Reposssessed over council tax

Rebelruby
Rebelruby Posts: 7 Forumite
edited 27 October 2009 at 10:05PM in Debt-free wannabe
Can you be evicted for outstanding council tax from 2004? I have been paying mine over the last few years, wasn't aware of this debt until i was evicted recently (oct 2009). The debt was in my partners name who didn't tell me as he didn't want to worry me - bad mistake, but one that will be learnt from. They have been processing his bankruptcy since 2005, we have no mortgage arrears, lots of equity in the house and this is in joint names and we have 2 young children - Does anyone have any advice?



Hi, thank you all so much for you advice. After various conversations with my partner I found out that this has been passed to a trustee who have then applied for his bankruptcy and is forcing the sale of the house. I have spoke to the trustee and we have been allowed back into our property on the understanding that we pay their extortionate fees. The debt was for only £3,753 and over the past 5 years this has risen to £60k as at the date of the eviction. When i challenged the amount on the morning of the eviction, they said that there was an offer of £12k to end the dispute 5months ago, but my partner paniced and then this was pulled from the table and they now want the full amount which is now estimated at £87k, but as a good will gester, they will reduce the fees to £45k with payment of £12k in 24hrs (to get back in the house) and the remainder amount within 2wks. I have applied for a remortgage to buy my partners share of his equity as there is enough equity in the property, but I don't think they are going to allow me to wait for this to come through. I have 2 children, one starting senior school next year and has a test in a couple of weeks and this is just going to have such a bad effect on her.

To top it all, I received a letter last week from the VOA saying that my property had been banded incorrectly and should of been the band lower so they now owe me money and so the original debt should never of been that amount.

Can I take this back to the court? Any advice or guidance would be very much appreciated as I am running out of time and do not want to give up my home when I'm not in any other arrears and have worked so hard for it. Please let me know if you need any other details.

Thank you again for all your help
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Comments

  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241
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    I guess it depends on what grounds they evicted you on? Was it a let or owned (mortgage) property? Being evicted indicated let, but you mention mortgage?? Normally then no I haven't heard of anyone being repossessed over council tax arrears - however if the council got a charging order on your house and went through the courts to force the sale of your property then I guess it's possible... if it was a shared ownership property then I guess different rules might apply...

    Would probably help if you could give some more detail about what reasons the mortgage company have given for repossessing your property :)
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  • Tixy
    Tixy Posts: 31,455 Forumite
    Hi Ruby and welcome

    According to this advice guide from the CAB a council could apply to obtain a charging order on your house if you owe more than £1000 in council tax and if they already had a liability order (from court) that you did not pay.
    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/d_council_tax_arrears.pdf (page 2&3)
    But it does say that this doesn't happen often.

    Have you discussed the situation properly with your partner? Did he receive a court summons and did he attend the liability order hearing?

    When you say you were evicted do you mean your house was repossesed?

    Was it repossesed as part of OHs bankruptcy? Who has 'been processing his bankruptcy since 2005'?

    Can you give a bit more explanation to your post.
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  • Hi - I would try National Debtline or your local CAB or phone CCCS for advice. Or maybe Shelter can help as it is a housing problem.
    Hope you get it sorted.
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  • Hi,
    i am a senior enforcement officer for a local authority.
    you CANNOT be evicted for owing council tax, how ever as explained above a charging order can be obtained a nd a sale order sought, the result of which might be an eviction.
    you really need to expand on your circumstances to enable an opinion to be given as to what to do.
  • You can be asked to leave your house over Council Tax arrears - if the council went for bankruptcy (instead of charging order) then the Official Receiver/Trustee in bankruptcy would have to deal with your assets which would include your house and if there was equity then he can ask you to leave and then he will sell the house and the money he gets will be used to pay off debt.

    If your house has not been sold maybe you could come to an arrangement with the Official Receiver to pay off all your debt and the costs incurred and then you would be able to have your house back.

    If your assets (including equity) were more than all your debts then technically you are not insolvent and therefore cannot be made bankrupt.

    Without further comment from you about the whole process it seems to me that in 2005 your husband was served with a statutory demand which is the paperwork before bankruptcy, presumably he made an arrangement to pay and as he has not done so they have then petitioned for his bankruptcy.

    It is very rare for a council to make someone bankrupt, normally the threat is enough to get people to pay.

    Come back with the rest of the story please.

    EE
  • DarkConvict
    DarkConvict Posts: 6,338
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    I assume for the council tax you were both liable, as if he was to go bankrupt, the full amount would be transferred to yourself as joint debts do not disappear in bankruptcy but instead the other person(s) are then still fully liable for the whole debt. Obviously in some cases all parties go bankruptcy (i.e. husband & wife) thus joint debts are then covered.

    If however, if you were not both liable for the council, you were a guest, thus not registered as living there and not owing council tax, you shouldn't be getting chased over this.
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  • Hi, thank you for your message, I've updated my story above - let me know if you need any other details - thank you
  • hi, sounds awful, and it sounds like you need specialist help.

    have you been to see CAB or one of the debt charities, or contacted shelter? if not, try and do so asap x
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,442
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    Hi

    You need to speak to shelter re the repossession.

    What confuses me is how this debt managed to increase in value over the years.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Dayoshir
    Dayoshir Posts: 28 Forumite
    I'm with RAS on this one.

    Also if you say that the debt shouldnt have been owed because the band was wrong, then the original debt doesnt exist and as such cant be enforced.

    I would write a letter to the court and get them to put a hold on it all!
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