Blackburn woman receives bailiff threat after one missed payment

Jean Lancaster with the letter about the bailiffs

Jean Lancaster with the letter about the bailiffs

First published in News

A WOMAN who claims she received a ‘threatening’ bailiff letter after missing a single council tax payment is calling for the council to change its policy.

Jean Lancaster, 59, who lives in Cloverfield, Blackburn, said she had never missed payment until after losing her job earlier this year, she had no choice but to pay her £517 monthly mortgage payment first. She said: “I have been honest and hardworking and want to pay the amount but I physically can’t now I am on Job Seekers Allowance.

“I lost my job and missed one £90 payment. The council should look at your history as well as your current situation, instead of sending threatening letters. It’s not on.”

This week the Lancashire Telegraph reported that 5,000 families in Blackburn with Darwen faced a visit from bailiffs over unpaid council tax last year – nearly 2,000 more than the year before.

According to the council, reminders are sent 15 to 20 days after the due date. The council waits at least another 20 days before issuing a summons for the full balance.

A further 15-20 days elapses before the actual court date and the council is obliged to wait 14 more days before the debt can be issued to bailiffs.

A council spokesman said: “The instigation of bailiff action is always undertaken as a last resort when the council has no other option in recovery of the arrears.

“The council would advise anyone having difficulty in paying their council tax to contact the council as soon as possible in order to avoid bailiff action.”

Comments (22)

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6:36pm Wed 5 Mar 14

PK Bailey says...

Looks like she contacted the paper instead of the council about her problems!
Looks like she contacted the paper instead of the council about her problems! PK Bailey
  • Score: 8

6:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

the white witch says...

It`s bad enough in this day and age to loose your job let alone have your home put at risk through no job, then to top it all the council hounds people and bully them for a miserly one missed payment to threaten people with the heavy mob ( Bailiffs ) our councils are the biggest jokes you could ever know. It`s disgusting what they do to honest people.
It`s bad enough in this day and age to loose your job let alone have your home put at risk through no job, then to top it all the council hounds people and bully them for a miserly one missed payment to threaten people with the heavy mob ( Bailiffs ) our councils are the biggest jokes you could ever know. It`s disgusting what they do to honest people. the white witch
  • Score: 27

6:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

HarwoodBiker says...

The council is a major jobsworth when it comes to council tax payments and for once I would support the Telegraph in a campaign for them to chance their policy. I missed one once and despite having the money to make the payment as soon as I realised my mistake (only a week after it was due), I was told I couldn't continue paying by installments and had the choice to either go to court or pay in full up front.

I begrudgingly paid the balance in full (several hundred pounds) and learnt to never try and reason with anyone at the council like human beings ever again. COMPUTER SAYS NO!
The council is a major jobsworth when it comes to council tax payments and for once I would support the Telegraph in a campaign for them to chance their policy. I missed one once and despite having the money to make the payment as soon as I realised my mistake (only a week after it was due), I was told I couldn't continue paying by installments and had the choice to either go to court or pay in full up front. I begrudgingly paid the balance in full (several hundred pounds) and learnt to never try and reason with anyone at the council like human beings ever again. COMPUTER SAYS NO! HarwoodBiker
  • Score: 30

6:48pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Johnh1995 says...

Blackburn with Darwen Council lose hundreds of thousands a pound a year in unpaid council tax. Are they meant to hope that anybody who misses a payment will simply get around to meeting their obligations when they feel like it? I don't think so.
Blackburn with Darwen Council lose hundreds of thousands a pound a year in unpaid council tax. Are they meant to hope that anybody who misses a payment will simply get around to meeting their obligations when they feel like it? I don't think so. Johnh1995
  • Score: -17

7:03pm Wed 5 Mar 14

phil kernot says...

This council tax the way it's designed is like a kangaroo court, they say pay over 10 payments for 12 months council tax that means council tax starts from April as it's the new tax year so why are we called defaulters if were paying for a service that should be over 12 months but get a threatening letter after ten months ,, if you pay your insurance on your car within this bracket you wouldn't get your car insurance cancelled would you because you paid in 11 months , its so the council can get interest on those two months in advance ,,, In there bank ,,, Oh and when you go to magistrates court to argue this out like I did ,,, the prosecution is the clerk from the council tax department and there's no magistrate to hear your side. So your guilty as there is no fair trial.. I thought we went to war with country's that had goverments like this ...
This council tax the way it's designed is like a kangaroo court, they say pay over 10 payments for 12 months council tax that means council tax starts from April as it's the new tax year so why are we called defaulters if were paying for a service that should be over 12 months but get a threatening letter after ten months ,, if you pay your insurance on your car within this bracket you wouldn't get your car insurance cancelled would you because you paid in 11 months , its so the council can get interest on those two months in advance ,,, In there bank ,,, Oh and when you go to magistrates court to argue this out like I did ,,, the prosecution is the clerk from the council tax department and there's no magistrate to hear your side. So your guilty as there is no fair trial.. I thought we went to war with country's that had goverments like this ... phil kernot
  • Score: 12

7:06pm Wed 5 Mar 14

phil kernot says...

Johnh1995 wrote:
Blackburn with Darwen Council lose hundreds of thousands a pound a year in unpaid council tax. Are they meant to hope that anybody who misses a payment will simply get around to meeting their obligations when they feel like it? I don't think so.
Thay want you to pay for 12 months service in 10 months and that's not fair ,
[quote][p][bold]Johnh1995[/bold] wrote: Blackburn with Darwen Council lose hundreds of thousands a pound a year in unpaid council tax. Are they meant to hope that anybody who misses a payment will simply get around to meeting their obligations when they feel like it? I don't think so.[/p][/quote]Thay want you to pay for 12 months service in 10 months and that's not fair , phil kernot
  • Score: 10

7:31pm Wed 5 Mar 14

loobeylu says...

The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.
The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that. loobeylu
  • Score: 19

8:02pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Rumpole says...

""A council spokesman said: “The instigation of bailiff action is always undertaken as a last resort when the council has no other option in recovery of the arrears""

The council lie through their teeth.
The council obtain a liability order and then send it to you.
You fill in the details on the back of the liability order which also asks for your employment details.
Once they have this they are then able to issue an Attachment of Earnings Order to your employer for payment which is how it should be done, according to government legislation, BEFORE the debt is passed onto the bailiffs for recovery.
The council deliberately ignore the rules and send it to the bailiffs to collect, when the bailiffs cannot collect the debt it gets returned to the council and only then do they issue an AEO.
This is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating!
""A council spokesman said: “The instigation of bailiff action is always undertaken as a last resort when the council has no other option in recovery of the arrears"" The council lie through their teeth. The council obtain a liability order and then send it to you. You fill in the details on the back of the liability order which also asks for your employment details. Once they have this they are then able to issue an Attachment of Earnings Order to your employer for payment which is how it should be done, according to government legislation, BEFORE the debt is passed onto the bailiffs for recovery. The council deliberately ignore the rules and send it to the bailiffs to collect, when the bailiffs cannot collect the debt it gets returned to the council and only then do they issue an AEO. This is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating! Rumpole
  • Score: 25

8:20pm Wed 5 Mar 14

soap opera says...

loobeylu wrote:
The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.
i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out
[quote][p][bold]loobeylu[/bold] wrote: The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.[/p][/quote]i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out soap opera
  • Score: 16

9:14pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Jeff-Fetarsy says...

Council tax is a fraud and their proceedings are fake, the council print their own summonses that are rubber stamped in the name of some JP who is in on the scam. The council hire the magistrates court for the day once a month. The magistrates if you can get to see them when summoned are not acting within their oath of office, they are on hire to the council to perpetuate the fraud. As the poster above says it is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating.
Council tax is a fraud and their proceedings are fake, the council print their own summonses that are rubber stamped in the name of some JP who is in on the scam. The council hire the magistrates court for the day once a month. The magistrates if you can get to see them when summoned are not acting within their oath of office, they are on hire to the council to perpetuate the fraud. As the poster above says it is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating. Jeff-Fetarsy
  • Score: 20

10:10pm Wed 5 Mar 14

adamdesk says...

Bailiff? They are appointed so they do their work and some company bailiffs are ok BUT some bailiffs are not just idiots but also disgrace they think they can act cocky
one day they will end up cockle doo
Bailiff? They are appointed so they do their work and some company bailiffs are ok BUT some bailiffs are not just idiots but also disgrace they think they can act cocky one day they will end up cockle doo adamdesk
  • Score: 6

10:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

LoobyLou369 says...

soap opera wrote:
loobeylu wrote:
The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.
i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out
This happened to me too!! But they sent me a letter telling me my court date!! I had already paid the missing payment and was up to date again but i had to jump through hoops to not have to pay the rest of the year!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]soap opera[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loobeylu[/bold] wrote: The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.[/p][/quote]i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out[/p][/quote]This happened to me too!! But they sent me a letter telling me my court date!! I had already paid the missing payment and was up to date again but i had to jump through hoops to not have to pay the rest of the year!!!!! LoobyLou369
  • Score: 9

10:29pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Steven Seagull says...

Jeff-Fetarsy wrote:
Council tax is a fraud and their proceedings are fake, the council print their own summonses that are rubber stamped in the name of some JP who is in on the scam. The council hire the magistrates court for the day once a month. The magistrates if you can get to see them when summoned are not acting within their oath of office, they are on hire to the council to perpetuate the fraud. As the poster above says it is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating.
Yeah, course it is.

Sniffing glue doesn't do you any good my friend.
[quote][p][bold]Jeff-Fetarsy[/bold] wrote: Council tax is a fraud and their proceedings are fake, the council print their own summonses that are rubber stamped in the name of some JP who is in on the scam. The council hire the magistrates court for the day once a month. The magistrates if you can get to see them when summoned are not acting within their oath of office, they are on hire to the council to perpetuate the fraud. As the poster above says it is a complete abuse of the legal process and needs investigating.[/p][/quote]Yeah, course it is. Sniffing glue doesn't do you any good my friend. Steven Seagull
  • Score: -13

10:31pm Wed 5 Mar 14

LoobyLou369 says...

LoobyLou369 wrote:
soap opera wrote:
loobeylu wrote:
The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.
i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out
This happened to me too!! But they sent me a letter telling me my court date!! I had already paid the missing payment and was up to date again but i had to jump through hoops to not have to pay the rest of the year!!!!!
Not have to pay one payment in full for the rest of the year i meant......
[quote][p][bold]LoobyLou369[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]soap opera[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]loobeylu[/bold] wrote: The council are really talking a load of bull there, ive never missed paying on time, then one week i was over by 5 days, i received a letter off them saying if i didnt pay it on time again, i would be responsible for the whole year. So where they say its 15 to 20 days thats not true. I paid it that day and also phoned them, they said the letters go out on a mondays, and basically thats that.[/p][/quote]i missed a payment and got a letter saying i needed to pay no later than 10 days after the date on the letter.it took the letter 9 days to get to me from the date on the letter.meaning i had a day to sort it out[/p][/quote]This happened to me too!! But they sent me a letter telling me my court date!! I had already paid the missing payment and was up to date again but i had to jump through hoops to not have to pay the rest of the year!!!!![/p][/quote]Not have to pay one payment in full for the rest of the year i meant...... LoobyLou369
  • Score: 3

10:33pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Steven Seagull says...

adamdesk wrote:
Bailiff? They are appointed so they do their work and some company bailiffs are ok BUT some bailiffs are not just idiots but also disgrace they think they can act cocky
one day they will end up cockle doo
If you've had a stroke try and seek urgent medical assistance instead of commenting on LT stories.

The odd full stop and comma might also be useful.
[quote][p][bold]adamdesk[/bold] wrote: Bailiff? They are appointed so they do their work and some company bailiffs are ok BUT some bailiffs are not just idiots but also disgrace they think they can act cocky one day they will end up cockle doo[/p][/quote]If you've had a stroke try and seek urgent medical assistance instead of commenting on LT stories. The odd full stop and comma might also be useful. Steven Seagull
  • Score: -10

1:44am Thu 6 Mar 14

doylerf says...

I do recall that **** Andy Kay saying quite some years ago that he wanted an increase in liability cost, because court costs were an excellent revenue raising exercise, which show that costs are for profit and not for cost. ****!!
I do recall that **** Andy Kay saying quite some years ago that he wanted an increase in liability cost, because court costs were an excellent revenue raising exercise, which show that costs are for profit and not for cost. ****!! doylerf
  • Score: 6

1:46am Thu 6 Mar 14

doylerf says...

doylerf wrote:
I do recall that **** Andy Kay saying quite some years ago that he wanted an increase in liability cost, because court costs were an excellent revenue raising exercise, which show that costs are for profit and not for cost. ****!!
The missing word is w anker, Mr kay, just so there is no doubt.
[quote][p][bold]doylerf[/bold] wrote: I do recall that **** Andy Kay saying quite some years ago that he wanted an increase in liability cost, because court costs were an excellent revenue raising exercise, which show that costs are for profit and not for cost. ****!![/p][/quote]The missing word is w anker, Mr kay, just so there is no doubt. doylerf
  • Score: 7

9:07am Thu 6 Mar 14

nelsoner1966 says...

I set up a direct debit to pay my council tax but after two months nothing had been taken from my bank account. I had received no letters from the council so I contacted them to ask them what was going on. After a lengthy phone call we found out that they had typed my bank account number incorrectly into their system and some unlucky person was paying my council tax. I was not in arrears. We resolved the situation and I agreed to continue paying my monthly payments at a higher rate to cover the 2 missed payments.
A few days later I received a nasty letter telling me to keep my payments up to date in the future.
On another occasion they say they never received my direct debit details and my first payment was missed. I also received threatening letters from a bailiff who were told in no uncertain terms where to stick there letter.
I set up a direct debit to pay my council tax but after two months nothing had been taken from my bank account. I had received no letters from the council so I contacted them to ask them what was going on. After a lengthy phone call we found out that they had typed my bank account number incorrectly into their system and some unlucky person was paying my council tax. I was not in arrears. We resolved the situation and I agreed to continue paying my monthly payments at a higher rate to cover the 2 missed payments. A few days later I received a nasty letter telling me to keep my payments up to date in the future. On another occasion they say they never received my direct debit details and my first payment was missed. I also received threatening letters from a bailiff who were told in no uncertain terms where to stick there letter. nelsoner1966
  • Score: 6

11:22am Thu 6 Mar 14

ladysal says...

PK Bailey wrote:
Looks like she contacted the paper instead of the council about her problems!
Possibly, but the Coucnil are no help whatsoever if you do it the correct way round. Found out the hard way when I missed a payment due to my daughter being hospitalised as an emergency and transferred to another town. Couldn't physically make the payment. DId they care? DId they help / offer advice? Did they thump!!
[quote][p][bold]PK Bailey[/bold] wrote: Looks like she contacted the paper instead of the council about her problems![/p][/quote]Possibly, but the Coucnil are no help whatsoever if you do it the correct way round. Found out the hard way when I missed a payment due to my daughter being hospitalised as an emergency and transferred to another town. Couldn't physically make the payment. DId they care? DId they help / offer advice? Did they thump!! ladysal
  • Score: 3

12:48pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Fire Fly says...

Unfortunately, the article leads you to believe that this lady simply didn't pay & sat back expecting the council to review her payment history before taking any action. If that is the case, then I think the council is justified.

The facts haven't been reported so bit of a waste of column inches LET!
Unfortunately, the article leads you to believe that this lady simply didn't pay & sat back expecting the council to review her payment history before taking any action. If that is the case, then I think the council is justified. The facts haven't been reported so bit of a waste of column inches LET! Fire Fly
  • Score: 4

4:42pm Thu 6 Mar 14

thoroughbred says...

BwDBC sent letters for just one weeks business CT (£140), to my old business address, after new owner told lies about his taking over date, who also chucked all the letters addressed for me in the bin, even though all concerned had my new address. I had contractual proof of my moving out date, but by the time any word reached me, (3 years later) it was too late and already in the hands of Equita bailifs. Absolutely no-one from council will speak to you, accept your proof, or compromise. So after blocking my driveway and calling recovery van to take away my BMW. I rang police, who were also powerless to stop them. I ended up being forced to pay £630 on the spot and being intimidated, called 'white trash' and 'CT dodger' by a 7ft black guy. I've never had a debt in my life, Don't mess about with BwDBC and/or bailiffs, they're fkn ruthless b'stards!
BwDBC sent letters for just one weeks business CT (£140), to my old business address, after new owner told lies about his taking over date, who also chucked all the letters addressed for me in the bin, even though all concerned had my new address. I had contractual proof of my moving out date, but by the time any word reached me, (3 years later) it was too late and already in the hands of Equita bailifs. Absolutely no-one from council will speak to you, accept your proof, or compromise. So after blocking my driveway and calling recovery van to take away my BMW. I rang police, who were also powerless to stop them. I ended up being forced to pay £630 on the spot and being intimidated, called 'white trash' and 'CT dodger' by a 7ft black guy. I've never had a debt in my life, Don't mess about with BwDBC and/or bailiffs, they're fkn ruthless b'stards! thoroughbred
  • Score: 3

12:36am Sun 9 Mar 14

Darwen Malc says...

Why do you all vote these LABOUR tos***s in??????
Why do you all vote these LABOUR tos***s in?????? Darwen Malc
  • Score: 1

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