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  • FIRST POST
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 9:26 AM
    • 39Posts
    • 7Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    Council tax.
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:26 AM
    Council tax. 8th Jan 18 at 9:26 AM
    I was on council tax benefit, and paying £35 a month. As Iím self employed I have to send my council my earnings every year, and they stated I earned too much and I would now have to pay full CT. I contacted my council tax department, and explained I couldnít afford the new monthly payments of £143 to be paid within 5 months. So he told me he would cancel the direct debit, I should pay what I could afford, and then go from there. So I carried on paying the £35, and Iíve been saving up the money to pay off a bulk amount.
    But on Saturday I received a court summons, even though the final payment isnít even due til 1st February. So Iíve now incurred court charges on top.
    I heard nothing from council tax since my first telephone call with them. Should they not have warned me or given me a chance to pay it, before taking me to court?
Page 1
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:44 AM
    Providing that at least one reminder/final notice has been issued by the council and it wasn't complied with then no other notification is required prior to issuing the court summons. They don't have to wait until after the final payment would be due as the right to pay by installments has been lost before the summons is issued.

    Unless you could show the process had not been complied with as required in legislation then there's not a lot you can do to dispute the liability order etc other than asking the council nicely.

    You could look in to a section 13A(1)(c) discretionary relief application.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 10:55 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:55 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:55 AM
    I!!!8217;ve had no final warning, or reminder.
    If I can!!!8217;t attend the court date, as I!!!8217;m working, what happens then?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    Iíve had no final warning, or reminder.
    If I canít attend the court date, as Iím working, what happens then?
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    You don't have to have received them providing they can show they were issued. It's very unlikely the notice wasn't issued but you can ask the council for details.

    There is no requirement to attend the hearing, it will be dealt with in your absence. You have no dispute with the court against the issuing of the order unless you can show the application process is flawed, the court have no powers to consider ability to pay etc as it's not relevant in legislation to the issuing of the liability order.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 8th Jan 18, 11:17 AM
    • 2,780 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    poppy12345
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:17 AM
    • #5
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:17 AM
    I was on council tax benefit, and paying £35 a month. As Iím self employed I have to send my council my earnings every year, and they stated I earned too much and I would now have to pay full CT. I contacted my council tax department, and explained I couldnít afford the new monthly payments of £143 to be paid within 5 months. So he told me he would cancel the direct debit, I should pay what I could afford, and then go from there. So I carried on paying the £35, and Iíve been saving up the money to pay off a bulk amount.
    But on Saturday I received a court summons, even though the final payment isnít even due til 1st February. So Iíve now incurred court charges on top.
    I heard nothing from council tax since my first telephone call with them. Should they not have warned me or given me a chance to pay it, before taking me to court?
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    That £35 wouldn't cover a months DD. You knew you had been overpaid and would need to pay it back. You were adviced to "pay what you could afford" yet chose to pay the same as when you were claiming CTR. Instead of saving to pay it off in "bulk" why not pay it when you had the money? This way at least you were paying something.

    Makes no difference if you don't appear, it will go ahead without you. You'll then recieve a letter in the post.
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 11:18 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:18 AM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:18 AM
    Can I go to council now and arrange an agreement, or does it have to wait until after the summons.
    If I make an arrangement now, does the summons get stopped?
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 11:21 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:21 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:21 AM
    That £35 wouldn't cover a months DD. You knew you had been overpaid and would need to pay it back. You were adviced to "pay what you could afford" yet chose to pay the same as when you were claiming CTR. Instead of saving to pay it off in "bulk" why not pay it when you had the money? This way at least you were paying something.

    Makes no difference if you don't appear, it will go ahead without you. You'll then recieve a letter in the post.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    Iím asking for help, not judgement. Thank you!
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 8th Jan 18, 11:29 AM
    • 2,780 Posts
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    poppy12345
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:29 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:29 AM
    Can I go to council now and arrange an agreement, or does it have to wait until after the summons.
    If I make an arrangement now, does the summons get stopped?
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    No, you won't be able to do this. It's with the courts now and any payment arrangement will have to be made through them after the hearing.

    I wasn't judging you! Just making a staement. There's absolutely no point in saving to pay a bill off when you can easily pay the money straight to them. When it comes to council tax councils won't wait for someone to save the money before paying.
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 11:34 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:34 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Jan 18, 11:34 AM
    No, you won't be able to do this. It's with the courts now and any payment arrangement will have to be made through them after the hearing.

    I wasn't judging you! Just making a staement. There's absolutely no point in saving to pay a bill off when you can easily pay the money straight to them. When it comes to council tax councils won't wait for someone to save the money before paying.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    So there!!!8217;s not a lot I can do now, until after the court date and any subsequent correspondence from them?
    If I did go to court, would the outcome be any different?
    • poppy12345
    • By poppy12345 8th Jan 18, 12:07 PM
    • 2,780 Posts
    • 2,749 Thanks
    poppy12345
    So thereís not a lot I can do now, until after the court date and any subsequent correspondence from them?
    If I did go to court, would the outcome be any different?
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    Not now there's a court date. Most likely no difference.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    No, you won't be able to do this. It's with the courts now and any payment arrangement will have to be made through them after the hearing.

    I wasn't judging you! Just making a staement. There's absolutely no point in saving to pay a bill off when you can easily pay the money straight to them. When it comes to council tax councils won't wait for someone to save the money before paying.
    Originally posted by poppy12345
    The court have no say in the payment arrangement, it's purely made with the council.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Jan 18, 12:22 PM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    So there!!!8217;s not a lot I can do now, until after the court date and any subsequent correspondence from them?
    If I did go to court, would the outcome be any different?
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    You can contact the council to discuss a payment arrangement - any arrangement is separate to the liability order being obtained. The council can still agree a payment arrangement with you on the basis that the case will still proceed to the liability order being granted (so that the council have the order in case you cease paying) - the only agreement which would stop the process for certain is full payment before the court date.

    Turning up at court won't affect the court's process at all - it would give you the option to speak to the council face to face but it's unlikely they would ask for the liability order application to be halted or withdrawn. You can however always contact the council anyway any time without waiting until the court date.

    The council can, if they so decide, issue the case to an enforcement agent the moment the liability order is granted, and the only notice you would receive is a notification from the enforcement agent. The best thing you can do is to contact the council and discuss the issues ASAP - in a decade of dealing with council tax recovery the most common, recurring, issue I saw was people delaying contact the council and then losing out as the enforcement action had moved on.
    Last edited by CIS; 08-01-2018 at 12:25 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 8th Jan 18, 3:33 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    Thank you. I!!!8217;m cross with myself for thinking that when he said we!!!8217;d sort something out, I!!!8217;d hear from them again about it, but never a court summons. Bit of naivety on my part I guess.
    • ScarlettTiger
    • By ScarlettTiger 19th Jan 18, 10:32 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    ScarlettTiger
    Hi, I just wanted to update on this. I sorted out a weekly payment with the council, all fine, they told me a final demand had been sent in November, which I told them I never received.
    I then get a letter telling me the council had a system error, and a final demand letter hadn!!!8217;t actually been sent out, so they have withdrawn the summons and reversed the court charges.
    Thank you all again for your help.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 19th Jan 18, 2:54 PM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    Hi, I just wanted to update on this. I sorted out a weekly payment with the council, all fine, they told me a final demand had been sent in November, which I told them I never received.
    I then get a letter telling me the council had a system error, and a final demand letter hadnít actually been sent out, so they have withdrawn the summons and reversed the court charges.
    Thank you all again for your help.
    Originally posted by ScarlettTiger
    Good result - and that would be procedural errors I mentioned in the earlier post. It's not often they come up and can be used to cease the action.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • NotSuchASmugMarriedNow
    • By NotSuchASmugMarriedNow 19th Jan 18, 6:58 PM
    • 575 Posts
    • 1,112 Thanks
    NotSuchASmugMarriedNow
    So he told me he would cancel the direct debit, I should pay what I could afford, and then go from there.


    Phone calls to the council tax office are recorded. Remind them of what the officer agreed and refer them back to the phone call which they will have recorded.
    Overactively underachieving for almost half a century
    • CIS
    • By CIS 19th Jan 18, 8:05 PM
    • 10,514 Posts
    • 6,074 Thanks
    CIS
    So he told me he would cancel the direct debit, I should pay what I could afford, and then go from there.


    Phone calls to the council tax office are recorded. Remind them of what the officer agreed and refer them back to the phone call which they will have recorded.
    Originally posted by NotSuchASmugMarriedNow
    Depends on the council - in some councils only some calls are recorded.

    The content of the call doesn't make much difference now anyway as the summons has been withdrawn.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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