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  • FIRST POST
    • AgelessProphet
    • By AgelessProphet 2nd Oct 16, 5:00 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    AgelessProphet
    HELP NEEDED: Business Rates Fraud
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 16, 5:00 PM
    HELP NEEDED: Business Rates Fraud 2nd Oct 16 at 5:00 PM
    Hi,

    I used to live in Waltham forest in London until 2012 but moved out afterwards after selling the property we lived in. Early this week, I received a "Business Rates Bill" from Waltham Forest demanding payment of just over £19,000 for unpaid business rates between April 2014 to April 2016 in regards to an office about a mile from my former property. Upon phoning them, they said that I was associated to the company that was paying rates for that office and, when I told them I had nothing to do with that business, said that there was a "strong link" between me, my former address and the company. I've checked high and low on the internet and have found not one link linking my name to that property.

    My question is: what do I do? I'm going to send a letter by Special Delivery to WF council tomorrow detailing how I dispute the bill, that I have nothing to do with the property or this bill, that they have the wrong person and that they need to do a thorough investigation to find the real person who owes them that money. What else can I do? This has really stressed me out over the last week or so. I've already checked my credit history and reports and there is nothing suspicious on there. It's as perfect as always.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 2nd Oct 16, 5:07 PM
    • 9,395 Posts
    • 9,231 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 16, 5:07 PM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 16, 5:07 PM
    Send the letter and I imagine that will be an end to it.
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 2nd Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    • 27,770 Posts
    • 17,534 Thanks
    DCFC79
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:09 PM
    Why let it stress you out, you say yourself you have searched your credit files for anything untoward and they are as they should be.
    Je Suis Charlie
    • AgelessProphet
    • By AgelessProphet 2nd Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AgelessProphet
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 16, 6:18 PM
    The reason I'm stressed is because they're demanding payment and saying that they'll be handing the outstanding sum to the baliffs next week.
    • pappa golf
    • By pappa golf 2nd Oct 16, 11:07 PM
    • 5,435 Posts
    • 4,958 Thanks
    pappa golf
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 11:07 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 11:07 PM
    do they not have to summon you to court before finding you guilty and sending bailiffs in?


    my knowledge of business rates is limited , however I think the above must apply
    Have YOU had to walk 500 miles?
    Were you advised to walk 500 more?
    You could be entitled to compensation.
    Call the Pro Claimers NOW.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 2nd Oct 16, 11:42 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 16, 11:42 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Oct 16, 11:42 PM
    It sounds like a scam more than anything, for many reasons. The biggest red flag is that there is some "strong link," whatever it may be as their evidence of the loan. Did you call the number you got off official council website or the one on the "bill"? I am quite sure that they won't match.

    You will be best to just report it with action fraud at http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud as this is unlikely to be anything else.
    Last edited by Arleen; 02-10-2016 at 11:44 PM.
  • National Debtline
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 16, 11:27 AM
    Hi

    There is some good advice from the other’s here and I agree it doesn’t sound legitimate. Enforcing business rates has similarities to council tax as the council would have needed to send you reminders and then a summons for a liability order. If any ‘bailiffs’ do come to your home don’t let them in.

    If for some reason it’s not a scam you would obviously dispute liability with the council initially, but you could escalate the case to the Local Government Ombudsman if necessary.

    James
    @natdebtline
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • bris
    • By bris 3rd Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    • 6,154 Posts
    • 5,114 Thanks
    bris
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 16, 4:05 PM
    It is however possible they have been sending letters and correspondence to the previous address. This could also mean it's already been to court so the OP really needs to phone the genuine council (in case it is a scam) and get to the bottom of it.


    If it has been to court then it could get set aside by the courts but you really need to find out why it took them so long to track you down as they are usually fast at doing this, unless you are off the radar.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 4th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
    • 222 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
    It is however possible they have been sending letters and correspondence to the previous address. This could also mean it's already been to court so the OP really needs to phone the genuine council (in case it is a scam) and get to the bottom of it.


    If it has been to court then it could get set aside by the courts but you really need to find out why it took them so long to track you down as they are usually fast at doing this, unless you are off the radar.
    Originally posted by bris
    It really doesn't match the progression. If it was the case of it already went to court and got a CCJ, then why would they call now, not before? Most lenders simply don't bother calling if someone ignores their mail, but if they do call they would do so before starting to mount the expenses of CCJ and bailifs.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 4th Oct 16, 10:05 AM
    • 9,405 Posts
    • 5,316 Thanks
    CIS
    It really doesn't match the progression. If it was the case of it already went to court and got a CCJ, then why would they call now, not before? Most lenders simply don't bother calling if someone ignores their mail, but if they do call they would do so before starting to mount the expenses of CCJ and bailifs.
    Originally posted by Arleen
    There won't be a CCJ for Business Rates - Business Rates uses a liability order in a similar way to Council Tax.

    I would suspect what has happened is that action has been taken in respect of another address and the local authority have now come up with some link to the OP's address - that will be why nothing has been posted earlier to their address.

    The main question is who's name is on the documents - if it's not the OP's name then a quick discussion with the local authority should sort it. If it's the OP's name then it needs to be looked at further as to why.

    It's a long way off a complaint to the LGO yet (it has to been persued with the council first in any case).

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • AgelessProphet
    • By AgelessProphet 9th Oct 16, 10:12 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    AgelessProphet
    Some good advice, thanks. I'll keep this thread updated in case anyone else has a similar problem. Just to answer some questions:

    - It's not a scam because I went to the Waltham Forest Council website, looked for the telephone number for the Business Rates Department and phoned them up directly. They explained to me that the bill is real.
    - The bill is in my name with my former address but I've never heard of the business name itself.
    - I had Royal Mail Redirection on my former address but this is the first time I've heard of this. Doesn't appear that they sent anything to my former address otherwise it would've redirected to my new address. Or are letters from the Council not redirected under this service? I remember there being some restrictions but don't remember what they are.
    - I've already reported it to Action Fraud which is what the Police Officer told me to do.

    I've sent the letter by special delivery. They have received it so am just waiting for a reply now.
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