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council tax ,help.

Bilge rat 1

Big Landy Fan
got a big prob with council tax. about two years ago we set up a standing order to pay monthly. they took the whole amount out for the year. left us well and trully in it. contacted the bank they set up an o/draught to help us pay the mortgage. contacted the council who said they hadnt got the money. anyway after loads of phone calls and one week later it was a clerical error and we were refunded the money less one payment. being on wftc, the tax bill never is straight forward. from then we paid as they said for the amount they said. now nearly 2 years down the line they have said we owe them nearlly 700 pound. so to sort out we have had to contact the bank to get old statements. in the mean time this years c/tax last week we had a letter saying we were 38 pound in credit. today we get a letter saying we owe them 360 pound, due to us not telling them our youngest was in play group. they now want all receipts for this. so upto now thats 700 and 360 poundwe owe then we have this year to pay for. sorry about the long winded letter but can they get away with altering bills in this way. do i have any sort of legal wright ?. to say we are in the stuck is an understatement. any advice would be great thanks . alan.....
 
You have my deepest sympathy :(

We've paid whole amount of council tax for several yrs now despite being told we are eligible. I still keep the reams of paperwork generated when we did claim. Each wk they re-assessed benefit based on money in/money out, notional income etc.
Eventually after a chq we recieved that they had already been told about 3mths before (& already been taken into account as 'notional earnings') meant they issued a court order to reclaim benefit given with the threat of bailifs & £100 fine for my partner which they later told us if we hadn't paid straight away then they would have issued another court order for me with another £100 fine.
Try not to panic.. but start to keep a clear list of all phone calls to any relevant departments. Names, dates & times & what the conversation was about. List dates bank paid DD & try to stick to 1 main person at your council benefits dept.

It did ease state of mind slightly when they told us to consider that paying mthly was a privilege & that very few places give customers such 'credit' without charging interest so we should consider ourselves lucky.
 
thanks for the advice, and heres me with stress and been suffering with panic attacks for the last three years. about all i need. the mrs aint too chuffed as you can imagine. cant really do much untill the bank get back to us. thanks alan.....
 
It did ease state of mind slightly when they told us to consider that paying mthly was a privilege & that very few places give customers such 'credit' without charging interest so we should consider ourselves lucky.

They honestly said that, my reply would be you should be so lucky that some people pay up to a year in advance and don't charge the council interest.
 
it seems a total joke what they have done i just dont see the right that they mess up you pay as told then they come back to you later and tell you you owe more ?. alan....
 
The list keeping.. won't reduce your stress unless you allow it to.

If you find that a few clear sentances in date order written at the time in a notebook mean you don't have to carry the 'whole' crisis in your head at one time. (which tends to make you relive it over & over) Hopefully it should give you a feeling of being in control.. Should any official spring a question on you which would throw you into panic you can simply make them wait while you thumb through in an order known to you.

If there is anyone you trust who can loan you the money rather than paying undue interest to the bank then try. NOT to pay for the whole yrs tax ('cos I bet they won't give you benefit if you've proven you have means with which to pay them off) BUT to ensure you have just enough in your account for the direct debit payments without incurring extra charges that the council will not re-emburse you with even if they were at fault.
All they will do is say.. "Go to a Tribunal if you think you have just cause" & all that will do is drag you further down, take longer to sort out, give you more info to worry over.. let alone have any idea if you are right.
At the end of it the council will lay blame at the door of the Family Tax Credit Dept & vice versa, leaving you to feel screwed but without the pleasure.

Oh... & your first post said that they took the whole amount out at once.
If you had a direct debit agreement with the bank then they were the ones to break that agreement & at least ought to bend over backwards to make sure you do not have to pay interest for their mistake & you going overdrawn & at best should submit an apologetic amount of 'sorry money' into your account. I could be wrong on this bit of info as the government have their ways & one of the things you agree to when you claim benefit is to allow them access to your account details in cases of fraud.. See,s they were a bit too quick off the mark. They should have given you some thing in writing before they took your/their money.
 
They honestly said that, my reply would be you should be so lucky that some people pay up to a year in advance and don't charge the council interest.
When you reach the point of begging & being threatened with court proceeding after being told time & time again that "of course you can claim if you think you are entitled" you learn to say "Thank-you" not disagree.
Besides... when the house is yours they know you have an asset & they have no duty to care if you loose it. They know you have no choice but to pay.. not as if you can make a home disappear.
 
Councils and money, don't talk to me about them. Paid Derby City Council one months rent on the 3rd september 2006, our final payment, as we were finishing our tenancy on 3rd october 2006 to move to Pembrokeshire. Got a letter from them november last year saying we still owe them 2 weeks rent!!! Asked them for statements, all they seemed to manage to send was poxy printouts of screenshots off a computer that told us absolutely nothing.

I still don't understand where the hell they dreamt up this figure from but couldn't be bothered to argue, got better things to do. We just offered them a fiver a month for the next 2 years and they were happy with that. If I still lived in Derby I would have gone down to the council office and had a scrap with them but just too much trouble with the distance involved:(

cheers, Tim
 
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