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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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a few years ago we got in to some financial difficulty due

Resolved Question:

a few years ago we got in to some financial difficulty due to redundancy. We ended up paying our council tax bills through the bailiff. Recently I have had a letter from Equita saying we owed a council tax bill from 2012, I thought we had paid it so it was rather a surprise .I rang the council as I thought it maybe something to do with our current bill, which is up to date and paid for. She told me the arrears were for 2012 . I rang Equita and they gave me a number for a bailiff. I rang the number and there was no reply , I left my details but no one got back to me . I then wrote to their office and explained the situation.Today a bailiff called while I was out and left a letter saying that I have to pay the full amount in 24 hours, £1,600, I rang the bailiff twice and no one answered, so I left details.I am trying to arrange a payment of £30 a week which what we paid when paying off the other council tax bills. They say they are going to take our car which is on the drive . Surely they cant do this as I have been trying to contact them a few times.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Can you pay off the total amount of any sum owed immediately?

Customer:

no its £1,600

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then what you need to do is make an offer formally to the bailiffs (which I appreciate you have tried to do), and they will have to take instructions from the owner of the debt as to whether they accept that.

tdlawyer :

You could write to the Magistrates Court and seek an order to pay the debt in instalments, and this might buy you some time

tdlawyer :

You could do this by a simple letter to the magistrates court, setting out (briefly) what has happened and seeking an order that you be allowed to pay by instalments.

Customer:

the debt belongs to the council and I have already asked them and they said I would have to make the agreement with the bailiff

tdlawyer :

That's helpful of them.

tdlawyer :

Well, you need to try and do that, as you are, but have in mind the option of trying to get a court order in the event that you cannot reach an agreement.

tdlawyer :

If the bailiffs are not responding to you (promptly, or at all), then you might need to make the application to the court anyway. I expect, in reality, that the visit today crossed with the conversation you had, and that they will hopefully reach some agreement with you.

Customer:

I didn't realise I could write to the court . If I tell the bailiff that I have done this will he have to back off?

tdlawyer :

He doesn't have to back off until the court says so, but they court will deal with this quickly.

Customer:

the letter I sent was last week and I only got a reply today

Customer:

his office obviously didn't communicate. Also the first time I rang the office , the woman told me the name of my bailiff and it was someone different

tdlawyer :

I think that probably comes with a big organisation sometimes.

tdlawyer :

I don't necessarily think there is anything underhand in it.

Customer:

not very good though if I am trying to sort this problem out

tdlawyer :

I agree! Sadly, you see standards of service drop whilst workloads increase these days, and every sector of industry/commerce seems affected! Bailiffs are no exception!

Customer:

my worry is that they wont accept my offer as I haven't heard good things about Equita bailiffs and I don't want them to take the car if I am out

tdlawyer :

The only thing you can try and do then until you have resolved things with an agreement is to hide the car!

tdlawyer :

And maybe apply to the court at the same time.

Customer:

what will they say when its gone and they have made a note of it .

Customer:

who do I write the letter to at the court

tdlawyer :

Just write it to the Clerk to the Magistrates.

tdlawyer :

They have to find it to take it!

Customer:

I will write the letter tonight and post it tomorrow , recorded delivery. I'll copy it , can I show it to the bailiff ,and will it make any difference?

tdlawyer :

Yes, you can show the bailiff. It might make a difference, they might give you 48 hours or so and the Court can deal with your emergency application in that time.

Customer:

ok, thank you for your help, I cant think of anything else to ask you .

Customer:

hopefully the bailiff will return my calls tomorrow

tdlawyer :

Thank you!

Customer:

when I write to the court do I include any bailff reference numbers

tdlawyer :

If you have them, yes, do that.

Customer:

thank you

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