On 22 Jul 2011 at 3:10pm Iana wrote:
I've just got off the phone with LDC who are demanding I pay court fees as they had to - as the say - take me to court for late payment of Council Tax. I have always paid my council tax, albeit late at times as I was not allowed to set up a direct debit in the past. This time I'm refusing to pay the £85 charge.
Has anyone else been in this position? LDC must send 1000s of letters to people and charge them ¬£85 each. What happens to that money? Does everyone pay? Does anyone even go to court? I don‚??t know of any other company who deal so aggressively with the general public!
On 22 Jul 2011 at 3:26pm i dont live in lewes... wrote:
I pay my CT monthly online in 10 instalments and confess I do sometimes forget to pay. They usually send a snotty letter along with a reminder that they will require all outstanding amounts if I'm nawty again.
I am usually nawty again...
On 22 Jul 2011 at 4:02pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
Iana, they have to pay the court fees with it!!! They only resort to court after you have ignored their requests for a while.
On 22 Jul 2011 at 6:25pm Anne Arkey wrote:
Quite right EBM.
Iana, you need to be repsonsible for the costs you incur in life. It is not fair to expect the taxpayer to bale you out.
On 22 Jul 2011 at 6:29pm Dave wrote:
If you ignored reminders and they instigated court proceedings, LDC have to pay. People like you who pay late cost the rest of us, unless you pay the extra admin costs you have caused. If you have difficulty paying talk to them early, to see if they will help.
Are you the Iana who has a daughter who is a councillor ? If so, she can tell you how late payment affects councils and businesses badly.
On 23 Jul 2011 at 8:16am Vesbod wrote:
Pay by direct debit, then you won't forget !!
On 23 Jul 2011 at 10:33am Iana wrote:
LDC refused to let me pay by direct debit saying that they don't have that facility. That was 3 years ago! I had resorted to paying by standing order, a payment that stops after 10 months. It is only this time, when I got my councillor involved that I was told that I can, after all pay by direct debit. I have over 15 payments going out monthly via DD, so am not someone trying to scam the system. My question was whether the letters sent by LDC saying that one is taken to court are actually, really, acted upon or whether each person paying £85 multiplied by 100s of people is giving money to LDC that is unacounted for. Does anyone know?
On 23 Jul 2011 at 10:43am Iana wrote:
EBM, One letter sent to me in May (one month following end of standing order) saying I didn't pay so have to pay full amount straight away, followed by a court summons in next letter plus £85 court costs - prior to going to court!), followed by bailifs letter (once I'd already paid all outstanding amonts and arranged direct debit payments), does seem excessive. And you don't think that they actually go to court with each individual case, do you? These are block bookings with one LDC representitive attending spending no more than a few minutes in front of the magistrates. What a waste of money and no, it's not the tax payer footing the bill - it is I and others like me who are a month or two late setting up payment methods which we have been told to do and which are inadequate for a temporary 10 month payment scheme which kicks in again two months later.
On 23 Jul 2011 at 1:17pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
It's the court that charges the council for the paperwork. That's how much it costs to make a claim at the county court. You were warned and you didn't pay or, by the sounds of it, get in touch with the council to sort out the situation. Whether it is an oversight by you or just a case of "so what if I don't pay on time" you've still incurred these costs. Pay up, look big and pay on time next year. But most of all stop bleating, it's your fault.
On 23 Jul 2011 at 5:47pm sashimi wrote:
Iana, EBM's right. The Council are just passing on the charges. But more than that, an outstanding County Court Judgement significantly affects your credit rating. What's more, the Council may routinely pass the account on to bailiffs to collect for them - and, if they are involved, they are not light footed and they add considerable additional charges on top. I remember bailiffs calling to collect a CCJ against one of my sons who refused to pay a £30 Brighton parking charge "because it was unfair". We had to pay ¬£360 to settle it and because he lived at our address our credit rating was affected and we couldn't get a mobile phone contract. If you get a letter marked 'Final Warning' saying someone is taking you to court either pay up or make sure you dispute it.
On 23 Jul 2011 at 5:53pm Fairmeadow wrote:
If you can prove that Lewes DC told you you could not pay by direct debit, when actually we all know that you can (and have been able to for yonks), then you have a case.
If they are charging you court fees when they did not actually take you to court, then you have a case. You would know if they were taking you to court, because the court would notify you and give you an opportunity to defend the case.
In either of those situations you can appeal, if necessary all the way to the Local Government ombudsman, and you should tell Lewes DC that you intend to do so. NB: this will take a bit of time and effort, but you should win.
If neither of the above apply, then you should pay up.
On 23 Jul 2011 at 6:25pm Cliffebimbo wrote:
I work for LDC and no, the money is not kept by the Council, it is as people have said before, a cost passed on by the Courts. The direct debit facility has been available for years and does not stop after the 10 months, it would automatically restart in April. You control a standing order so it is your responsibility to make sure that it starts again at the start of the new tax year. I don't think you have a case by the way, BUT if you ring the Council tax office and explain you are having problems paying, they maybe able to help.
On 24 Jul 2011 at 9:47am Iana wrote:
Thank you sashimi and Fairmeadow. Your advise is helpful. In the light of what you and others have said I'll just have to pay up the £85 - but it is unfair!
Cliffebimbo, I'm not sure you read my thread correctly. I was TOLD that I couldn't pay by DD which is why I DIDN'T SET ONE UP. I had to resort to setting up a Standing Order which stopped after 10 months, and I KNOW it was my responsibility to renew a standing order. That's not what the thread is about, its about the LDCs heavy handedness and the ¬£85 charge per person.
I am sure the LDC has a dedicated team of legal advisers fighting its corner, (I've temped at ESCC claims dept and know how efficient they are at refusing claims!) which is why I'm not going to take this further.
I know life is unfair and when one messes up they have to clear up their own mess, it's just that I'm weary of the charges and fees, and penalties that we now have to put up with in everyday life.
Thank you to those who've helped. I'm pleased I didn't get too may negative responses - somewhat of a hazard when seeking help and sympathy on the Lewes Forum.
On 24 Jul 2011 at 11:56am Vesbod wrote:
Very odd you weren't allowed to set a DD up - do you remember the person that told you that Iana, if so, go back to them with the evidence.
On 24 Jul 2011 at 4:10pm Chuck wrote:
Never had a problem setting up a DD with LDC, in fact we did it years ago. Always find out a name is my advice, if you want recourse.
On 25 Jul 2011 at 8:08am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Not sure why you think some of the threads are negative, just because you wanted everyone to sympathise with your inability to manage your financial affairs does not make the responses negative. You say you are weary of the charges fees and penalties of everyday life "we" have to put up with. Just how many of these do you pick up?
On 25 Jul 2011 at 9:38am Negative language wrote:
I hate the way the new bill for the year ahead of Council Tax is labelled "Final Demand Notice". I also hate the way we are forced into paying more per month for 10 months with the "gift" of two months without payment. They say it's to ease pressure after Christmas but then why not have the two free months as Jan & Feb? I would much rather pay 12 monthly installments since, well, this is how many months are in a year.
On 25 Jul 2011 at 4:26pm Cliffite wrote:
Well the Tories have just pledged not to raise the amount we pay for 2012/13, so that's nice
Check it out here »
On 26 Jul 2011 at 8:01am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Only trouble is, the less you pay in, the less you get out. Unless you're talking public sector pensions!!