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Thread: Letter from ex-address re: council tax of £234.56!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010

    Letter from ex-address re: council tax of £234.56!

    Hi all, Would like your take on the following:

    At beginning of year 2000 I lived for a short while in a flat in Trafford. At the time I was in receipt of IB, DLA and IS. I left this flat 2003/2004. For the past 10 years I have lived in different borough and at present address for over 4 years.

    Have today received letter addressed to my now address regarding unpaid council tax? The format of the letter does not look correct and the wording also seems 'dodgy'. The previous address that they refer to in Trafford is correct. The letter reads exactly as follows: (although I have missed some personal information out for security reasons)

    'Dear Mr. ????????

    Re: (reference number given and related address with postcode).

    Further to a recent trace we have located you at the above address. I can confirm that you have
    an outstanding Council Tax Balance of £234.56. Please be advised this has reached a
    serious stage and therefore you must contact within 14 days to discuss repayment.

    Failure to respond to this notification will result in your account being issued to the
    bailiff for collection without further notification to you.

    If you have any further queries please contact the Recovery section on the above number.

    Yours sincerely,

    Recovery Assistant.'

    In addition to the wording of the letter, it has also been signed in pen by a human being, not stamped.
    I also find the amount outstanding to be of interest, in that the amount contains consequential numbers,

    Are there any members in Trafford area who can say whether this sounds like a genuine letter they might receive,
    or any other peeps wish to comment on the content form.

    I would also like advice and opinions from anybody else who has been 'traced' and old council tax bills over 10 years
    old being sent for enforcement.

    Also, if this turns out to be correct, as it has been over 10 years since I have not heard anything of outstanding council tax bill (which should not be in any event as received IS at that time) is this legally enforceable?

    Any further advice welcomed.

  2. #2
    Senior Member firebird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    North Lincolnshire
    I would ring the police

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I would call Trafford Council directly and/or write to them for clarification. I would not ignore it, but don't pay anything until or if you have confirmation.

    Once you know whether it is correct then you can decide your next step.

  4. #4
    If they class it as avoidance, I don't believe there is any time limit, a search with google will find other councils after old debts found a couple 12 years old, Providing a LO was obtained within 6 years of it being due then it is never Statute Barred. Plenty 10 year old bills in searches.


  5. #5
    Senior Member susieboots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Sleaford, Lincs
    Davewhit is correct. I would contact the Council however because you were surely liable for Council Tax based on your Benefits income. I certainly would not advise to ignore it because if you are liable, then you would incur extra charges. Check with the Council the details on the letter - address/reference/name of person sending etc to validify. Good luck. Susie

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Different Councils have different rules for writing off debt, I know that first hand after having to deal with my late Fathers estate, but that was something needed in writing after negotiation and i had to contact them to get it sorted

    Call them, it probably is a pishiing scam given the amount owing, but better to know for sure.

    Questions to ask, do have an old debt owing to a Council? if not move on, if so ... maybe just call them and ask?

    This does go back to 2000/2004 guys, I know my Council dont date debt that far back even in these dark times, but they are all run differently.
    Last edited by Katana; 15-05-13 at 20:10.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    As they are only requesting you contact them I can't see the problem, it's easy enough to check whose on the end of the line and check the phone number given.
    There is no time limit on Govt debts as with civil debts. Many LA's accounting is privatised and they have an interest in tracing and chasing any debt.
    The bottom line is don't hand over any money till you know what's going on.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Many thanks for all responses. I will contact them, but hate phoning. May email (marking email with phrase 'this communication does not consititute recognition of debt or that I owe the amount referred') asking for dates concerned, as I said before was on IB, DLA and IS, although this was paid by means of collecting monies at post office with the old giro/payment book!

    A final thought that I seek clarification is that, I know back then absolutely no deductions could be made direct from source of sickness benefits, as a friend back then asked them to take monies owing for owed council tax but they were not allowed to by law, as sickness benefits were exempt from deductions being taken. He was only on IB at the time. Does anybody know if that rule still stands today or can deductions be made from source even from ESA and/or DLA?

    Will let know how things turn out after weekend.

    Again, many thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by spencer69 View Post
    can deductions be made from source even from ESA and/or DLA?
    Yes they can take from source and even bank accounts.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Surely if on IS Income support you were exempt from council tax? If this is the case then ask them very politely how they came to the total mentined.
    Human error or fraud springs to mind.
    Do not ring the number on the letter but get the council number from the web or a current bill. Also google the number on the letter you recieved.
    Last edited by Cornwall; 16-05-13 at 06:29.

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