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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I wonder if you can give me some advice. Back in August I had

Customer Question

I wonder if you can give me some advice. Back in August I had a letter from our local council offices saying that we were one month in arrears on our council tax, but I didn't actually get the letter until beginning of September, but in the mean time it had gone to court and they had the bailiffs involved. I rang the bailiffs on seven occassions to which I didn't get a reply or he said he would ring me back. In the meantime. I got in touch with the council, who said that if I paid my council tax in full nothing would happen, which is what I did. I've had four letters from the bailiffs stating that they want their money, to which I wasn't aware of saying that I need to pay their charges, but they haven't been round at all, and one of them used threating behaviour towards my husband when he finally got through. I am still getting letters from them, even though I've paid my council tax in full, the council are not communicating between themselves and the bailiffs. I've had contacted the bailiffs between September when I got the first letter and the last letter which I received today, where do I stand. I need help and advice.
Carmelina Graffato
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
What exactly would you like to know?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Jomo1972 I need to know whether I have to pay for charges being that I've paid my council tax in full, plus court fees. And I've been in touch with them from the first letter and told them that its been paid and that I owe nothing

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
It depends what has happened.

I'm afraid that if there is a liability order against you that had already gone to bailiffs at the time that you paid then you are liable for their fees.

The fees would have been very small at that time but probably would have inflated because the bailiffs would have done more work.

If the liability order had not gone to the bailiffs at the time that you paid then you are not liable as the referral would have been in error.

I suspect though that the person at the council gave you misinformation and that the liability order was with the bailiffs. You need to get to the bottom of that but it wouldn't be unusual.

If you didn't get the letter then you might be able to try to get the liability order set aside although that is always an incredible difficult exercise.

You can also pursue the bailiffs at the county court if there is evidence of overcharging but you need to get a breakdown of their fees first as you would be liable for their costs if you lost.

I am sorry but thats your position
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Jomo1972


They haven't actually done any work as such, as we got in touch with them straight away. The bailiff in question never returned any of my calls or my husbands towards the end of the month, looks like to me that he has purposely delayed the phonecall just to make more money.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Yes, they have. They have written to you several times at least and they are entitled to charge for that.

They will probably charge for phone calls and any tracing activity although those costs would be very low.

It only really gets expensive if they visit.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

For Jomo1972


But I've done all the phonecalls and I received 2 letters today, so in total I've had 3 letters. They have not actually telephoned more than twice since September, so should I charge them for all the phonecalls that I've made then

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
No. The liability order is against you for non payment of council tax. They can charge you for debt collection because you defaulted.

You have no claim against them because they did not default.

I'm sorry but once a liability order or a CCJ goes to bailiffs you have to pay their fees unfortunately.