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Council tax bill?

  • jslgb
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19 Jul 12 #344259 by jslgb
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My ex husband has begun pestering me to pay towards a council tax bill he has received in joint names. He was never responsible with money and very rarely paid bills on time (always paid council tax to bailiffs or deductions from earnings) so this bill is now over 2 years old and the bailiffs are calling at his mums home (he''s not declaring himself at his OW''s home). He emailed me today to say he had had to pay a bailiff, he had a receipt and he was expecting me to pay half and that i shouldnt ignore him again.

I dont think i should pay for a number of reasons. One being i have over 10k of debt from when we were together that is in my name but we both benefited from. Second, i have had a bailiff sit outside my house for 5 hours before now for this same bill he is claiming, and had to hand over my rent money as i needed to leave the house for the school run, thus paying the bill. Thirdly, for the property he is saying the bill is for i was exempt from council tax as i was and still am a student.

I replied to his email saying i was exempt from council tax at that address and i had already informed him i had paid the bill to which i got no reply. This worried me as he will normally continue to harass me throughout the night in these types of situations.

Is there anything he can do to enforce this bill? I doubt there is, he wont take me to small claims, he wont even take me to court over contact and if i was exempt i shouldn''t be liable anyway.

Any words of wisdom?

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20 Jul 12 #344357 by jslgb
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Anything at all?

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20 Jul 12 #344364 by hadenoughnow
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erm, I am not sure that talking to him about being exempt will necessarily help. Do you have proof/confirmation from the council concerned?
If it is not your bill and you can prove it then the bailiffs should not be concerned with you at all and neither should any small claims court.

If, however, you were not registered as exempt at the time, then you would be jointly liable. Did you have a receipt for the cash payment you made?

If he has paid the bill in full then at least you will not have bailiffs after you.

As far as where it goes from here is concerned, do you have a court ordered/approved financial settlement? If financial settlement is pending, it could be all part of the mix with that as will the 10k of debt.

Hadenoughnow

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20 Jul 12 #344365 by Action
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Were you living in the house with him during the period the bill covers? Is it correct that the student exemption is only applicable if you live in an entirely student occupied property or do you get a proportional discount?

I guess he could argue that you were forgoing your discount by living with him. I personally would be inclined not to pay and to send him another email clearly outlining your reasons, i.e you will pay half of council tax bill if he pays half of the other joint debts!

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20 Jul 12 #344366 by jslgb
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Yes i have been exempt from paying council tax since i began university in september 2009 which is reflected on my council tax bill. Whilst we were together we received a single person discount as i wasnt liable to pay council tax. You receive the exemption regardless of where you are living and since i began uni it has always been printed clearly on my council tax bills that i am exempt as a student.

I paid the bailiff with my debit card so if needs be i can get proof.

Also, my stbxh isn''t living under the same council anymore whereas i am, so i would have thought the bailiffs would have come to me first before going to him, especially as he isnt declaring where he is living and they had to go to his mothers address (which would be the only reason he paid a bailiff).

We havent reached court over any matter yet. Stbxh is refusing to acknowledge solicitors letters and i am waiting for a replacement certificate to arrive so we can start proceedings.

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20 Jul 12 #344409 by u6c00
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Hi

I have a similar situation. I was a student while my ex was not. I thought I was exempt but ex wasn''t. She didn''t pay the bill and I didn''t find out until after she moved out.

The council have told me that exemption doesn''t make any difference to the liability, and that both of us are jointly liable. I don''t know how that affects you but to let you know (annoying though it is), just because you were a student won''t mean you''re not liable for the debt.

They also told me that basically in situations like this you are engaged in a game of chicken. If one person pays they will stop chasing the other. If you both reach an agreement then you''d both pay half and if neither of you pays then they''ll pursue you both.

The normal course of action for a council would be to bill you, send a reminder and then take you to county court. If bailiffs are at your door, chances are that you have a CCJ against you. You should check your credit file and if you do have one I can offer some suggestions as to how to resolve it.

Unfortunately I don''t have the answers about what to do with your ex. Hope it works out for you though.

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20 Jul 12 #344411 by jslgb
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Thanks U6.

I know i am technically liable for the joint debt but dont think ex is clued up enough to realise that! Also, i havent had any letters or visits regarding this bill since i paid the last lot of bailiffs so i''m beginning to doubt what he is saying anyway!!

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