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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
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Experience:  Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
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Can anyone please help/advise with this situation? I received

Customer Question

Can anyone please help/advise with this situation? I received a letter from a debt recovery company in 2007 stating that I owed community charge/council tax on a previous property for £220. I disputed this with the council and after 6 months they replied to my letters, stating that a liability order was issued in 1992. I informed them that I had paid my cc/ct by cheque and cash at the council offices. However, they said that unless I produce proof of payment (after almost 20 years) then I remain liable.

I made a complaint with the Local Ombudsman and they advised me to use the council complaints procedure. I did this, but the complaint was dismissed and I was further informed that more arrears had been discovered for the 1993 period for £270.

During the council appeals process I met with officers from the council tax dept and they accepted that I had always paid my council tax without any issues apart from 1992/93 however; they confirmed that a different computer system was used during that time and my alleged arrears had not been merged with the current computer.

They also accepted that up until I left my last property my council tax bills did not show any arrears for that property nor has any of my bills for my current property shown any arrears. They also confirmed that I contacted the council prior to moving to my current address to update them on my address change and that I was told that my council direct debit was set up and my account for my last address was all clear and paid up. The council officers informed me that council employee who provided that information was wrong but she would not have had access to the old computer system. I again reiterated that I had paid my cc in 1992/94 at the council offices but this was rejected by the senior officer stating that he was one of the cash operatives during that time, and all payments were accounted for – no shortages or overpayments and without my receipts I was liable for the debts.

I wrote further letters from 2008 until present to the council requesting further information and clarity about the alleged debts including details about the liability orders and the way my complaints have been handled, but I have not received replies. Nor did I receive a reply to a data request relating to my community charge/council tax. This was submitted and paid for in 2008.

I moved from my last property in 2001 to my current property. The council new of my move as stated above, but the council did not contact me about the alleged debts until October 2007.

Following on-going harassment that I have been receiving from debt recovery agencies, I wrote again to the head of finance asking him to investigate the matter and address the issues that I have raised on numerous occasions. I copied the Chief Executive, Finance Director and relevant Councillors. Following this, I finally received a replay informing me that I am liable for the debt and the Council is considering an attachment of earnings.

I maintain that I do not owe this money and paid by cash and cheques at the council offices twenty years ago. I have asked them to provide specific details relating to the debts and I will willingly pay any monies owed, but they have not supplied any. I have also requested this information in support of my original complaint to the Local Ombudsman in 2008.

Sorry if this situation is troublesome, but I would really appreciate the best way to conclude the matter.

Thank you - Paul
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Fran-mod replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I'm a moderator for this topic. I've been working hard to find a professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Fran,
Unfortunately, I can not wait any longer for an answer. Please can you tell me how I can obtain a refund?

Thank you

John
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Fran,
I do not want to wait for an answer, please cancel my question.

Thank you

John

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Ben Jones
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Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law