Bailiffs sent to 205 Colchester homes after benefits rules change

Gazette: Bailiffs sent to 205 Colchester homes after benefits rules change Bailiffs sent to 205 Colchester homes after benefits rules change

CHANGES to council tax rules have led to bailiffs being sent to 205 Colchester homes.

New benefits rules in April last year meant the majority of working age claimants now have to pay at least 20 per cent of their council tax.

The changes affected about 8,000 households in the borough which were asked to pay, on average, £169.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed 3,225 people found themselves in arrears at some point.

Of those affected, 40 per cent were receiving disability-related benefits and a further 40 per cent were single parents. Just 495 were employed.

The council subsequently sent out 1,500 summonses, followed by 1,235 liability orders, which it can do if the full amount is not paid within 14 days.

Of these cases, despite offers of help and a series of reminders, bailiffs were passed details of 205 residents who still owed cash.

Paul Smith, councillor responsible for resources, said anyone struggling to find the extra cash had been offered meetings with the council and places at debt clinics to help them sort their finances out.

But he added: “We are differentiating between those who can’t pay and those who won’t pay.

“I recognise the efforts many people have made to ensure they pay their council tax, which is why we will pursue those who can pay, but choose not to.”

Mr Smith said in the last year the number of council tax benefit claimants had dropped by 10 per cent, to about 12,000.

About 4,000 are pensioners, who will always get paid the full amount.

He said: “Bearing in mind many people weren’t paying anything at all and they’re being asked to pay 20 per cent, to get 90 per cent of people on council tax benefits not in arrears, is I think, a positive achievement.”

Rather than use bailiffs, the authority can also take deductions from benefits or salaries.

As a final resort it can apply for a bankruptcy committal or a charging order, which will see the sum owed paid when the property is sold.

Comments (5)

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5:54pm Thu 9 Jan 14

A Very Private Gentleman says...

it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money.

there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on.

what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors.

surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to.

the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system.

collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation.

if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through....

1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not????

if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate.
A Very Private Gentleman.
it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money. there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on. what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors. surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to. the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system. collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation. if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through.... 1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not???? if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate. A Very Private Gentleman. A Very Private Gentleman
  • Score: -7

7:17pm Thu 9 Jan 14

25414nora says...

Could A.. "Gentleman's Private's".. be a more fitting name for the above poster?
Could A.. "Gentleman's Private's".. be a more fitting name for the above poster? 25414nora
  • Score: 6

7:31pm Thu 9 Jan 14

AngryManNewTown says...

A Very Private Gentleman wrote:
it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money.

there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on.

what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors.

surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to.

the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system.

collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation.

if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through....

1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not????

if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate.
A Very Private Gentleman.
OMG. What a nice guy you are. You take a 20% cut in the money that comes into your house and see if you can get by. Most people would not be able to do this. I work full time and pay my way but could not do it. Its a struggle out there people do not have the savings of older people to be able to rely on.
[quote][p][bold]A Very Private Gentleman[/bold] wrote: it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money. there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on. what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors. surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to. the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system. collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation. if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through.... 1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not???? if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate. A Very Private Gentleman.[/p][/quote]OMG. What a nice guy you are. You take a 20% cut in the money that comes into your house and see if you can get by. Most people would not be able to do this. I work full time and pay my way but could not do it. Its a struggle out there people do not have the savings of older people to be able to rely on. AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 7

11:11am Fri 10 Jan 14

TheCaptain says...

AngryManNewTown wrote:
A Very Private Gentleman wrote:
it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money.

there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on.

what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors.

surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to.

the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system.

collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation.

if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through....

1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not????

if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate.
A Very Private Gentleman.
OMG. What a nice guy you are. You take a 20% cut in the money that comes into your house and see if you can get by. Most people would not be able to do this. I work full time and pay my way but could not do it. Its a struggle out there people do not have the savings of older people to be able to rely on.
But nobody had had a 20% cut in their income.
[quote][p][bold]AngryManNewTown[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]A Very Private Gentleman[/bold] wrote: it is surely far better to make the deductions from any benefit and allowances than to send security teams in to collect money. there is a problem obviously if the person owing money does not have any benefits or allowances to draw on. what beggars the question is how does one get in to a debt situation so quickly as to warrant a call from collectors. surely you know the system is changing... you get a letter telling you much how you owe, then you make special arrangements to pay your levies to whom you are indebted to. the maths is simple, cut down on your ciggies, booze and takeaways, your satellite tv, walk to the shops or thumb a lift. pay your dues to the system. collectively remonstrating by not paying is a false way of denoting displeasure and consternation. if things were that bad why did know-one complain when the legislation was going through.... 1991 i campaigned against the council tax, i stood there with a young wife and a baby in a pram outside the ROLEX shop in town handing out leaflets in the freezing cold... know-one gave a toss, but we won did we not???? if things are that bad do something about it....just dont P**S the system around when it is already in force and the horse has bolted out of the gate. A Very Private Gentleman.[/p][/quote]OMG. What a nice guy you are. You take a 20% cut in the money that comes into your house and see if you can get by. Most people would not be able to do this. I work full time and pay my way but could not do it. Its a struggle out there people do not have the savings of older people to be able to rely on.[/p][/quote]But nobody had had a 20% cut in their income. TheCaptain
  • Score: 1

12:48pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Weazelbum says...

Ahh, compassion and understanding as ever on these forums! I hate scrounging layabouts as do most of the working population, but for those in real hardship, this isn't good news.I suspect that for those affected, standing around in town handing out leaflets to people that don't give a toss is going to achieve sweet FA and would probably affect their benefits as they 'wouldn't be available to work'!
Ahh, compassion and understanding as ever on these forums! I hate scrounging layabouts as do most of the working population, but for those in real hardship, this isn't good news.I suspect that for those affected, standing around in town handing out leaflets to people that don't give a toss is going to achieve sweet FA and would probably affect their benefits as they 'wouldn't be available to work'! Weazelbum
  • Score: 2

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