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  • FIRST POST
    • noopin
    • By noopin 5th Oct 17, 10:44 PM
    • 7Posts
    • 1Thanks
    noopin
    Paid original creditor, not collection agent
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 17, 10:44 PM
    Paid original creditor, not collection agent 5th Oct 17 at 10:44 PM
    Hi all, this is something that comes up from time to time but I'm not clear on the details.
    We often have difficulty keeping up with council tax and frequently receive arrears notices and summonses, at which point we'll pay a few hundred pounds, as necessary (it's as chaotic as it sounds but we always pay up when the correspondence gets heavy; it's partly because we are "distressed" BTL landlords with 150% CT on two properties we can't afford to rehabilitate).
    Normally, I transfer the arrears direct to the LA, online. Now, we're caught in the enforcement fees position.
    Long story short - JBW enforcement agents sent two separate notices for CT arrears a month ago (albeit relating to one address), with £75 compliance stage fees added to each; I immediately paid the council and thought no more of it. Now, JBW have delivered an enforcement notice for, essentially, their fees - the original 75, plus 235 enforcement stage for today's visit. Looking at the notice ref no., I'm expecting exactly the same relating to the second original notice, thus 470 quid for knocking on my door twice.
    The advice I've read has confused me, around whether JBW have bought the debt; or whether they can go straight to enforcement for their own fees (which started out as a fraction of the original debt total.
    As ever, advice and clarification gratefully received.
Page 1
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • 12,730 Posts
    • 12,068 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:00 PM
    You are responsible for the fees yes.

    They don’t buy the debts, they are allowed to charge certain fees for different stages of enforcement, that’s what the bills relate too.

    Too late now I know, but always best to deal with these matters before bayliffs get involved due to the fees they can charge.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • noopin
    • By noopin 5th Oct 17, 11:15 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    noopin
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:15 PM
    • #3
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:15 PM
    That's what I couldn't get clear - I was getting the idea that, so long as the agent doesn't buy the debt, my liability is still to the original creditor only. But, beyond that, I'm smarting at the enforcement stage being reached (extra £235) merely for their fees, which was a minor part of the original demand, ie. having paid the principal, I supposedly owed £75 on each original notice and they are now demanding an extra £235 for delivering the demand for the 75! And, presumably, another one the same to arrive a day later...
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 5th Oct 17, 11:50 PM
    • 12,730 Posts
    • 12,068 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:50 PM
    • #4
    • 5th Oct 17, 11:50 PM
    baillife fees are enforceable if each stage is reached.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • noopin
    • By noopin 22nd Oct 17, 8:42 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    noopin
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 17, 8:42 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Oct 17, 8:42 PM
    I paid the 75 to forestall the second demand and, in the wee small fretful hours, got up and paid 75 toward the first one (the one that had escalated).
    I'm hoping that's dealt with it as I haven't heard further - I'm presuming they'll consider it a fair return...
  • National Debtline
    • #6
    • 23rd Oct 17, 3:32 PM
    • #6
    • 23rd Oct 17, 3:32 PM
    Hi noopin


    The council will have employed the bailiff to collect the council tax, and unfortunately you will be liable for any fees that have been correctly added to the debt. The bailiff can charge a £75 compliance fee for each council tax debt they collect. They can also add an additional £235 enforcement fee to cover their first visit. Prior to the visit you must have been given 7 days warning via an enforcement notice.


    Even if you have paid the compliance fees you will remain liable for the enforcement fee, assuming you were given 7 days notice and it was added on their first visit. Unfortunately it sounds likely that the bailiff will be contacting you for this.


    The bailiff can't force entry unless they have been inside before so keep your doors locked and car hidden (if you have one). If you can't afford to pay the fee in one go you can try and negotiate a payment plan with a statement of affairs (SOA), but make sure you prioritise the debt over any non priority debts you may have. You can contact one of the free debt advice agencies if you need more help working out an offer.


    Susie
    @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
    • Herbie21
    • By Herbie21 24th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    • 775 Posts
    • 983 Thanks
    Herbie21
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    • #7
    • 24th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    I'm smarting at the enforcement stage being reached (extra £235) merely for their fees.....
    Originally posted by noopin
    And this is where you are wrong. The bailiff is NOT enforcing for his fees at all. This is because, when the debt is passed by the local authority to JBW Group, the Compliance fee of £75 is added to the debt and is included in the amount due. By paying less that the 'amount due' you have merely made a 'part payment' and as such, bailiff enforcement can and will continue.

    The other problem is that from any payment made, the Compliance fee of £75 must first be deducted and the balance of your payment apportioned on a 'pro rata' basis. The following page from my website outlines this in more details.

    http://bailiffadviceonline.co.uk/index/council-tax-national-non-domestic-rate-nndr/can-i-avoid-bailiff-fees-by-paying-the-council

    One final point:

    On the Notice of Enforcement, it makes clear the different methods of payment (telephone the JBW Group payment line, make an online payment, or send a payment direct to their bank etc). Nowhere on the form does it instruct that payment should be made to the council.

    As I see it, you are liable to pay the £235.
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