Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Copy of an email to Greenwich Council Tax Department

Dear council tax department,

I am writing to you whilst beside myself with rage at the council's complete ineptitude and malevolent collection practices for wrongly taking me to court in my absence and wrongly issuing a county court judgment against me for money that I don't actually owe.

I refer to summons number 1*****4 which you had informed me was cancelled. I will outline here the history of this case and the steps that the council is going to take to rectify it.

Case history

  1. I had a summons from you because when I swapped bank accounts you didn't transfer over my direct debit when my bank sent you the details
  2. As soon as I received it, I called you. I paid the overdue amount and updated the direct debit details. The payment reference for this is CEP0******4 - I paid it on 5th November at 10:39am
  3. I was informed that the £95 costs would not be charged and that the remaining payments would go out on my amended direct debit with the first payment happening at the start of November
  4. I was also told that the court summons would be cancelled with immediate effect and that I needed to take no further action
  5. I requested written confirmation that the council had cancelled the summons, but was told that the council doesn't do that (and that it was unnecessary in any case)
  6. I have just received a Council Tax Liability Order Notification and Bailiff Warning Notice instructing me that on 19th November the court sat anyway and decided that the balance of £404 (i.e. the remaining payments and the non-refunded £95) must be paid within 14 days or Bailiffs would call to recover the debt.
This is absolutely disgusting - due to the council's processes not working I now have a County Court Judgment against me and the threat of Bailiffs. The council has also demanded details of my employer so that it can deduct my 'debt' at source. I will give it no such information.

Here is the action that I demand that the council takes to sort this ridiculous mess out:

  1. Remove the county court judgment straight away.
  2. Cancel the order for Bailiffs with immediate effect.
  3. Refund the £95 'court costs' to my council tax account
  4. Write to me confirming that steps 1-3 have been taken.
  5. Collect the outstanding funds from the direct debit that I have set up. That really is a much more straightforward way of collecting council tax for the council and for me. By using this method, the council get its money quickly and cheaply and I do not get my credit record wrecked by unnecessary and invalid CCJs.

I will be calling the department at 10am tomorrow morning to confirm that someone has received this email. I will call again at 4pm for an update on progress against my case. If there has not been satisfactory resolution then you can expect a personal visit on Thursday.

Yours disgustedly,

Major Gripe


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