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    • Helping mum
    • By Helping mum 14th Sep 17, 12:16 PM
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    Helping mum
    Need advice with owed Council Tax
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:16 PM
    Need advice with owed Council Tax 14th Sep 17 at 12:16 PM
    Hi I've joined the forum hoping I can get some advice on behalf of my daughter. A little background info which I'm hoping is relevant.........

    Over the last several years she has been in a very abusive relationship with her now ex partner, both physical and emotional. There is police and social services involvement evidencing this. During the years they were together he was her paid carer and all their income was from benefits as a result of her disabilities. He was the one who always dealt with monies, paying bills, speaking to benefits agencies etc even though everything was in her name.

    They finally separated last year leaving her as a single mum of a 23 month old little boy and now a lot of debt. It appears that for all the years they were together he was not paying the council tax and she was unaware of this. The council are now deducting £14 a week from her benefits to cover this debt yet they aren't chasing him for repayment at all even though she has given them his new address and where he works.

    It seems so unfair that she is being made to repay both hers and his council tax and they refuse to chase him at all! She's supposed to be getting debt advice from a local church charity but they are getting no where with the council.

    Is there anything we can do to force them to recover the debt from him?

    Thank you!
Page 1
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 14th Sep 17, 12:49 PM
    • 945 Posts
    • 696 Thanks
    Arleen
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:49 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:49 PM
    The council tax was either in your daughter's name or both of them. If it was in both their names then they are jointly and severally liable - which means that council can chase whomever they want for the money, and as they are getting it back from your daughter, they have no reason to chase it any further.

    She could maybe try to sue him, but it's unlikely to work because, well, how are you going to prove that he was supposed to pay any council tax at all? And even if you win, how will you collect the money?

    She really should come here and post a complete SOA so great folk here can have a look and advise how to move forwards.
    • Helping mum
    • By Helping mum 14th Sep 17, 12:57 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    Helping mum
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:57 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:57 PM
    Thank you for replying.
    Yes the council tax bill was in their joint names. Your reply is exactly what the council have also said, but to me it seems morally wrong for them to make the victim of his violence pay his debts when he is earning and could afford the repayments. But of course it's easier to simply take money off a single mother on benefits! I know the council care nothing for morals but it just feels wrong.

    Quite honestly I'm just clutching at straws, I know this. I would happily write to anyone who may help and plead her case for her. Head of the council. MP. Press. I don't know. But it's just so wrong.
    • StopIt
    • By StopIt 14th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    • 879 Posts
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    StopIt
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    Was he named on the Council Tax?


    Both me and my partner are named on the CT bills, but I pay them. However if I defaulted they'd be after both of us.


    If he wasn't named on the Council tax, there's nothing really they can do to chase him.


    However, even if it was a joint CT bill, it's joint and several liability, so you wont see the bill halved because someone else is jointly liable so it wont affect the debt from your daughters side.


    As above, an accurate SOA would be good to see if this is the straw that broke the camels back and more measures would be needed to tackle the debts left behind as a whole.
    • Arleen
    • By Arleen 14th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
    • 945 Posts
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    Arleen
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
    Thank you for replying.
    Yes the council tax bill was in their joint names. Your reply is exactly what the council have also said, but to me it seems morally wrong for them to make the victim of his violence pay his debts when he is earning and could afford the repayments. But of course it's easier to simply take money off a single mother on benefits! I know the council care nothing for morals but it just feels wrong.

    Quite honestly I'm just clutching at straws, I know this. I would happily write to anyone who may help and plead her case for her. Head of the council. MP. Press. I don't know. But it's just so wrong.
    Originally posted by Helping mum
    Sadly it's just how it is, her recourse may be in lawsuit but honestly even if she were to win it, chances of actually collecting anything are almost none. And it would cost a lot of money along the way.

    So best to focus on tackling her financial problems as they are and try to move on, people here will be happy to take a look at a SOA and give a solid advice how to get out of the debt mountain - as there is a lot of options available.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    • 9,973 Posts
    • 5,692 Thanks
    CIS
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    The council are now deducting £14 a week from her benefits to cover this debt yet they aren't chasing him for repayment at all even though she has given them his new address and where he works
    They shouldn't be deducting £14 per week for council tax arrears - the deduction from benefits is set a prescribed rate of £3.70 per week. It needs to be double checked what this amount is for.

    As she was jointly liable for the council tax charge there is nothing to stop the council taking recovery action against her rather than her ex partner. They can only recover a specific debt from one liable party at a time.
    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.
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