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Thread: 11 year old council arrears

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    Default 11 year old council arrears

    I recently received a letter saying I owed £556 on council tax on a property I lived in over 10 years ago. When I went onto the council website and entered the reference number the council tax bill said £0 nothing owed. Sorry but surely after 10 years they can't come after you. I can't remember what I paid 10 years ago. Just Damn cheeky if you ask me??

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    The local authority are able to bill for and pursue monies from that length of time ago - what they can or can't do in respect of the amount depends on the when the demand notice was issued and whether they already have a liability order or not.

    What exactly what the letter you received ?


    Craig

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    How to I attach a picture?

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    Quote Originally Posted by Olliejoe View Post
    How to I attach a picture?
    Either click onto the go advanced tab at the bottom of the reply or email to kati@legalbeagles.info with a link to the thread and @Kati will sort it and post a copy with all personal date removed,
    Last edited by Kati; 14th June 2017 at 19:54:PM.

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    I have attached a pic of the letter
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sketch-1497463398043.jpg  

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    The mention of 14 days suggest that it is a 'request for information form' which is included. This is a legal notice under regulation 36 of the local government finance act 1992 (failure to provide the information can lead to a fine.) To issue a notice under regulation 36 would require a liability order has been granted. The form itself should tell you if it is the reg 36 form.

    Where a liability order has been granted the debt remains outstanding for as long as it remains unpaid or the council write it off.

    Craig

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    Still. Think it's a joke. How am I meant to know what I paid over 10 years ago and plus there was no other form inside. It easily could be council pulling a fast one

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    I am no expert but have you called the council to ask when the liability order was issued because if it hasn't been then I think the debt would be statute barred.

    Again I am no expert but even with a liability order I am not sure if SB can be used.

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    I have spoken to a friend who works at the council and they have asked a senior council tax staff member and they both say it's a bit dodge.

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    I would personally try to get something from the horses mouth so to speak. I would never trust , even a friend , unless they were qualified when this sort of thing is involved.

    I have seen cases where people thought something was a bitty 'dodge' and ended up with trouble.

    Once you have spoken to someone get it in writing as well

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    Quote Originally Posted by Olliejoe View Post
    I have spoken to a friend who works at the council and they have asked a senior council tax staff member and they both say it's a bit dodge.
    Nothing dodgy at all in respect of council tax legislation - it's perfectly legal to chase, even after 11 years. Most local authorities won't chase debts back that far but that is through choice more than anything.

    The question of the 11 years may be relevant to the action, it may not - it depends on the circumstances. Most likely they've long since obtained the liability order and have only just located an address at which they've managed to contact you.

    I am no expert but have you called the council to ask when the liability order was issued because if it hasn't been then I think the debt would be statute barred.

    A council tax charge can be revised at any point in time, the amount doesn't become 'due' until a demand notice has been issued. Once the demand notice is issued the 6 year time for obtaining a liability order starts ticking only from that point. Once the liability order is obtained then then debt remains outstanding until it is discharged - by payment, being written off etc.

    If a liability order is not obtained within the 6 years then the council can still try and chase a debt but they have no powers to enforce recovery.

    Still. Think it's a joke. How am I meant to know what I paid over 10 years ago and plus there was no other form inside. It easily could be council pulling a fast one
    If they have a liability order then there's no need for them to prove anything further as the court has already determined the amount is due and granted the order. Nothing to stop you contacting the council though and asking why there has been the time delay - council's have little enough time and staff to get by with out trying to 'pull a fast one' on you.

    I have seen cases where people thought something was a bitty 'dodge' and ended up with trouble.
    Yep, I've personally dealt with many cases like that over the years.

    Craig

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    OK I understand all your points but they don't say anything about a liability order in the letter and when I checked online to check the council tax balance when I entered my reference number it said I owed £0 so how does that work?

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    Quote Originally Posted by Olliejoe View Post
    OK I understand all your points but they don't say anything about a liability order in the letter and when I checked online to check the council tax balance when I entered my reference number it said I owed £0 so how does that work?
    It's relatively common for the council's online systems to not show balances which are from previous years or for which a liability order has been granted (the default balance systems would show would be set to £0.00) so that in itself isn't an indication.

    The only way you'll know for certain regarding a liability order etc is to ask them however the wording of it would make me think they have and they are referring to a regulation 36 notice (which is for after a liability order) - the letter though, as you say, is not clear. I used to get peed off when I saw similar vague letters getting issued as they do nothing to help anyone - I always set out all of the amounts and the dates of any orders which had been issued.

    Craig

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    Default Re: 11 year old council arrears

    Quote Originally Posted by Olliejoe View Post
    I recently received a letter saying I owed £556 on council tax on a property I lived in over 10 years ago. When I went onto the council website and entered the reference number the council tax bill said £0 nothing owed. Sorry but surely after 10 years they can't come after you. I can't remember what I paid 10 years ago. Just Damn cheeky if you ask me??
    Hi Olliejoe

    It is possible that this level of debt arises from a relatively small initial amount. The way that Councils work is that they tend to send only 2 reminders if you fall behind on CTax instalments, then they go to Court for a Liability Order. When they do that they add costs so the bill escalates. They will do this even if the original debt is only £5.

    I don't know what your personal circumstances were back then but please don't ignore the letter. In the first instance I would visit your local Citizen's Advice Bureau as they have specialists there who can intercede on your behalf and obtain the information that you so clearly need - "how the bill got to this stage and is it actually all CTax or CTax plus costs and what billing period it relates to". Once CAB become involved, the Council should place a hold on any further action until some sort of agreement can be reached.

    As far as payment of your CTax is concerned, the onus is on you to prove that you paid the bill. If you paid your Council tax by direct debit, but don't have or keep bank statements, I don't know if your bank can help with providing bank statements for that tax year. However when you actually know what period the debt relates to it may well be worth asking if they can provide copies.

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