a short period of time.

    Signed by Certificated Bailiff.




    I guess my question is: Is this more posturing and threatening behavoir to try and get a levy. They don't have one. Not even on the car as I parked the thing about a mile away in a side street. BIG NUISANCE!!!!

    Also can they charge in their fees the cost of attendance with a van if they don't have a levy on my goods.

    As far as I'm concerned they can only charge me £24.50 for a first visit. Which this is. Then £18.00 for a 2nd visit. Surely they can't charge a fee for attendance with a van if they don't have the justifacation of being able to seize my goods without a levy.

    Bailiff is still refusing to accept payments be installments and is demanding the full amount. I am still battling with the council and I have made the decision to make future payments to the council not the bailiff company.

    Any comments on the above letters is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks x

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    erm....this may sound nuts but.......they delivered the letter on 16th October 2009....
    Yet it states 17th October 2009,,,,
    Was this a typo by you or was it the 17th on the letter.....?
    If it is theirs they maybe trying to add 2 loads of charges for today and tomorrow ?
    But only coming round once......?
    I notice it say's 'intended' proceedings and that the liability order has been issued....
    How can they have done this tomorrow yet informed you today that it has been issued??
    Sounds like more threats and posturing.....
    You need to talk to Celestine to confirm this......
    Only things I noticed from your post that seem as though they aren't telling the truth....
    I don't suppose you have legal advice on home insurance or RAC, etc....?
    Russ
    Any advice I give is just that.....Advice....I am not legally trained or God....so I don't claim to know everything....lol

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    typo by me Liability Order 17th October 2008

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post

    I guess my question is: Is this more posturing and threatening behavoir to try and get a levy.
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    Also can they charge in their fees the cost of attendance with a van if they don't have a levy on my goods.
    No.

    Quote Originally Posted by stessedout View Post
    As far as I'm concerned they can only charge me £24.50 for a first visit. Which this is. Then £18.00 for a 2nd visit. Surely they can't charge a fee for attendance with a van if they don't have the justifacation of being able to seize my goods without a levy.
    Correct, they also cannot charge for a 1st and 2nd visit on the same day. I would be inclined to send the SAR to the bailiff now. Bailiff - SAR - Legal Beagles because as sure as eggs is eggs these fees will have been added to your account.
    Last edited by Amy; 18th October 2009 at 14:16:PM.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    unfortunately due to some poor financial decisions I have had extensive dealings with Council Tax led Bailiffs its Rossendales in my area.

    Main thing to note is not to let them into your home and if your car is on finance they cannot touch it legally anyway as the car is not yours until you make the final payment.

    If you are in when they turn up answer the door but step outside and lock your door behind you they do get a bit sneaky at times. Walk with them towards their vehicle and if they want to sit down then chat in their car. refuse them entry to your home they have no right to do this. Another thing you can do is tape the conversation on your mobile phone but clearly tell the bailiff you are doing this so it can be heard when played back.

    My council tried the same thing of refusing to pull the bailliffs off at first so i simply told them i want to make a payment but you are refusing to accept my offer i am not refusing to pay. I then spoke to another lady who simply stated (off the record of course) the bailiff will return the outstanding bill to the council once they realise that you will not cave in or kowtow to their demands, at this point the council will send you a letter threatening prison or attachment of earnings. Simply phone the council make an offer pf payment backed up by a income and expenditure sheet.

    Don't get caught with an attachment of earning however as it is based on a percentage of your earnings after they take away what is believed to be standard living costs.


    hope this helps but its just a case of being strong, polite but ultimately resolute with the bailiffs, they have no right of entry remember that.

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    Default Re: Council refusing to accept payment

    Stressed out: Have you had any response from your Council yet?

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