Scottish and English debt laws are different, so if you are a Scottish resident and have questions on debt, then this is the place to post.

Moderators: TalbotWoods, JaneClack

By toysthatkill
#316553 Hi there

I've only just come across this forum in the past week, I had my savings account arrested & have had £872.38 taken from me for council tax arrears. I missed the Charge For Payment as I wasn't around at the time. I've been served another Charge For Payment for £1073.40 & was wondering what I can do to stop another arrestment being made. I've read about various methods of applying for time to pay, but it's all new to me and I'm starting to panic! The original arrestment was a pain, but I had the money to cover it, now I don't have much! I am in full time employment so I could pay in instalments. I realise this is my own fault, but I suffered a bereavement a few years back & would the first to admit, I didn't handle it as well as I perhaps should have.

The Charge is from Walker Love, acting on behalf of West Dunbartonshire Council.

Thanks & please help!
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By TalbotWoods
#316563 OK first things first when they arrested your account the first time, did they leave you £370 in the account, which is the amount they are NOT allowed to arrest. If not you have a serious complaint against them, which the Council has to rectify!.

Secondly you also need to find out what happened to the first CfP, as if that wasn't served correctly then they will have to refund the full amount, in this instance Scottish law is on your side as it is up to them to prove it was served correctly

OK that aside, there are two options first contact the solicitors and make an offer of repayments. If they are at an acceptable level they nearly always accept that, but be aware if you default then they can activate the arrest again.

The second option it to apply to return to court to get a time order, which allows you time to pay it, usually in instalments, BUT if there is a history of non payment with this or other debts, that the council can show that even with a time order you are likely to breach it then it will be refused.

So first things first, get hold of the solicitors and see if they will agree a repayment schedule, and it will have to be a fair and reasonable amount as they have already shown that your account held sufficient money.

Tim
By toysthatkill
#316583 Unfortunately that was more or less or the money I had. They did leave me with the minimum amount, but another arrestment would cripple me financially.

I have filled out a Time To Pay application, but do you think would be best to contact Walker Love themselves before I send it to the sheriff court?
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By TalbotWoods
#316593 Yes, as in most instances if the offer is reasonable they will agree to the repayments without the nausea of dealing with a Time to Pay.

It is alwasy better to uses the simpler option than the more complex one, but I would suggest if you are talking to them on the phone, and they agree, get confirmation form them via email, or in writing.

Tim
By toysthatkill
#316603 Even if the Charge For Payment has been served? I'll give them a ring this morning and see if I can work something out. I'd much rather do that have to go through a court application.

Thanks so much for your advice, I really appreciate it.
By toysthatkill
#316673 Okay, I rang Walker Love this morning and agreed on monthly payments of £100, starting tomorrow, and that they will confirm in writing. I also spoke to the sheriff court & they assured me that as long as I had reached an agreement with Walker Love then the Charge For Payment wouldn't go any further.

I can't thank you enough for your advice, I was all fired up & ready to send off that Time To Pay application!
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By TalbotWoods
#316683 As long as the £100 is affordable and you can sustain it, then you will be OK.

One tip I will give you if you are paying either by Standing Order or Payment book, is make the payment 3 working days early each month, that way you wont get caught out by weekends or them saying 'not received'. Yer I know banks claim they have to do things within 2hrs/1 day, but I am still hearing of people who are finding that it takes 3 days, or at least that is what the creditor is claiming!!

But it is nice when things do go right and a resolution is reached, that works

Tim
By toysthatkill
#316693 I've spoken to a friend of a friend who has had similar dealings with Walker Love and he strongly advised sending away the Time To Pay order as well, even though I can begin payments tomorrow. According to him, without submitting the TTP Walker Love can still action an arrestment as the Charge For Payment is still active, whereas a Time To Pay would counter that. :roll:
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By TalbotWoods
#316703 If you are sure you can keep up payments then I would not bother, but if you think you may be late on some occasion with payments then you can opt for the time order. This is why I cautioned paying 3 working days early, that way it is there.

But be aware that if you fail to make the court ordered payment, then things can get quite nasty. For example, if you fail to make payment, they can move without warning onto arresting your wage, which is a tactic they often use, as by having a TO in place you will have unintentionally escalated the collection process.

Getting the letter form them in effect locks them in. If you are making payments on time, and they try to reactivate the CfP, then you can then go for a TO and prevent evidence that they are being unreasonable, and at that point the court may well agree a lower repayment level! So it is not in their interest to do that.

Might also pay to give them a quick call and ask them to confirm by emial that the arrangement is acceptable, before you actually make the payment. Point out that you have sought appropriate advice and that was what was recommended as a preventer to stop you going for a time order.

Tim
By toysthatkill
#316973 I've spoken to the sheriff court, the council AND Walker Love about this today and I've been assured that as long as I make the payments on time, then no further action will be taken & Walker Love have sent out a letter confirming the payment plan. Both the council & sheriff court were really helpful and thorough in their explanations so hopefully there's nothing more to worry about!