Swift Credit Services Limited

Apologies if this is in the wrong section, but i've just had a second visit from the bailiffs after a gap of 7-8 months...

What follows is an original post i made on another forum the day it happened...

This morning at 7am i went to feed my cats and to empty the litter tray, after i did this their was a knock at my door, i thought it was my neighbour, but no, it was a bailiff and i was given no warning!

Didn't know who he was at first, but once he told me why he was here he basically walked inside, started spouting stuff about fee's and payment, i was compleatly disorinatated by all this.

Anyway, it was for council tax arrears of £622 for the last 2 years, but for the 3rd year i have an attachment of benefits order, so i'm paying £3.40 a week to pay that off, this started a month ago, and will be important later on...

He then started writing out a list of things to take...(I hardly have anything of value!)

1 Toshiba TV (Bought from my friend last year for £50!)
30 Books (In fact my Blue Peter and Doctor Who annuals!)
168 Doctor Who VHS cassettes (probably worth nothing!)
25 various VHS cassettes (Blakes 7 actually!)
1 Dell PC (My brothers old one!)
1 Monitor (Found in a skip!)
1 Panasonic VHS player (Going to rig it so it doesn't work!)
3 Sofas (This amuses me, as 2 of them are waiting to go to the skip, they have dog and cat wee all over them!)
1 PC table (broken!)
1 UHF TV Indoor ariel (Hasn't worked for 6 months!)
1 Sony DVD Player (Also to be rigged not to work!)

All in all, they will probably get not even £200! The total costs the bailiff wants is £927 (£200 was for him turning up in a van with a view to removing!)

I have got in contact with both the council and CAB, the council don't even want to know, but the CAB are hoping to use my mental illness to sort things out as i'm a vunerable person.

The council was supposed to send me a letter 14 days before the bailiffs arrived, but did not recieve one, which is why i opened the door so readily.

I was also confused enough to sign a walking possession agreement after failing to get any money from my dad. The bailiff now expects £463 by this friday, i have so far managed to raise £160, and know for a fact that their is no one willing to help me out, so i am expecting the worst on friday!

I'm hoping that the debt gets transferred back to the council then i won't have to pay the additional bailiff costs, and the fact that i already have an attacment to benefits order already should make his visit void.

My mental illness hasn't helped either, i spent the early part of last year in a deep depression, i was assigned a support worker for 3 months to help me sort myself out, managed to sort my gas and electric and to some extent my rent arrears. Though the housing officer told me to forget about the council tax for now and concerntrate on sorting my rent out.

My benefit expenditure is now like this...

I get £128.20 a fortnight...

£6.80 goes on previous Council Tax debt.
£45 goes on rent and rent arrears.
£20 goes on Electric (key)
£25 goes on Gas (card)
£31.40 goes on food for two weeks (That includes two bags of cat litter and 3 boxes of Asda own cat food at £1.07 a box.)

I have no extra money to buy anything.

Not going to get rid of my cats because they have actually stopped me from going over the edge and doing something stupid.
I'm hoping i get this sorted out, because i was doing so well up to today.

Back to now...

I went to the CAB and sorted it out, my expenditure was smoothed out and started paying £10 a fortnight towards my Council Tax arrears, then in March i started getting letters from the DWP saying that i had to pay back a crisis loan at £10 a week, once i paid it back i got another one, ended up with 7 in total, meaning that i had £110 to survive every fortnight, once i paid my rent debt, gas and electric i was left with £20 for food to last me two weeks, i tried paying the council tax debt as well by knocking off the odd fiver from my gas and electric and have probably only missed 3 or 4 payments in total.

Then the bailiifs turned up this morning while i was out and left a letter basically saying that their coming back on wednesday with a locksmith to remove goods to the value of £771.99 (They got no chance, total value is just over £100!)

I read on-line that they cant come round if your a vunerable person...i have a mental illness/depression which makes me warey of opening my front door or answering the phone to people, it got so bad that a few years ago my mate had to call the police because i didn't answer the door to anyone for nearly 4 months, so it's been documented.

Swift have asked for proof of my mental illness, but i am having trouble getting this.

I also questioned a few matters in my corrospondance with Swift in April:-

1) I did not recieve a 14 notice from my local council telling me you were coming. (I wouldn't of opened the door otherwise!)
2) The bailiff has charged me £200 for apparently turning up in a van...he did not, he was trying to ring his mate when he turned up who has the van!
3) Even before he told me about the charges he said i had to pay £927.09, this is both wrong and illigal, he should of stated the arrears only as £622.09.
4) He walked in without me asking him too while i was getting my phone, this is also illigal.
5) The items that he marked down is worth less than £100. (I've had someone round to verify this!)
6) I'm a vunerable person with mental health issues, so he shouldn't of come round anyway! This has now made my condition worse as i've had suicidal thoughts.
7) I was already having payments deducted from my benefits regarding Council Tax, so under Regulations 52 of the council tax (Administration and Enforcement) act, it states "It expressly prohibits any enforcement action when deductions are being made from Income Support for a Council Tax Libility Order."

They brushed that aside though!

Have to go to the CAB again on monday, just hoping the fact that i'm a vunerable person halts all this.

apologies if the post is all other the place, not thinking too clearly at the moment, so any help would be much appriciated!

Comments

  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 14 October 2011 at 4:34PM
    1) I did not recieve a 14 notice from my local council telling me you were coming. (I wouldn't of opened the door otherwise!)

    I assume your talking about a 14 day notice of bailiff action ?. The vast majority of councils issue a Regulation 36 notice ('Request for Information Form') once the Liability Order is issued and include a 14 day warning in that. Doing it that way satisfies the regulations and kills two birds with one stone.
    4) He walked in without me asking him too while i was getting my phone, this is also illigal.
    Not if he used a normal method of entry - i.e walked in through an open door etc.

    7) I was already having payments deducted from my benefits regarding Council Tax, so under Regulations 52 of the council tax (Administration and Enforcement) act, it states "It expressly prohibits any enforcement action when deductions are being made from Income Support for a Council Tax Libility Order."
    That regulation refers only to a particular liability order - in simple terms only 1 form of action can be taken against a liability order at a particular time.

    If you have more than 1 Liability Order then different enforcement methods can be used simultaneously across the various orders.

    The actual wording of the regulations doesn't mention Income Support deductions (from some strange reason Ive never understood) but it should be read as though it does.
    Relationship between remedies

    52.—(1) Where a warrant of commitment is issued against (or a term of imprisonment is fixed in the case of) a person under regulation 47(3), no steps, or no further steps, may be taken under this Part by way of attachment of allowances, attachment of earnings, distress, bankruptcy or charging in relation to the relevant amount mentioned in regulation 47(4).
    (2) Steps under this Part by way of attachment of allowances, attachment of earnings, distress, commitment, bankruptcy, winding up or charging may not be taken against a person under a liability order while steps by way of another of those methods are being taken against him under it.
    (3) Subject to paragraphs (1) and (2)—
    (a)attachment of allowances, attachment of earnings or distress may be resorted to more than once, and
    (b)attachment of allowances, attachment of earnings or distress may be resorted to in any order or alternately (or both).
    (4) Where a step is taken for the recovery of an outstanding sum which is or forms part of an amount in respect of which a liability order has been made and under which additional costs or charges with respect to the step are also recoverable in accordance with this Part, any sum recovered thereby which is less than the aggregate of the amount outstanding and such additional costs and charges shall be treated as discharging first the costs and charges, the balance (if any) being applied towards the discharge of the outstanding sum.

    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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