council sent debt to bailiffs even though im paying

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Hi All

Bit of help needed. Im a single parent to 2 children, I work part time and my wages can vary greatly every month; because of this I have to send in my wage slip every month to be re-assessed. Originally (over a year ago) I would get a letter of my new award every month of my CT and HB. My CT award letter was so confusing I set up a standing order for £10 every week (so some months i was under/overpaying) but thought .... at least im paying something. I have never stopped paying this £10 but it was transferred to Rossendales. I was naive I suppose and continued to pay my £10 thinking that the council would realise that Ive probably overpaid or send me out a revised bill.

Well though my own stupidness, ive come back today and they have put on £300 charges? Im still paying the council (even though they have now sent me a letter to pay Rossendales direct)

Ive tried calling the council for a revised bill/to explain i dont even think i owe it all and sent 2 emails but to no avail. infact im waiting for a call back now. ive read on other posts that its unlikely theyll transfer my debt back but why when i always pay?

Any help or advise greatly received as i cannot afford to pay these charges
PAD from July= £55.10
Aug= £120.57
Getting organised for christmas!!!!

Comments

  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
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    If you don't pay the right amount by the right time - they don't wait for it to average out to the right amount - if you have an underpayment, then in general as I understand it, they immediately require you to pay all of the CT up-front for the next year.
    If this is not done within a short period, then it's sent to collections.
  • the_missis
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    I completely understand what your saying. Its a bill and it must be paid. Although as any benefit is paid a month in arrears, some months I would have had a bill of £90 when my wages were only £250, meaning one big struggle, whereas other months I would have had full Council Tax benefit and a bigger wage so thats my explanation of why I set it up. And yes I should have saved, but at the moment Im finding it difficult to pay my rent and food let alone save.
    PAD from July= £55.10
    Aug= £120.57
    Getting organised for christmas!!!!
  • TattyG
    TattyG Posts: 228 Forumite
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    Have you had a call back yet? Really you need to know how much money you are talking about. I think it is unlikely to be passed back to the Council and you will need to deal with the bailiffs as a matter of urgency and before more charges get added and it becomes a worse problem.

    There are a few posts on the Debt Free Board that has some really helpful info on dealing with bailiffs - pop over there for a read and someone might be able to help you more x
    Aug Comp Wins - :j

    Fly Lady - Day Completed -

    Starting to OS again and get life into some kind of order!
    :T
  • szam_
    szam_ Posts: 642 Forumite
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    I can't give any advice regarding the payments you have been making, however in regards to Rossendales, I feel for you. I've had to deal with these goons due to a council constantly losing SOA forms when I was unemployed and struggling to pay back an overpayment (again, that was Council's fault), but that's a long story. Let's just say it was rated the worst council in the UK at one point for a reason.

    First and foremost, do not speak to anyone at Rossendales, do not acknowledge them, and most importantly, do not let them in.

    Underhanded tactics to look out for:

    - They will add on massive charges which they are not allowed to. Speak to Citizens Advice regarding this, if they've added £300 on, it means (unfortunately) they are still doing it, my dealings with them were about 4-5 years ago now.
    - They will claim they sent a van round to collect your things, but actually just show up in their company car before anyone is awake (I was actually awake as my sleeping pattern was screwed up when they showed up at mine) and put a letter through the door at 5am, no knocking or anything, and put something like 7:30am on the form, or whichever time it is they are legally allowed to call. I don't think the charge is legal, but it's incredibly 'scumbag' thing to do.

    One major hurdle is trying to deal with the Council rather than them. The Council I was trying to speak to refused to talk to me about it, and I stupidly rang Rossendales. If you do end up having to speak to them, they will twist your words, they will refuse any agreement you try to come up with in terms of repayment, and quite frankly they will try to make your life hell.

    Trust me, go to CAB, do everything they ask you to do and get them to help you. Don't be as stupid as me, I managed to find a job and was so stressed, just paid them money they said I was due but in fact was actually illegal, just to get them off my back. £150 repayment turned in to £500+ over 3 months and I wish I'd gone to the CAB instead, it should have only been around £200.

    It's incredibly stressful dealing with them, so I wish you the best of luck. Just don't give in to the pressure, they will hassle and hassle and try to break you down. Don't. Get the CAB to handle them. They may even be-able to get it back to the Council to handle.
    Professional Data Monkey

  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,051 Forumite
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    Agree with szam about getting some advice.

    There is a procedure that the council has to follow before the debt is sent to the bailiffs.

    See here:

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/housing_benefit_and_local_housing_allowance/council_tax/council_tax_arrears

    Did they send you letters and tell you about their seeking a liability order?

    Gather together all your paperwork and go to CAB.
  • NYM
    NYM Posts: 4,066 Forumite
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    Follow the advice pmlindyloo and szam have given you make an appointment with CAB.

    This is a link to what the Bailiffs can charge....

    As a single parent you might be classed as in a vulnerable group. Vulnerable Groups...
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