Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Randombloke
    • By Randombloke 11th Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Randombloke
    Council tax CCJ - help required
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 17, 5:51 PM
    Council tax CCJ - help required 11th Jul 17 at 5:51 PM
    Hi all
    I've recently discovered that I have a CCJ registered against me relating to council tax and wonder if there's anything I can do to get this removed from the credit reference agencies files.

    Essentially, I struggled for years to pay my council tax and as I'm very effective at playing bailiff companys at their own game, I had built up a number of years worth of arrears that the council were unable to collect. Things came to a head last year when the council decided to get a charging order for the amount owed registered against my property, which they did via the local county court. That all fine, and was expected, and is a good result for me as I don't have to immediately find the money.

    The problem is, registry trust shows the CCJ and its therefore been picked up by the credit reference agencies (equifax, callcredit, experian). There's lots of info out there that says council tax shouldnt be listed on credit reference files, but I guess this is a fairly unusual case.

    Any advice as to how I might go about getting the agencies to remove it from their records?

    thanks in advance for any help or advice!
    Last edited by Randombloke; 11-07-2017 at 5:54 PM. Reason: additional info added
Page 2
    • Randombloke
    • By Randombloke 13th Jul 17, 2:00 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Randombloke
    thanks Samsung_Note2

    yes, its my first time on the forum so I guess I hadnt understood the mood and maybe my first post was a bit naively worded.

    More background info for those who would like it - I'm a married bloke with 2 kids, sole earner as my wife has mental health issues, doing my best to get by and do the best for the family etc. A few years ago when the !!!! dropped out of the economy I was in a vulnerable position - Id been working as a 'consultant' (ie self employed) in architecture, my dad had been diagnosed with terminal illness and Id taken some time off to help out, and as an indirect result lost my 'job' when the architecture market dipped, and therefore lost the familys only source of income, so started to struggle. I had a 3 year period of doing whatever I could to get by - building work, wedding invitation artwork, cleaning, whatever I could - and we had a really lean period. I learned how to feed a family of 4 on £40 a week, sold everything I didnt need, just struggled through until times picked up. I built up a load of mortgage arrears and council tax debt during the period which im still resolving. I never once claimed any benefits, tax credits or anything and I always pax all my taxes due.

    My council were not at all helpful with the council tax, engaged a bailiff to chase the debt and refused to deal with me directly so although I was paying them a few quid a week every week I still had bailiffs banging on the door at all hours. My problem with bailiffs is that the private companies are basically bullies who will try and collect the debt but add on a load of additional money for themselves, which I couldn't afford. They were causing massive stress to my wife and children and I had no means to meet their demands. So I learned how to deal with them, what their actual powers are, what they need to do to stay within the law etc, and because the individuals I was dealing with were essentially unprofessional bullies I built up a weight of evidence against them and then told them if they didn't stop behaving in that manner I'd ask the court that issued their licence to revoke it based on the breaches I'd evidenced. Lo and behold, they sent the debt back to the council, who then started to be reasonable and I'm now on schedule paying them what I owe, which they have secured on my house.

    The CCJ listed against my credit reference causes me an issue because it will blacklist me for 6 years and I don't think that's right if legally this form of County court order should not be listed by the reference agencies. Its come to my attention recently as I'm in the process of forming a Community Benefit Society in my local area, providing services to disadvantaged locals on and entirely voluntary, non remunerated basis - and the CCJ will make it difficult to open a community bank account in connection with same, which is not great.

    So all Im asking for is some technical advice to see if the CCJ should be on my credit record, and if not how I remove it.

    thanks
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Jul 17, 2:07 PM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    Ive just done some more digging, and the N322 Order for recovery of award was only part of the judgement - under the same claim number, there is an interim charging award.

    so my remaining questions are:
    1. should Registry Trust should not have record of the judgement listed, as an interim charging order for concil tax
    2. should the credit reference agencies list it as its not a CCJ as such, and its a Council tax debt.

    Where is the legislation I can cite that says what can and should be listed (ie CCJ's, or charging orders)

    thanks
    Originally posted by Randombloke
    The interim order is part of the standard process of the charging order - it's effectively an order that freezes the property to stop it being disposed of before the full order hearing occurs. As far as I'm aware the charging orders are listed on the registry trust, only the CCJ - they only list the fact a court order has been made, not the form of recovery used. The registry trust also doesn't include why a CCJ was granted, just the details of it being granted.

    The charging order is recorded with the land registry not the registry trust.

    Have you spoke to the council yet, without having done so establish exactly what they've done you can't proceed with an argument against it.

    Craig
    Last edited by CIS; 13-07-2017 at 2:11 PM.
    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.
    • Randombloke
    • By Randombloke 13th Jul 17, 2:26 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Randombloke
    Hi CIS

    We are getting to the nub of it!

    Ive just rang Registry Trust, the guy I spoke to said normally a charging order wouldn’t be listed but the info they get sent to upload from the County Court Money claim centre doesnt specify what the Judgement is - it just lists case number, amount, claimant & defendant names.

    The final charging order made by the County court, the interim charging order and the N322 all have the same court reference number.
    So if Registry Trust shouldn't list charging orders or N322's they are assuming (from limited info sent to them) that the case number is a CCJ, which is then shared by them with the reference agencies and shows up on my credit record.

    so really what i need to find out is:
    1. What and where is the legislation or rules saying what Registry Trust should list?
    2. How do I go about getting them to remove the record if it shouldn’t be there?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Jul 17, 4:25 PM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    1. What and where is the legislation or rules saying what Registry Trust should list?
    "The Registry of County Court Judgments was set up by parliament in 1852 when William Gladstone was Chancellor. The original Act provided for the registration of all county court judgments in England & Wales of £10 or more, the original Registry being mainly important as a source of trade rather than consumer data. Otherwise, the value of exempt judgments would have been set far lower than £10 - in 1886 a Singer sewing machine cost four guineas, indicating that most consumer transactions in 1852 were less than £10."
    https://www.registry-trust.org.uk/about-us/about-the-company
    2. How do I go about getting them to remove the record if it shouldn’t be there?
    "Amend details If your details on the register are wrong (e.g. the amount of the CCJ is wrong) contact us once you’ve searched the register. We will check with the court, and we’ll let you know what they say."

    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.
    • Randombloke
    • By Randombloke 13th Jul 17, 4:42 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Randombloke
    Hi CIS

    I've done that today, as per my earlier post.

    Registry Trust told me to contact the court; the court told me to write to them with my query.

    Im now looking to find the SI that deals with what should be listed by Registry Trust, and the SI that governs what info from Registry Trust should show on my credit file, so that i can sort it out by:
    a) writing an effective letter to the court / registry trust citing the correct legislation, if after reading said legislation I i still think they are wrong in sharing the info with the credit reference agencies;
    b) writing to the credit reference agencies again citing the legislation so the 'CCJ' doesnt show on my files if it shouldn't be there.

    As an example, I understand from their website that Registry Trust hold records of magistrates court criminal fines, but they would never show on a credit reference agency file -so there must be legislation somewhere that defines a distinction as to what shows and what doesn't.

    If anyone can point me to that legislation, or has experience of a similar case, thanks in advance.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Jul 17, 5:06 PM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    Im now looking to find the SI that deals with what should be listed by Registry Trust, and the SI that governs what info from Registry Trust should show on my credit file, so that i can sort it out by:
    Have a read of this - https://www.trustonline.org.uk/about-us. I'd still go back to my original suggestion of speaking with the council for further clarification of exactly what has happened (and confirmation of the original debt etc).

    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.
    • Randombloke
    • By Randombloke 13th Jul 17, 5:20 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Randombloke
    thanks CIS

    Yes, I've read that, and I'm clear as to what has happened and what the original debt is - the council sought a charging order through the County Court to secure a debt I owed. From all I've now read, I believe the route they took was viable and proceedurally correct, albeit unusual. Its no longer a council issue, they can have no influence now over what I'm trying to resolve.

    So now I'm left with the question of whether this form of CCJ, being for council tax rather than commercial debt, with all of the subtleties and nuances of difference that entails, should be listed on my credit file. The credit file is thing that s causing me issues. Somewhere there must be a law, a statutory instrument or a set of rules that governs what information credit files show. Thats what I'm looking to find and access, so if it shouldn't be on my credit reference file I can get rid of it.

    ta
    • Thrugelmir
    • By Thrugelmir 13th Jul 17, 5:52 PM
    • 55,143 Posts
    • 48,335 Thanks
    Thrugelmir
    yes, its my first time on the forum so I guess I hadnt understood the mood and maybe my first post was a bit naively worded.
    Originally posted by Randombloke
    Many of us sit on here sit on both sides of the fence. Unfortunately many people do play games when it comes to settlement of debt. What ever form it is. Trouble is as clever as they think they are. It's actually very predictable. With experience one has a sixth sense as to those that are seriously addressing the matter and those that aren't.

    Not saying this applies to you personally. As wouldn't judge you on a few posts alone. On a personal level I've always worked hard to find a solution. Once the trust is broken though I just get on with the business in hand and wouldn't waste any more time.
    “ “Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.” Sir John Marks Templeton
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 13th Jul 17, 10:26 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    nic_c
    I'm still not convinced it's council tax - in over a decade of working with recovery action it's not something I've ever come across. Council Tax recovery has a very specific recovery process in which the magistrates court deals with it and issues the liability order. The liability order in place of a CCJ but still allows applications for a charging order to be made without having to go for a CCJ. (CP Rules 73.2)

    An "Order for Recovery of award" is the result of an application made using form N322 - this is usually used for housing benefit overpayments, not council tax itself. It may be possible it was used for an award of council tax benefit if the local authority in question didn't take the option of recovering via an adjusted council tax bill - it was an option for them to recover via the county court but I've never known any local authority do that as it would be a far more complicated route.

    I would recommend that you speak with the council and clarify exactly what has happened with the application.

    Craig
    Originally posted by CIS
    I was thinking similarly. The bailiffs for magistrates court have more powers than those of county courts. The ones on Tv program "can't pay we'll take it away" are from magistrates.
    Council tax don't usually go down the CCJ route as you have outlined they go through the magistrates

    If the OP has a CCJ, it will appear on the CRA's as CCJ's are "COUNTY COURT" Judgements and are reported to the Registry Trust. It's the fact its a CCJ it appears not whether it was commercial or not.

    Maybe councils are using CC as a cheaper route or maybe they are working with DCA who are using CCJ's
    • nic_c
    • By nic_c 13th Jul 17, 10:30 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 544 Thanks
    nic_c
    OP have you thought about complaining to the local govt ombudsmen http://www.lgo.org.uk/
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Jul 17, 9:25 AM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    I was thinking similarly. The bailiffs for magistrates court have more powers than those of county courts. The ones on Tv program "can't pay we'll take it away" are from magistrates.
    Council tax don't usually go down the CCJ route as you have outlined they go through the magistrates

    If the OP has a CCJ, it will appear on the CRA's as CCJ's are "COUNTY COURT" Judgements and are reported to the Registry Trust. It's the fact its a CCJ it appears not whether it was commercial or not.

    Maybe councils are using CC as a cheaper route or maybe they are working with DCA who are using CCJ's
    Originally posted by nic_c
    Council Tax legislation does in theory allow for some action via a court of 'competent jurisdiction' but I've never known it be used as it's for a specific purpose only. Regulation 55 of the admin & enforcement regs states that such a court can be used, for one specific purpose, but I've never explored that route further.

    A liability order application costs the council £3 (plus any other admin costs etc) whereas a CCJ application, if using the small claims, would cost £25+ each time (not that it's an option in the legislation for the council to use). With a CCJ a claimant needs to re-apply to the court for permission to use enforcement agents or attachment of earnings etc- under a liability order there is no need of to apply to the court again in most cases, the powers of recovery are primarily delegated to the claimant (i.e the council).

    If Council Tax uses a DCA then it would be in rare cases, usually only where they employ them to chase balances that have no liability order. For a liability order they use an enforcement agent.

    Craig
    Last edited by CIS; 14-07-2017 at 9:40 AM.
    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.
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 14th Jul 17, 9:36 AM
    • 856 Posts
    • 788 Thanks
    StopIt
    I was thinking similarly. The bailiffs for magistrates court have more powers than those of county courts. The ones on Tv program "can't pay we'll take it away" are from magistrates.
    Council tax don't usually go down the CCJ route as you have outlined they go through the magistrates

    If the OP has a CCJ, it will appear on the CRA's as CCJ's are "COUNTY COURT" Judgements and are reported to the Registry Trust. It's the fact its a CCJ it appears not whether it was commercial or not.

    Maybe councils are using CC as a cheaper route or maybe they are working with DCA who are using CCJ's
    Originally posted by nic_c

    Just a correction.


    The "Can't Pay" type shows are for debts from the High Court. This is an escalation from the County Courts and the debts have to go through them first.


    Magistrates debt is dealt with completely separately, and are for matters that have police/criminal liability, not for civil recovery. Basically if you don't pay a CCJ or HCEO you get escalating costs, don't pay a Magistrates fine and you can end up in a comfy paid for jail cell.


    Back to the subject: This all sounds a little weird, but the strategy here sounds a bit strange.


    If you have a charging order, you need to get this dealt with, obsessing about your credit score is a bit of a sideshow. What is the debt outstanding, and are you up to date with CT this year?


    The rules for what shows on your credit file are clear and CCJs (Regardless of what the debt is for)very much a part of the disclosures required on them. If you have a dispute with the CCJ itself then that's still action that can be taken, but you can't get references to it removed if the CCJ is valid.
    • macman
    • By macman 14th Jul 17, 5:20 PM
    • 41,291 Posts
    • 16,954 Thanks
    macman
    I'm not quite clear about the OP's current employment status, but wouldn't an LA normally go for an attachment of earnings order (if the debtor is employed) before resorting to a charging order?
    Much more chance of recovering something in the short term, whereas a charging order might not be effective for decades.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Jul 17, 6:49 PM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    I'm not quite clear about the OP's current employment status, but wouldn't an LA normally go for an attachment of earnings order (if the debtor is employed) before resorting to a charging order?
    Much more chance of recovering something in the short term, whereas a charging order might not be effective for decades.
    Originally posted by macman
    It depends on the council - the choice is theirs but you're right in that the length of time you have to wait, unless you force the sale, can make charging orders a less attractive option.

    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.
    • Time2go
    • By Time2go 22nd Jul 17, 9:54 PM
    • 106 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Time2go
    O went through this a couple of years ago (now all paid off) and had conformed by both courts and council if a charging order they can and will apply for it to be recorded as a ccj on your credit report. I'm just waiting for mine to fall off next year .
    • CIS
    • By CIS 22nd Jul 17, 10:07 PM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    Earlier this week I checked with an old colleague of mine who deals with charging orders and they've run it past their legal team to check.

    They confirmed that the courts have advised them that as no CCJ is required (the liability order is the substitute for the CCJ) the charging order is granted on the back of the order and there is no facility to register a liability order with the registry trust not convert it to a CCJ (the issuing of the charging order itself is not a CCJ, merely a form of enforcement).

    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.
    • Time2go
    • By Time2go 23rd Jul 17, 8:57 AM
    • 106 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Time2go
    All I can tell you is when I asked for mine to be removed (it's all settled) the courts said no and referred me back to council to challenge their and their response after contacting both courts and legal team is that as it is a charging order it will be registered as a ccj on your credit report
    Last edited by Time2go; 23-07-2017 at 9:14 AM.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 23rd Jul 17, 11:30 AM
    • 9,966 Posts
    • 5,688 Thanks
    CIS
    All I can tell you is when I asked for mine to be removed (it's all settled) the courts said no and referred me back to council to challenge their and their response after contacting both courts and legal team is that as it is a charging order it will be registered as a ccj on your credit report
    Originally posted by Time2go
    A charging order itself isn't recorded on the register of CCJ's, neither is a liability order - a charging order is recorded by the land registry. If they registered a CCJ then you need to ask exactly where in the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) the liability order can be registered as a CCJ as there is precisely one mention of council tax recovery in the (CPR) and that is to confirm a CCJ isn't needed to obtain a charging order where a liability order is in place.

    There may be some obscure case law somewhere but if there is then very few know about it and it isn't reflected in the courts own procedure rules.

    Craig
    Last edited by CIS; 23-07-2017 at 11:54 AM.
    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.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,667Posts Today

8,496Users online

Martin's Twitter