A regular needing advice on balliffs..

Discussion in 'Slimming World Off Topic' started by Anon help, 7 July 2011 Social URL.

  1. Anon help

    Anon help Member

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    Hi

    I'm a regular on here but had to go anon as I've a few friends on here.

    We've got an account with Equita for unpaid council tax. We pay £35 a month. I totally forgot to pay last months payment & we received a removal notice hand delivered through the door today. It says if we don't pay the full balance within 24 hours they'll remove our goods whether we're here or not.

    It says to call the balliff manager or failure to do so means refusal to pay. Well i phoned him & he said oh I'll ring you back. I've had no call back.

    I just totally forgot the payment last month as I've 3 small children & have other things to pay so just slipped my mind. The last 2 months before I've phoned up to pay I've asked to set up a direct debit as I can't always remember and they said they haven't got that facility. Surely if they can take card payments they should be able to? This makes me think it's something dodgy.

    I'm not working & its just H wage coming in so we're juggling things so there is no way i can make full payment.

    Advice please what shall i do? Are Equita legit? Why can't they set up a direct debit?

    It really stresses me out as I've post natal depression & don't need added pressures.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Anon help

    Anon help Member

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    I just rang the balliff again & he said oh sorry did I not ring you back. He now wants to charge me £90 to put me back on the £35 a month payment but I need to pay within 24 hours or they're coming to take our things.

    Please anyone any advice on what to do? Can he just charge an extra £90???
     
  4. IreneH

    IreneH Gold Member

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    I'd ring the CAB and ask their advice.

    Irene xx
     
  5. slickers

    slickers Full Member

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    yep they can charge you what they like seen a tv programme all about what they can do and yes they can enter your house the more they call or come to house the more they add on to bill can be £200 a time
     
  6. louise1979

    louise1979 Full Member

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    i would also ring up for further advice
    they cannot take what you havent got, i have a friend who last year was in i similar situation and only one wage coming in with small children , they cant just come in to your property but if you show you are dealing with it and get the law on your side it will be sorted im sure (my friend was sorted and she owed 25000 pound
     
  7. -Laura-

    -Laura- Silver Member

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    Have you seen this - Equita Bailiffs re. Council Tax? Looks like it's a fairly common issue, and there is some advice offered on there (plus links to similar threads), though not sure how relevant it will be to you?

    I don't have any personal experience or advice to offer though, sorry :( Hope you manage to get something sorted soon though.
     
  8. kingleds

    kingleds Gold Member

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    I'm afraid if they are court appointed (which they generally are for council tax arrears) they absolutely have the right to come into your house, even if you aren't there - but they cannot break in - so its up to you to make sure that they can't get in if you are out. In fact, it is in your interests to be there because there are certain items they cannot take. Your childrens clothing, toys, beds, clothes storage etc. You need to be there to idenitfy these things.

    Similarly, they cannot take anything which you have on hire purchase or do not own outright. eg, if you bought your TV on credit and haven't paid it off, they can't take it (You need ot be able ot prove you still owe on it though). They are not allowed to take your fridge,freezer, cooking equipment, washing machine.

    Do you live in rented accomodation? If so they cannot take anything that the landlord owns either.

    As i said, its in your interest to be there because otherwise, they could easily take the mick.
     
  9. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    I found this...........

    NEVER let the bailiff into your house and specifically request they leave your property and advise the police if they refuse to leave.

    If they are admitted/let into your house they have established a legal right to re enter at a later time.........you don't want that!!

    Read up on your rights regarding Bailiff action and be alert and prepared because they (bailiffs) don't comply with them in the hope you are ill informed so not to notice

    BAILIFF - Equita - Advice Please? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers

    Also speak to www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

    Please try not to be frightened. Get in touch with the National Debtline.......look on their website for a phone number ring them today and try to give yourself some peace of mind.

    Their methods sound to me as if they border on extortion. They rely on frightening you.

    hugs xxx
     
  10. Anon help

    Anon help Member

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    Thanks everyone

    I phoned National debt helpline. They said that the most they can charge is £42.50. He has advised that I should phone him back & ask to go back on the payment plan. He says if he refuses, don't let them in as they've no right. if they break in I need to call the police.

    I asked what to do if he doesn't accept payment plan. he said to put the monthly payment aside and do nothing. They balliffs then apparently pass the debt back to the council & they'll get in touch. If it ends up going to court I can legally say to the judge that I've got the money they refused to accept it & the reasons that a payment was missed. He also said to get in touch with the council directly & see if they'll take the debt back.

    I'm going to give the balliff a call now & see what he says.
     
  11. fillymum

    fillymum synful soul

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    Ring the council too. If they agree it might be easier and less stressful in the future to pay them

    I am glad you contacted The National Debt Help line. They are on your side and there to help you.

    Do not let the bailiff bully or frighten you. If he threatens you more than he has done......tell him you are calling the police and reporting his abusive behaviour to them.

    Try and remember this, you owe some money, you have not committed murder, keep it in perspective.
     
  12. traymanda

    traymanda Full Member

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    Hi, I used to be a bailiff for the courts I have sent you a private message...xx
     
  13. Anon help

    Anon help Member

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    hiya

    I never got the message think its because I've less than 50 posts..

    I'm not sure if there's a way around this.
     
  14. Starlight

    Starlight Gold Member

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    Once the debt is passed to a debt collector the council wont discuss it direct I believe
     
  15. Atomic pink

    Atomic pink Gold Member

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    You can request that a council "takes back" the debt, especially if you can claim you would qualify under the "vulnerable debtor" group. Practice varies wildly from council to council on whether they will actually do this but it is definitely worth a try.

    Have the bailiffs previously gained entry to the property by being let in by someone over the age of 18 who normally resides there? If so they will have what is called a "walking possession order" and can, as others have suggested, gain entry again to the property, even if you aren't there. They will have gone round the house and noted down your possessions and asked someone to sign it. If they have not gained entry it is imperative not to let them in. If you need to talk to them do so from a window. An upstairs one preferable.

    Debt collection agencies often do not offer direct debit facilities but you can set up a standing order with your bank for payment plans. You also have much more control over a standing order than a direct debit so is a better option anyway.

    Hope it works out for you.
     
  16. Anon help

    Anon help Member

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    No they've never gained entry. I've told my husband not to answer the door & we've closed the kitchen window so they can't get in the flat that way.

    I wasn't sure how a standing order works, do I need Equita's bank account details?

    I spoke to Equita's office & they weren't prepared to discuss the balliff charge of £90. Also they have it on the automated answer thing that if you wish to set up a DD press 3..(or whatever number it was) when I asked they said they can set them up if they chose to but weren't prepared to for me.

    Also it said on the automated thing after I put in account number 'you have an arrangement on this account do you wish to pay by debit/credit card' I'm thinking of just ringing & making the payment tomorrow. I'm not sure if this will stop the balliff coming but at least it shows I've been making payments if it does go to court.
     
  17. Atomic pink

    Atomic pink Gold Member

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    You will need the bank details to set up a standing order, yes. Request them over the phone, if they don't provide them request them in writing and send the letter recorded delivery. In my experience debt collection agencies do not set up direct debits, its not that they "can't", but will let you set up standing orders (I deal with them regularly professionally).

    As regard bailiffs if you haven't let them in previously then the only way they can gain entry is with a court warrant. These take a long time to get and would not be granted for one missed payment when you have been adressing the debt with a payment plan so don't worry too much about this.

    It won't hurt to pay by debit card via telephone in the mean time but it won't resolve any issues regarding the fee placed on the account or issues in future around forgetting to make the payment. I would write a letter clearly requetsing the information on why they have added a fee in excess of what you have been adviced is legal and request this is reduced.

    Good luck. Dealing with debt collection agencies isn't exactly my favourite pasttime even when I am getting paid for it.
     
  18. louise1979

    louise1979 Full Member

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    hi told you nothing to worry about,even though it isnt nice having something like this but let us know what happens
     
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