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Stat Barred Council Tax bill with no LO but still threatening court action?

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  • Stat Barred Council Tax bill with no LO but still threatening court action?


    I need some help with an old Council Tax bill from 2012. I started receiving emails for a council tax bill from 2012. I couldn't remember when last payment or contact was so contested it as believed it was stat barred.

    The council chasing me have confirmed last payment date in May 2013 and no Liability Order has been made against me.

    However, I keep getting threatening emails from them stating they'll go for an AOE (when I was working) or now they will apply to DWP to take money out of my benefits.

    I have informed them I am a single mother to a 2 and a half week old child many times and that I have no money besides the small amount of benefits I receive. I have informed them of my vulnerability many times and yet they have not ceased with their threatening emails!

    Need some help as what to do next as now this is causing me a lot of undue stress, when I should be focusing on my new baby.

    Am i right in thinking that as they hold no LO and they have confirmed this balance is Stat Barred, they can no longer proceed with taking money from my benefits?

    If they carry on what are my next steps?

    Any help appreciated!

    Tags: None

  • #2
    Council tax never gets statute barred, sure somebody will confirm this ??? also found this:-

    A Council should not be able to apply for a Liability Order against you after the debt is statute barred. However if such an order is issued within the 6 years the debt can never then become statute barred.


    • #3
      I think thats still the cse but theres other things the council are supposed to do fter 6 years. ( not statute barr )

      I would not be sure its not on a LO.
      I have informed them I am a single mother to a 2 and a half week old child many times and that I have no money besides the small amount of benefits I receive. I have informed them of my vulnerability many times and yet they have not ceased with their threatening emails!
      Email the head of finance ( 151 officer ) ask them to consider the assistance fund due to the age of the debt and the position your in now. ask them to consider writing it off, and ask them to explain why they wont in writing within 14 days, and ask them to back off untill they respond.

      Post up on here what the respond if they dont back down

      crazy council ( as in local council,NELC ) as a member of the public, i don't get mad, i get even


      • #4
        Thank you both. Way i read that is if no Liability Order has been obtained within the 6 years then the balance can become Stat Barred?

        I was unable to find the head of finance for the council in question. Seems the old one left and they have not appointed an interim one yet. So I have emailed the Chief Executive instead with all the bits you stated and explaining the situation so now just waiting for his reply.

        I have also emailed the overpayments team requesting they suspend all action against me until my complaint is resolved. Ironic as they keep calling it an overpayment when it was Council Tax due so clearly they don't even know why they're chasing me in the first place!

        I hope within 14 days I come back with good news!

        Thanks again!


        • #5

          I have received no response from the head of finance and am still receiving letters from the benefits office saying ive broken a payment agreement (funny as ive not set any agreement up with them!).

          Theyre now threatening to take money out of my benefits which again I didnt think they could do if they dont hold LO and its stat barred?

          Ive even got written confirmation from them they hold no LO and its stat barred! This whole situation is stressing me out.

          Any advice on how to proceed appreciated!


          • #6
            The can only deduct council tax arrears from benefits if a liability order is in place for that balance - legislation is quite clear in that matter.

            Legislation also allows a period of 6 years from when the council tax fell due (i.e. when it was demanded) to obtain a liability order. If this is not obtained then it cannot be on the basis of that council tax demand.

            Last time I had a client with a similar threat I ended up writing a nice letter asking how they they were going to enforce a debt, by a method that required a liability order, without one...


            • #7
              So this saga continues!

              Ive now had a reply from the Chief Executive also stating I have to set up a payment arrangement or they will proceed with taking funds out of my benefits.

              He did not comment about my request for the assistance fund nor writing the debt off at all.

              At one point he says the debt owed is for council tax, then he states its for housing benefit?

              Im literally so confused by it all. They're bullying me into a corner to pay when I have nothing anyway. When they threaten to deduct it from my benefits they're threatening over 15 pounds a week (quite a lot in my circumstances).

              Everything Ive been told and read states that what they are threatening to do is illegal, yet everytime I raise this they just say they'll take it anyway!

              Any advice massively appreciated, I'm all out of ideas.


              • #8
                You need someone to look at it fully as I think there's a large element of confusion (easy when it's a system you're not familiar with - I've worked with council tax disputes for nearly 2 decades and the logic behind some parts still beats me).

                A 15 deduction from benefits can only be housing benefit though as a council tax deduction would be a far lower amount. You may however have council tax and housing benefit outstanding, that's quite common.


                • #9
                  The way the email is written, the Chief Exec doesn't sound like he knows what he's on about.

                  Any ideas of places I could contact?

                  Would this be something for my local Mp, the ombudsman?


                  • #10
                    The MP won't know council tax etc so all he can do is to ask the council. The ombudsman cannot consider the case until the council's complaint process is exhausted. The chief executive of the council is unlikely to be an expert on council tax so all he can do is to take advice from his staff.

                    For basic benefit and debt related queries there's cab etc but, in dealing with the more technical side of council tax, there's few of us out there unfortunately (thats because, if it's council tax legislation related, it can be quite a specialist, niche area).


                    • #11
                      Well they have now replied stating they have opened a stage 2 complaint into this! I was previously told I am unable to complain as had complained about it previously however now all of a sudden I'm able too again! Hopefully this will all be rectified and written off as soon as possible. Thanks for all your help!


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