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Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

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  • Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    Councils all over the country are issuing Hundreds of Summonses and seeking Liability Orders every week.. My local council brought 507 "cases" to Court this week..

    Before the Summons Date:
    - You should seek to make an arrangement with the Council. The money issue isn't going to go away: and staving off one Liability Order won't change the debt situation..
    - You should contact your local Councillor(s) and local MP(s) and inform them that you have been summonsed. Ask them to acknowledge that they have this information from you. Ask them to investigate the use of Summonses as a method of chasing Council Tax Arrears.
    Ask for their help in resolving the situation:

    Even ( especially) if you have made an agreement - you should, if possible, attend court

    - You can ask the magistrate to waive or reduce the court costs that the Council has added to your bill.
    Councils cannot make a financial gain on legal proceeding. EG 100 summonses heard together in one Magistrate's court sitting @ 100 costs on each summons = Huge Profit.
    The Magistrates cannot change that unless someone who has been summonsed asks them to..

    - You can ask that the liability order against you should not be granted:
    on the grounds that it is pre-emptive because you have put an agreement in place with the Council.. Therefore, on the day of the Summons, you are not under the new agreement liable for the amount quoted in the summons.
    on the grounds that it is against justice

    - You can ask for a ruling of "no case to answer". If the magistrates agree, then you will not be liable for costs and there will be no liability order issued.

    - You can look for a technical fault in the paperwork that you have received (or the paperwork that the court has received). If there is one you can ask the magistrates to rule that you have "no case to answer" What the Council has done should be in compliance with " The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations (1992)
    Particularly Section 23..

    - You have a right to Defend against the amount they are Claiming . If they are significantly wrong in fact, the magistrate can rule that you have "no case to answer"

    - If the way the Council has dealt with you raises "issues of justice" they can rule that you have "no case to answer"

    - You have a right to address the Court even if you have no defence..

    This is all you exercising your rights as a citizen.
    Remember - the Council has Summonsed You.. The Council has made a legal claim; the Council has to prove a) Their claim is just and accurate and b) they have made all reasonable attempts to come to an arrangement with you Before issuing the Summons.

    BEWARE --
    When you attend Court, there will be employees of the Council there. They may even have their own sign-in desk. The experience in many Counties is that the Council officials will try hard to dissuade you from going before the magistrates.
    Remember:
    - They summonsed you. You do not, on the court date, have to give them any details of your Council Tax history or your personal circumstances. They laid the claim against you. The onus to prove it lies with them. If they came to court without the details to prove their case -- they cannot reasonably expect you to fill in the gaps for them.
    -- You are answering a summons for a Civil, debt-collecting matter. Imagine it was, e.g., your gas supplier who had issued the summons..
    Anything you have seen on television about cautions etc. do not apply...

    I hope the admin. are OK about me mentioning another non - party political site: [Link removed]I found it really helpful for how to address the Magistrates etc..

  • islandgirl
    replied
    I agree re paragraphs but read this though. I issue liability orders. They usually come in bulk and the detail is not gone into individually - there would not be time. However we hear anyone who turns up. They have a right to explain why an order should not be issued. My colleagues and I have refused them several times. If you have a case and if you can show efforts to pay / set up a payment plan we will listen. However the onus is on you to do this. Bring proof. Bring details of attempts to set up a payment plan or have a meeting with the council. Sometimes we will order that a case has to come back in a few months if no payment plan has been set up or if the debt it not settled - this gives you time to sort it out. Police will not be interested. The system may not be perfect but it is not in my experience in any way corrupt.

    Leave a comment:


  • Popper
    replied
    Jojogogoxx above

    I'm in neighbouring county east Suffolk to yours in Norwich. I have east Suffolk stitch me up and file liability order that they admitted they couldn't prove who liable - just make any old person liable .
    Today they faked amount of 1200 against me. I file police report against them as it's criminal fraud. Account set up by my father in my name , not me. I have no permission for bill in my name. Council breached data protection act. They have no proof of my residency. Their solicitor laughed in my face saying ''' u put us in the press make sure you get good side of face for picture's '. They held case without me there - didn't let me in - wouldn't let me speak. Then granted it behind my back !. If don't owe it .don't pay. If they fake orders or documents file police report against staff. If breach data - file Complaint. I file police report against Yarmouth magistrates court judge .They can't fake documents it is a crime .

    They are all fraudsters setting people up for bills they know people don't owe. They get liablity orders on NO EVIDENCE PRESENTED .
    It is a corrupt syasym as can technically file orders and claims on anyone.

    Day from hell today because of East Suffolk council and great Yarmouth magistrates court judge. All liars. File a police report.

    Leave a comment:


  • ostell
    replied
    lack of paragraphs make it difficult to read and people, the volunteers, don't have to read it and won't bother to try. I gave up trying to read. It. I don't complain about lack of grammar

    You are helping yourself if you make it easier to read

    Leave a comment:


  • Jojogogoxx
    replied
    Sorry I am new to this and not quite sure how to use it ,and I am sorry you find my post difficult to read because of lack of paragraphs but I will remember next time after having to learn to read and write again after nearly dying from enchphelitis and being in a coma for 4 months ,that there are people out there like you who don't know you from Adam who will find fault and like to comment on poor grammar .

    Leave a comment:


  • ostell
    replied
    Why not start your own thread rather than hijack a 7 year old one ? And please put into paragraphs to make it easier to read

    Leave a comment:


  • Jojogogoxx
    replied
    Well I am beyond belief and I have heard it all now .Let me start at the beginning so you guys get the full picture I live in a 2 bed house with myself my adult son moved back about 5 and a half years ago as he had a mental breakdown and attempted SUICIDE he had a council flat at the time the council was aware of his issues self harming suicide attempts they eventually kicked him out giving him five days notice to clear his stuff he had no keys as they had secured the property and he eventually lost it all .he came to live with me cut a long story short he owed money rent arrears and council tax which he was paying off whilst here him and his partner had a daughter ,they all live with me now .they applied to go on the housing registered a few years back and the guy sat in my home and said once you get your rent arrears under 500 we will rehome you which he did .then I fell ill so they put off moving for a while .Now fast forward .I have been working then last year I fell ill with tumours ony sacrum and had to take the time of work I only received asp and top up of UC I still paid full rent and full CT they gave me 300 pcm board and lodging I started to struggle with the CT as son also lost his job due to covid they decided to reapply for housing anyway he was refused housing Which sent him on a downward spiral both me and his partner both had covid no money coming in he felt that he had failed he was told he had an outstanding debt from 6 years ago and if his partner applies and she got rehoused then he moved in they would evict them all he got so upset he snapped and told the advisor that he was better of dead and he was going to kill himself apparently the advisor scoffed and hung up that evening we had the Norwich police searching for him who found him about to jump of motorway bridge.I called the council next day to find out why my son was not safegaurded and no alarm was raised when he made this statement I was told to put it in writing it took over a month for the manager to respond who basically said because there was another adult in the house we Thot he was bluffing WTF not that the frame of mind he was in he or any body else could be in danger including his child .I have wrote to my mp who is about as useful as a wet blanket but this is the shocker it was about 3.35 yesterday afternoon and I was standing by my front door it has glass panels in and two letters get posted through one for me one for my son both of the council so I open mine and it's a court summons for non payment of council tax WTF my council tax is up to date apart from this month's payment which is due on the 28th march the court date is the 26th march so I called as soon as I gave my details I was hung up on luckily the citezens advice had called me and I managed to get through again to the council so they could join the conversation on the summons it said I owed 260 plus 45 court cost totalling 305 I asked how if I have paid 1145 off 1299 do they get 260 without court cost as my calculations is 154 my monthly payments are 108 set out on the schedule that was sent to me at beginning the year . This letter was issued after my last payment so god knows where they got that figure from .The lady from CAB told her you are inforcoing a bill that is not even over due and why was there no correspondence regarding this matter of summons the council said that they sent me a letter in Nov and they have not heard anything from me well that's a lie as I have an email from them confirming payments from an advisor saying my account is ok then she back peddled and said she sent a letter in Dec ?? And there was correspondence on their system that hadn't been answered yet I haven't sent them anything so another lie then the best one was because I have not been paying on the 28th of each month they are taking me to court it's a joke and to top it off its 30 miles away and they know I can't walk all for 44.00 if it doesn't get paid on the 28th with my 108 when it's due and this is Norwich city council for you vile total victimisation if you attempt to challenge them

    Leave a comment:


  • Debt Camel
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    Originally posted by wales01man View Post
    A Liability order is one of the best weapons a Council has. Its hard to fight it in a Magistrates Court. Hard to get rid of unless the debt is paid in full with the councils costs.
    Second attack is the Bailiff who once involved costs 75 and when he knocks on the door another 235 makes sense to sort a payment plan when anyone gets behind with payments before any action starts.

    As much as we all dislike the tactics it WILL happen so pay or arrange to pay.
    I too agree. The "theoretical" reason council tax arrears are a priority debt is because you can be sent to prison for not paying. The "practical" reason is that councils are the fastest creditors to go to court and then enforce via bailiffs.

    Leave a comment:


  • skilganon
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    Originally posted by wales01man View Post
    A Liability order is one of the best weapons a Council has. Its hard to fight it in a Magistrates Court. Hard to get rid of unless the debt is paid in full with the councils costs.
    Second attack is the Bailiff who once involved costs 75 and when he knocks on the door another 235 makes sense to sort a payment plan when anyone gets behind with payments before any action starts.

    As much as we all dislike the tactics it WILL happen so pay or arrange to pay.

    totally agree,

    this is why the councils are so keen to obtain these liability orders, once they have obtained a liability order they are then permitted to use their enforcement powers which aint nice.

    a) bailiffs ( more and very high costs) thanks to mr cameron and his 'gang' for that one
    b) an attachment of earnings whether you are on benefits or not ( as above)
    c) if you own your own home they can easily get an interim charging order on your property without you having the opportunity to defend in any way, a final charging order is then easy for them incurring more costs.
    d) obtain a county court judgement against you on the back of this LB incurring more costs, again without you even being aware that they have issued a claim in the county court.

    all food for thought

    Leave a comment:


  • wales01man
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    A Liability order is one of the best weapons a Council has. Its hard to fight it in a Magistrates Court. Hard to get rid of unless the debt is paid in full with the councils costs.
    Second attack is the Bailiff who once involved costs 75 and when he knocks on the door another 235 makes sense to sort a payment plan when anyone gets behind with payments before any action starts.

    As much as we all dislike the tactics it WILL happen so pay or arrange to pay.

    Leave a comment:


  • FlamingParrot
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    I got Summons 8 years ago, all I did was ring the council and pay with my debit card. :cell: Obviously it would be more complicated if you can't afford to pay. :mmph: Mine was an oversight where I thought I'd set up a direct debit.

    Leave a comment:


  • skilganon
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    oldnslow,

    that is a very good post, unfortunately not all councils conduct 'business' in the same way,

    my local council run the whole show , i have appeared in court on 3 occasions now for not being able to afford to pay the council tax in full

    not ONCE have i laid eyes on a magistrate let alone appeared before one, yet i have still had a liability order issued against me.

    well according to the council i have anyway , never actually seen one of these liability orders.

    Leave a comment:


  • Reluctant
    replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    Knowing what I do now, I wish I had done exactly as you state above.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Your rights when you receive a summons for Council Tax Arrears

    Excellent post Old'N'Slow thank you. I don't think there'd be any problems at all with you posting the link.

    Leave a comment:

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