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  • FIRST POST
    • 7CS
    • By 7CS 21st Nov 17, 7:29 PM
    • 13Posts
    • 2Thanks
    7CS
    Urgent bailiff help or advice please - Council Tax
    • #1
    • 21st Nov 17, 7:29 PM
    Urgent bailiff help or advice please - Council Tax 21st Nov 17 at 7:29 PM
    My wife and I fell into arrears on our council tax, and after some time we ended up with Bristow and Sutor pursuing us for the money.

    We owed over £2000 so we set up a payment arrangement with them of £77 per week, which was the minimum they would accept. We paid this a number of times but really struggled, and ended up missing a few payments. About 6 months ago, a bailiff called while we were out and left a letter with his number on, and not to call the office because they would only refer us to him. I tried to call him numerous times but there was never any reply.

    A couple of days later I ended up calling B&S again and surprisingly they let me set up another payment arrangement of £55 per week. They said the bailiff had passed it back to them, which I found odd but put down to the fact he wasnít able to levy anything (no car on the drive etc.) so he wasnít interested. We never heard from the bailiff again.

    Unfortunately, after a couple more missed payments (we have probably paid off about £220 in the last 2 months) we had another bailiff call yesterday evening, again while nobody was home. He posted a letter through which says:

    ďAn enforcement agent has again attended your premises today to take control of your goods as this debt still remains outstanding. Your goods are going. You cannot remove, sell or otherwise dispose of them. Further visits can be made to your property. These visits can be made without warning, between 0600-2100 hours 7 days a week, in order to remove your goods for sale at public auction... You must ring me immediately on...Ē

    My wife called him this evening and after her explaining that we have been paying somewhat sporadically, he offered to accept a payment plan of £43 per week, but said he would need to come round to the house so that we could sign some paperwork. I immediately heard alarm bells, so she said she would call him back with a convenient time to come.

    He was insistent that the papers be signed in the house, and said they were court papers. Iím assuming he wants to come inside so that he can then levy or seize goods. I donít see why paperwork canít be signed outside. I also found it odd that he offered a payment arrangement when, in theory he could have just demanded full payment. We do have a car which Iím worried he will take possession of.

    Can someone advise me on what to do next please? We are keen to make payment as best we can, but I donít want to have the worry of having the car taken away or people turning up at the house constantly hanging over me.

    Thanks.
Page 1
    • CIS
    • By CIS 21st Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 5,787 Thanks
    CIS
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    He was offering a payment arrangement to be secured by a controlled goods arrangement, that is why he didn't ask for the full amount in one go. At this stage the enforcement agent doesn't have to accept anything other full payment so them offering an arrangement under the controlled goods arrangement is a reasonable offer for them to make, the best route for both sides - just make sure that you have some sort of proof of his offer if you choose to go down that route.

    You are free to refuse the enforcement agents offer however they are then equally able to continue to attend the property and attempt to seize any goods in the absence of payment.
    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.
    • 7CS
    • By 7CS 21st Nov 17, 10:02 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    7CS
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 17, 10:02 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 17, 10:02 PM
    He was offering a payment arrangement to be secured by a controlled goods arrangement, that is why he didn't ask for the full amount in one go. At this stage the enforcement agent doesn't have to accept anything other full payment so them offering an arrangement under the controlled goods arrangement is a reasonable offer for them to make, the best route for both sides - just make sure that you have some sort of proof of his offer if you choose to go down that route.

    You are free to refuse the enforcement agents offer however they are then equally able to continue to attend the property and attempt to seize any goods in the absence of payment.
    Originally posted by CIS
    Thank you for the reply.

    So would I be best advised to let him in and sign the agreement then? Iíve always been under the impression you should never let them into your home. I assume he wonít accept any arrangement if we donít?

    I just want to crack on with paying it now, without the fear of having them barge in one day. I know weíve had enough chances already.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 22nd Nov 17, 8:17 AM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 5,787 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 17, 8:17 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Nov 17, 8:17 AM
    The decision is entirely yours. There's two main options;

    1) Let them in. The one thing I would say is that if you do let them - make sure that you are 100% certain they'll accept a payment arrangement first and make sure you can afford the payments. What you don't want is for him to get entry and then demand full payment in one go... or for you to sign the control agreement and then fail to make the payments.

    2) Say you're not coming in and then just sent payment to them anyway regardless.


    The advice not to let an enforcement agent in generally is given because it usually prevents them from getting control of goods however in this case it seems they then won't allow a payment arrangement. If they can't get access & they don't get payment then eventually they will sent it back to the council, that then opens up further enforcement options for the council (as the most extreme committal to prison).
    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.
    • patman99
    • By patman99 22nd Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • 8,116 Posts
    • 9,537 Thanks
    patman99
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    If you decide to let them in, make sure to remove any valuables first.
    A good idea is to put them in your car then get your oh to go for a drive about an hour before the ballif arrives.

    I do have a hiding place idea where the ballif would never think of looking but am not about to divulge it on here,
    Never Knowingly Understood.

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    • Sammy90
    • By Sammy90 29th Nov 17, 4:12 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Sammy90
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 4:12 PM
    Bristow and sutor
    • #6
    • 29th Nov 17, 4:12 PM
    Can anybody help me I have received a letter of these and they are saying I need to make a payment of 125.00 within 5 days and then 117.00 a week im a single parent and work part time my money advice team Iím working with have said to ignored door and letters and will send the debt back to the council is this right?? Please help someone
    • CIS
    • By CIS 29th Nov 17, 5:09 PM
    • 10,113 Posts
    • 5,787 Thanks
    CIS
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:09 PM
    • #7
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:09 PM
    Can anybody help me I have received a letter of these and they are saying I need to make a payment of 125.00 within 5 days and then 117.00 a week im a single parent and work part time my money advice team Iím working with have said to ignored door and letters and will send the debt back to the council is this right?? Please help someone
    Originally posted by Sammy90
    Eventually they will but how much do you have outstanding in total ?
    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.
  • National Debtline
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:38 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:38 PM
    My wife and I fell into arrears on our council tax, and after some time we ended up with Bristow and Sutor pursuing us for the money.

    We owed over £2000 so we set up a payment arrangement with them of £77 per week, which was the minimum they would accept. We paid this a number of times but really struggled, and ended up missing a few payments. About 6 months ago, a bailiff called while we were out and left a letter with his number on, and not to call the office because they would only refer us to him. I tried to call him numerous times but there was never any reply.

    A couple of days later I ended up calling B&S again and surprisingly they let me set up another payment arrangement of £55 per week. They said the bailiff had passed it back to them, which I found odd but put down to the fact he wasnít able to levy anything (no car on the drive etc.) so he wasnít interested. We never heard from the bailiff again.

    Unfortunately, after a couple more missed payments (we have probably paid off about £220 in the last 2 months) we had another bailiff call yesterday evening, again while nobody was home. He posted a letter through which says:

    ďAn enforcement agent has again attended your premises today to take control of your goods as this debt still remains outstanding. Your goods are going. You cannot remove, sell or otherwise dispose of them. Further visits can be made to your property. These visits can be made without warning, between 0600-2100 hours 7 days a week, in order to remove your goods for sale at public auction... You must ring me immediately on...Ē

    My wife called him this evening and after her explaining that we have been paying somewhat sporadically, he offered to accept a payment plan of £43 per week, but said he would need to come round to the house so that we could sign some paperwork. I immediately heard alarm bells, so she said she would call him back with a convenient time to come.

    He was insistent that the papers be signed in the house, and said they were court papers. Iím assuming he wants to come inside so that he can then levy or seize goods. I donít see why paperwork canít be signed outside. I also found it odd that he offered a payment arrangement when, in theory he could have just demanded full payment. We do have a car which Iím worried he will take possession of.

    Can someone advise me on what to do next please? We are keen to make payment as best we can, but I donít want to have the worry of having the car taken away or people turning up at the house constantly hanging over me.

    Thanks.
    Originally posted by 7CS

    Hi 7CS


    It's best not to let the bailiff in your property because once you've done that there are no guarantees that they will still agree to £43 per week. Once they're in they can threaten to remove goods immediately if you do not agree to pay what they ask for. If you do end up agreeing to a payment plan the bailiff will most likely ask you to sign a list of your goods (a controlled goods agreement). If you then default on the payment plan they can come back and force entry to remove those goods.


    If the bailiff has never been inside to list your goods before he has no right to force entry. Keep your doors locked and don't let him in. If you have a car, lock it in a garage or park it away from the property where the bailiff won't find it.


    To make sure you can prove you are willing to pay the council tax it's important to send the bailiff company a statement of affairs (SOA). This will show them your income and outgoings and what you can afford to pay. Make sure you start making these payments to the bailiff company, you can usually do this via their website. And if you do have any other type of debt it's important to speak to one of the free debt advice agencies about how to deal with them as you must be able to demonstrate you are prioritising paying the council tax. Good luck with it all.


    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
  • National Debtline
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:48 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Nov 17, 5:48 PM
    Can anybody help me I have received a letter of these and they are saying I need to make a payment of 125.00 within 5 days and then 117.00 a week im a single parent and work part time my money advice team Iím working with have said to ignored door and letters and will send the debt back to the council is this right?? Please help someone
    Originally posted by Sammy90

    Hi Sammy90


    Welcome to the forum. You may prefer to start your own thread just to avoid any confusion with replies to the OP. Whilst it's a sensible idea to keep your doors locked and not let the bailiff in, you shouldn't ignore them completely. You can send the bailiff company a statement of affairs (SOA) to show your income and outgoings and what you can afford to pay. You'll find one in the sticky at the top of the board.


    Even if they don't accept your offer start making the payments, you should be able to do this on their website or automated telephone line. By doing this you can show you are not ignoring the debt or refusing to pay it.


    It is important to prioritise paying the council tax debt, so if you have other debts at the moment get in touch with one of the free debt advice agencies for more detailed advice on your options. And if you have a car, make sure it's locked in a garage or parked away from your property where the bailiff won't find it. I hope all goes well.


    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
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