COUNCIL TAX, How NOT to get summonsed for NON payment of council tax Parts 1 and 2
Heres the first article by land of the free followed by the update. (The first article has been posted on other sites )
This article was written in 2009 but the information is still relevent. See our new article on Council Tax Bankruptcy too.
Having not paid council tax since last August 2009 some very interesting facts have emerged. This information has been backed up by others who have uncovered the same routine, in which councils act completely unlawfully.
After you decide not to pay council, tax you will recieve a "Summons" to the local magistrates court.
This appears to be a summons issued by the court. It bears a crown seal and is "signed" by the Clerk to the Justices for the petty sessional area of xxxx.
"Complaint has this day been made before the undersigned by the London Borough of xxxx. You being a person liable to pay the council tax and from whom payment of that tax has been duly demanded have not paid the sum as due below."
"You are therefore summonsed to appear before the magistrates at xxxx on xxxx at xxxx
"If you do not appear, you may be proceeded against as if you had appeared and dealt with according to the law".
The first paragraph states that "complaint has been made before the undersigned." This looked immediately suspicious as the "signature" for Clerk to the Justices seemed to be deliberately deceptive as it was indecipherable, and photocopied onto the document (Part of the signature on this particular summonswas cut off) The other big problem being there was no name printed under the "signature".
Having phoned both the court and the council and neither being able to tell me who signed the summons I put in a freedom of information request to the councils head of Governance and Law as to who was the acting Clerk to the Justices in the borough. The reply I got indicated that this person definitely did not sign the document.The council were then instructed that the document was defective as it was not signed by a person known to the court or the council.
In the first notice served on the councils Head of Revenues and Benefits it was suggested that the summons was defective. The head of revenues and benefits replied :
"Summonses must be authorised by a Justice of The Peace or Clerk to the Justices and whos signature appears on the summons must have personally considered the complaint". "As you now know this makes the summons lawful and not defective as stated in your letter paragraph 5b".
This is typical of the response from councils, there is an over confident reply which is completely at odds with the facts. They also refer to notices as "letters". There seems to be a cosy arrogance in all the correspondence, and if you nail them on anything they say its their ball and they are not playing! They are compartmentalised within their departments and seem to have no idea or no interest in what is really going on, those higher up the corporate ladder however must know.
Maybe some of my info did sink in as I noticed that the job of Head of benefits and Revenues was recently being advertised in a local employment agency window!
Yes WE summonse you to court.
The next revelation was even better! It became clear that the summons document was the same type face and border as other council documents. Yes, the council issue their own summonse! Now this has been confirmed as fact by council staff. This is fraud and perjury under the 1911 perjury act and a crime under the Administration of Justice act. Anyone except a court issuing a document which appears to be from a court is breaking the law.
This was pointed out in the next notice to the Head of Benefits and Revenues but the reply came from someone else in the department, this seems to be the strategy when difficult questions arise, no one takes responsibility. The reply stated "No further correspondence on the issues you have raised will be entered into".
As far as the suggestion that the council were guilty of fraud and perjury the response was that they would defend themselves in court and I would be liable for their costs if they won the case. This makes sense, as in the borough I live the court and town hall are on the same council owned land. If your part of the corporation, Everybody Wins!
It now appears that councils all over the country issue their own summonse, they then hire a room in the court for a "bulk hearing". The room is not part of the court as the court are not involved (apart from of course financially). This has also been confirmed by people who work in the court. As there is no due process being followed here, it would appear the whole procedure is a sham.
Issuing a summonse
If there is a case to be heard in the court it has to be sent to the court clerk (or court manager at County Court) to consider, they then issue a summons which is sent directly from the court. As the council issue the summons it is not a court matter, they just make it appear so by inviting (summonsing) the person to the court. As this is just a procedural matter for summary judgement (person already liable) and not of course a "hearing" it makes sense for them to do it themselves!
No liability order
The council then state in the follow up documentation "Notice of impending enforcement action" or "liability order notification" that a liabilty order was issued against the person. This is of course not possible as there was no court. No liability order has been recieved from the court by anybody I have met who has stopped paying council tax. The reason for this is of course because there was no court. Two corporations are involved , the council who hire the room in the court and court officials and staff in the court who are paid by the council. Of course in many boroughs the Town Hall, council buildings and court are on the same land, owned by the council!
This "Notice of impending enforcement action" or "liability order notification" is of course not a liability order. It also makes threats including making you bankrupt in the high court with all assets frozen, being sent to prison, a charging order put on your property and then at the end of this diatribe appointment of bailiffs. These documents are pretty generic in the different boroughs and presumably represent new powers given to local authorities, they are deliberately intimidating, but enforcing all this is of course a completely different matter. They know this is just scare tactics and no one can be sent to prison unless they consent or are represented in court by a lawyer who will commit their client to prison!
A liability order has to be signed by the judge or magistrate and also sealed by court, it is then sent to the person liable and also the claimant. If the amount on the order is not paid within the specified time then the court can appoint bailiffs on behalf of the claimant.
Debt collectors not Bailiffs
The council although unable to produce a real liability order then state that bailiffs have been appointed on behalf of the council to recover the debt. This is of course impossible as there was no court, no bailiffs can be appointed as bailiffs must have an order from the court which appointed them.
Bailiffs also have to be re registered every two years, and have an ID number and give their full name which can be verified by doing an internet search. Debt collectors call themselves bailiffs and rely on the publics ignorance. Your birth certificate made you a "person" who is "liable" so "Let he who will be decieved be decieved".
The corporate nature of the councils and courts just means they pretend that bailiffs have been instructed, this is of course not possible so they appoint a debt collection agency who then send out "bailiff" letters. These letters are very threatening in capital letters with a box stating "Removal of your goods" or "Bailiff Removal", and similiar statements. All computer generated crap!
Bailiffs do have certain powers to collect debts but debt collectors do not! (The powers given to bailiffs can be easily found on the internet.) Debt collectors do claim they are bailiffs and also send out documentation which is unlawful and completely unethical.
The problem with all these "bailiff" letters that I have seen is that none of them bear the Bailiffs full name, certification number and court order reference which of course they must if they are issued by a bailiff.
This means of course that the debt collection agency is a third party interloper who have purchased or contracted with the council for the council tax debt and/or traffic offences (which are dealt with in the same way by the Bulk hearing centre for traffic enforcement in Northampton) This means that the debt no longer has anything to do with the council and the debt collector has no real power of enforcement action as a court was not involved.
Ask your council for a true copy of a liabilty order and see what happens, things could go VERY quiet.
Return to sender
If you want to have some fun look up the debt collection company on the companies house register and redirect all mail back to the managing director (after having served notice on him or her with fee schedule attached) at their registered address and update your fee schedule on each new envelope that you return. The return address on the back of the envelope is their bulk mail centre, so cross it out and send it back to the managing director at the registered address with "fee schedule updated" written on the envelope. That way it costs them money as its redirected mail!
If you want to read what these computer print out "notices" say hold them up to a powerful light and you will see it all through the envelope. One thing is for sure it wont be signed by a bailiff with the relevent info. Another good idea is to let them know that your fees for handling their deceptive "bailiff" letters will be collected by a debt collection agency!
This has to be the next logical step, getting debt collectors onto the debt collectors and councils.
The councils only form of redress after this is to go to court and put a charging order on your property if you "own" it , or try some other route like trying to get you into court. If you ignore all this there seems to be little they can do as they run out of ideas when the robotic paper trail stops.
If you are on benefit or in council property refusing to pay council tax may not be a good idea as they can evict you or have benefit stopped at source.
And finally....The unlawful "Debtors notice".
Along with the document "Notice of impending enforcement action" or "liability order notification" the council also include a "Notice" to debtors, which makes threats and menaces. It also makes unlawful "demands" for information on the reverse. This document is part notice, part PR, like a council advert in a local paper. It has no legal basis and is badly put together. There is also a quote from a local councillor!
The document states "It is an offence not to complete and return the enclosed financial information form". xxxx xxxx council are now taking legal action against customers who do not return their form fully completed. This legal action will result in a criminal conviction and fine of up to £1000."
This is of course completely untrue. Other boroughs just "request" this information, this council demand it as if it is the law, well as they make up the law to suit them I suppose it is! This "demand" is of course never followed up.
Information demanded includes Nat. Ins number, name of employer , address of employer, date of birth and all details of benefit claims etc. Then theres part C which states you MUST fill it in. This demands name, e mail address, telephone number, then of course you MUST sign it!
These threats are carried on at the bottom of the form, it says "You will be committing a criminal offence if you do not give the above information and you can be fined up to £1000 pounds, as well as getting a criminal record. The same will happen if you give information that is not true"
This is of course another lie.
They also state that they would take legal action against anyone who did not fill the form in and that cases had been held in magistrates court and the debtors recieving fines of £100 plus £85 costs.This is a bare faced lie!
Of course if you were unfortunate or gullible enough to fill in this badly worded junk mail they really have got you. If you filled it in and gave false information that would indeed be be an offence. Fraudulence in contract IS an offence, but IGNORING (or returning) an unlawful piece of paper is not!
One of the other many problems with the form is that the council are known ONLY as LBWF and it was confirmed in writing that xxxx xxxx council did not exist! This was stated by their corporate office in a freedom of information request. I also included this in my notice that demanding payment for an organisation which did not exist appeared to be fraudulent. This of course was ignored.
Having found out the name of the council solicitor who put this rubbish together I also stated this would be investigated. Having also served notice on the Head of Governance and law, (the top lawyer in the borough) I can say from experience these people do not know how to do their jobs or even know the law, and they just break it when it suits them.
The council issue documentation which is just badly worded PR, written by people who would be sacked on the spot if they were working for any other employer.
In short there is a lot of noise and threats made which are just hot air in order to scare the public into paying off the banks and the national debt!
For anyone who saw the film "Councils, Courts and Conmen" on You Tube the order at the end of the film was not a liability order, just the amount of liable persons who were "summonsed" to the court. There was no name on the order it was simpler just to make the point that the "liability" was established before the hearing and of course they had to book court number one because 14 witnesses turned up!
This appears to be just part of the the huge corporate scam that councils are involved in.There is much more we have uncovered and will post in due couse.
Well thats the end of the paper trail for now. However, when there is a registered PERSON at your address you know there is bound to be more!
You Tube: landofthefreeuk
NOW LOOK AT THE FOLLOW UP ARTICLE!
Heres an up date on How NOT to get summonsed for NON payment of council tax. An article sent to land of the free by one of our contributors.
Its nearly twelve months since I stopped paying council tax and whats happened? Well considering they were going to make me bankrupt, put me in prison and get bailiffs to take my possesions Ive had a pretty easy ride.
When the first "bailiff" letters arrived from a debt collection agency they were trying to establish joinder with the legal fiction (person) at the address. Having had all their mail returned not to the return address on the envelope but to their managing director at the companies house registered address with the following info, it has cost them a lot of money!
RETURN TO (NAME OF MD) REGISTERED ADDRESS
Fee schedule updated. As you aware you are in breach of the administration of justice act, NO MORE JUNK MAIL TO THIS ADDRESS.
If you redirect the mail to the companies registered address rather than their bulk mail address they have to pay the post office. As these could be important letters to the managing director and are addressed to him they are bound to be accepted. This is a great idea as the documents go back without being served on the person. (Ignoring them will be taken as the documents having been served by Royal Mail).
The so called "bailiff" letters being computer generated do not come directly from a bailiff (see original article). The debt collection agency concerned then do employ debt collectors to visit the property on occasion. They hand deliver the same rubbish through the door that is generated by their computer. Stick these to the back of the ones franked by uk mail and redirect them too, as this is even more expensive (overweight item).
The debt collection agency were chasing a council tax debt of just over £400 with a fee of £37.50 for them! They also made silent nuiscance calls, leaving the line open to try to get joinder. These became quite fun when I bothered to answer them in a variety of comedy voices from imaginary exotic locations.
If there is no joinder they can only charge for the first two visits £37.50 (in most boroughs its £24.50) for the first and £18.00 for the second. They can only charge for the second visit if there has been contract. As they had spent six months trying to get joinder with the person and had no evidence who lived there they couldnt add anything onto their original bill even though trying to had cost them a small fortune.
The result was the debt collectors spent hundreds of pounds trying to collect £37.50, the rest of course belongs to the council as they would be breaking the law if they had bought the debt. Interestingly the debt collectors maintained that they could not close the file until a council tax reference number was supplied by the third party at the address. Part of their contract is obviously to find out who is at the property which adds more time and money for them.
The council had sent a new council tax bill for 2010 which had been returned with "No longer at this address". They sent the final demand which was also returned. They then sent a new bill to The Occupier,which means they are accepting the legal fiction may well no longer be there and a replacement revenue stream has moved in.
Following this there was the fraudulent summons to my legal fiction name which is printed by the council and bears the Crown seal. (Fraud and perjury and a crime under The administration of Justice act). As this document is from the council but appears to be from the court (well it IS a court summons) it was sent back to the court manager unopened with "No longer at this address" written accross it. Now the court have to play along and pretend that it is a court document and of course a summons has to be deemed served. "Return to sender not at this address" means it has not been served and therefore cannot be enforced, even by the council playacting in thier pretend court which they hire for the day for their pretend liability hearings!
And also...As far as the debt collectors are concerned after six months of this and having wasted all that time and money they gave up and then someone from the revenues department at the council left a message on the answerphone saying that they would like to make provision for the outstanding council tax to be paid! These are the same organisation who were going to make me bankrupt, put me in prison,take my possesions......and..oh well..
Then the new bill comes in. Same routine, Reminder, "Summons" , Notice of "liability order". Summons sent by the council and returned to the court, all other correspondence returned to council. No debt collectors though. Returning the summons to the court is fun as we now know the court has NOTHING to do with the matter. Its just a facade. Many magistrates courts are due to close and local authorities are announcing that empty public buildings will be used as courts.
This has been announced locally by the "Chairman of the bench".
The only way to get council tax down to its true value is to stop paying it. We dont need to bail the banks out and pay interest on the national debt!
With over 4 million outstanding "liability orders" collecting all this will not be easy!
Play the game, have fun and dont contract!!!!
FOR MORE UP TO DATE AND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO DEAL WITH DEBT COLLECTORS SEE OUR OTHER ARTICLES LIKE "DEBT COLLECTORS MASQUERADING AS BAILIFFS"
"MORE ON DODGY DEBT COLLECTORS" "JBW GROUP=HIGHWAY ROBBERY" PLUS MANY MORE!
SEE ALSO THE FOLLOW UP ARTICLE "COUNCIL TAX UPDATE : STATUTORY DEMANDS AND BANKRUPTCY PETITIONS"