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Debt, Liability dispute + Rundle Bailiffs excessive on Council tax

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Debt, Liability dispute + Rundle Bailiffs excessive on Council tax

edited 13 December 2012 at 11:16AM in Dealing with debts & debt disputes
3 replies 33.8K views
woofy85woofy85 Forumite
39 posts
edited 13 December 2012 at 11:16AM in Dealing with debts & debt disputes
Rundle Bailiffs excessive on Council tax. Someone please help
Hi, I don't know if anyone can help me. My mother received two bailiff bills for two liability orders, one dated Jan 20 2006 ( £488) and Apr 7 2009 (£27.50) ( 2009 was like 4 years after she lived there). These were council tax bills, from a property my mother had lived in from June till the end of august. My mother informed she was moving out 3 months after moving in due to rats.

Anyway 6 -7 passed. This July received these letters from the bailiff. It took them all this time to make her aware of these bills. One of the liability order was £488 and the other £27.50. My mother been trying to proved she was living there by providing council tax bills from the new property she was living in. I made a appeal for her and plan to take it to the Valuation Tribunal.

Anyway this December after fighting to proved she was liable, the bailiff kept coming around even tho my mother sent the bills back saying she would pay instalments ( she is a pensioner widower) I have been the one doing the fighting on her behalf cause my mother isn't as young as she used to be and doesn't understand this stuff.

Around 2 week ago letters came saying if she doesn't pay the bill in 7 days, he could call the police and apply to the court to have her put in prison. A letter assigning a bailiff to her was sent too . My brother rang up the bailiff and the bailiff tells him the bill had been reduced ( both liability orders) from £515.50 down to £208, my brother asked if it could be paid in instalments but the bailiff refused and said it has to be paid immediately or my mother would be arrested and if she paid straight way it would be the end of this. So my mother paid through the bank the next day. Still haven't received a receipt!

This week a letter arrived demanding that my mother pay the JAN 2006 liability order now increased to £570. It turns out the bailiff lied over the phone about the 2 liability order being reduce and really had increased the Apr 2009 liability order from £27.50 to £208!!! Tricking us into paying 1 of the orders with excessive charges.

Is allowed? I tried reading some of the threads on here but it is confusing on what to do? One other website says that this is fraud and I should make appeal. My mother is old and can't afford these excessive charges. She has tried to have the original bill paid in instalments, but they just ignore her, sending larger and larger bills. Please can someone give me advice, seriously begging as I don't know what to do and she has another growing bill


  • CAB_Swansea_Bay_representativeCAB_Swansea_Bay_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    287 posts
    Hi Woofy85, thank you for your query regarding Debt liability dispute
    Challenging bailiffs fees is a complex area of law and I would suggest your mother seeks help from a debt adviser. You can find your local Citizens Advice Bureau at It is worth mentioning that a debtor cannot be improsioned for non-payment of council tax unless they wilfully refuse to pay so the fact that your mother has disputed the bill and made a payment to one of the liability orders should help to show that there is no wilful refusal to pay and I would suggest you take note of your conversations and correspondance with the bailiffs and council as it looks like it could be the subject of a complaint but that is something your debt adviser can discuss with you. If your mother is claiming Guarantee Pension Credit the council tax recoveries may agree to withdraw the debt from the bailiffs and take deductions from her benefit. In the meantime you can find information about bailiff's powers at
    Hope this is of assistance.
    Official CAB Representative
    I am an official representative of CAB. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to questions on the CAB Board. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. If you believe I’ve broken any rules please report my post to [email protected] as usual"
  • CISCIS Forumite
    11.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    It is worth mentioning that a debtor cannot be improsioned for non-payment of council tax unless they wilfully refuse to pay so the fact that your mother has disputed the bill and made a payment to one of the liability

    Just to clarify a person can be jailed for wilful refusal OR culpable neglect although wilful refusal is probably the most common reason.
    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.
  • edited 18 December 2012 at 9:42AM
    dancingfairydancingfairy Forumite
    9.1K posts
    edited 18 December 2012 at 9:42AM
    O.K the 2006 one. Is this correct? Does it cover the correctperiod she was in the property? Does it inlude a single person discount if applicable?
    the second one she clearly doesn'towe.
    Does she have any proof she told the counil when she moved out? an email/letter/details of a telephone conversation/ a letter of final bill etc?
    Have a read of the factsheet at National Debtlines website and checkwhat fees the bailiffs have added to the accounts. They can only charge 42.50 I think it is for 2 visits per liability order when theyhaven't been let into the house or levied on a car.
    You will need to write a stern complaint letterto the council regarding the conduct of their agents (the bailiffs).
    Also check the wording of any letters youhave received from the bailiffs as they can't just threaten prison and locksmiths just like that.
    In theory she owes :
    1) the council tax in question
    2) the cost of a libaility order - approx 90 pounds. Why wasn't she aware of this at the time?Did the council write to her?
    3) Possibly 42.50 in bailiff costs unless she has let them in her house/they havelevied on her car.

    I think I would start with a letter to the bailiffs to find out what liability orders they are collecting, what fees etc have been charged so you can start challenign them.
    Edit: the letter you need to send the bailiffs to find out about what fees have been charged is in post no.4 on here: and this whole thread might be useful to you.
    National Debtline factsheet here for you:
    Best of Luck
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
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