Council Tax Arrears and Bankruptcy Proceedings

D.Gill made this Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please could you supply me with details of the number of Manchester City Council residents that have had bankruptcy proceedings taken against them for council tax arrears and whether all the cases were successful or not.

Was the bankruptcy option taken as a last resort, or were all other recovery methods explored first?

Also, I would appreciate it if you could tell me how many of these were homeowners/mortgage payers.

Yours faithfully,

Mr.D.Gill

George Cant left an annotation ()

Hello there

My name is George and i have been studying this for a few years. I have done a similar request of your council.

My request on here are http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/user/georg...

some figures you may be interested in http://www.crazycouncil.co.uk/Mental%20A...

Further infomation http://www.amv3.com/forum/viewforum.php?...

D.Gill left an annotation ()

Hi George,

Great links . Thanks.

Have you seen this : http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manch...

Depending on the outcome, I am going to set up a group for people who have been affected by the councils incompetence, especially those who have been made BR.
Not sure if this would apply to you.
If so, maybe we could come up with something between us .

D. Gill

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Gill

Re: Request for Information

Thank you for your request for information which was received by Manchester
City Council on 30 September 2009.

Please note that it may take up to 20 working days (approximately 4 weeks)
for the Council to consider your request and to provide a formal response.

If this timescale needs to be extended to consider an exemption you will be
notified and kept informed.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Gill Wood
Democratic Services
Town Hall
Albert Sq
M60 2LA

Tel: 0161 234 4083
Fax: 0161 274 7007

Website: www.manchester.gov.uk
Email: [Manchester City Council request email]

show quoted sections

George Cant left an annotation ()

Yes, i was

I was bankrupted for the current years council tax in 2007, six months after they had refused to let me pay any. They did it because i spotted the numbers in 2005.

i am putting together a website for keeping these figures on all councils. A sort of public league table. i will open up for help in about two weeks,

Its very unusual for the Ombudsman to find in the favour of the public http://www.ombudsmanwatch.org/

Ctax Enquiries, Manchester City Council

2 Attachments

Please find below the reply to your request for information with copy of
bankruptcy and insolvency policy.

Thank you.

show quoted sections

Dear Ctax Enquiries,

Thank you for your response.

From what date has the attached bankruptcy and insolvency policy final 2009.doc been used.
If only recently, please could you supply the document(s) from previous six years.

Please could you further clarify how many ( if any) of these bankruptcy petitions were taken against employees of Manchester City Council and if so, what were the outcomes of these cases.

If the above is not applicable, then please could you supply me with numbers of Manchester City Council employees who are, or have been in arrears for council tax.
What recovery methods were/are being used for them - ie, attachment of earnings, charging orders, etc,

Also, of the 1444 bankruptcy petitions issued, as per your recent response,you state that 1427 were home owners/ mortgage payers.
Please could you clarify the status of the remaining 17 ?

How many of these bankruptcies - if any- are presently being investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman -

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

mcc001m25/Servers/MCC, Manchester City Council

Thank you for emailing Council Tax enquiries.

We will do our best to answer your query within three working days.

*** Account and Claim Tracker ***

You can check the details of your Council Tax and Business Rates
accounts online using our Account and Claim Tracker. You must register
online first to use this free service.

You can also check details of your Housing Benefit and Council Tax
Benefit claims. If you are a landlord and we are paying your tenants'
benefit straight to you, you can check certain details of their Housing
Benefit claims.

Visit http://www.manchester.gov.uk/tracker for more information and to
register.

show quoted sections

George Cant left an annotation ()

Its the initial lliability orders that will interest you.

George Cant left an annotation ()

Trying not to answer http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/in...

http://www.crazycouncil.co.uk/?page_id=493 new addrss for my council info

http://compareyourcouncil.co.uk/ ready soon wanna join in

Dear Manchester City Council,

You are well overdue in your response to my email of 19th Oct inst.
I would appreciate answers to my questions.
to remind you of the email content I have copied it below:

----------------------------------------------

Dear Ctax Enquiries,

Thank you for your response.

From what date has the attached bankruptcy and insolvency policy
final 2009.doc been used.
If only recently, please could you supply the document(s) from
previous six years.

Please could you further clarify how many ( if any) of these
bankruptcy petitions were taken against employees of Manchester
City Council and if so, what were the outcomes of these cases.

If the above is not applicable, then please could you supply me
with numbers of Manchester City Council employees who are, or have
been in arrears for council tax.
What recovery methods were/are being used for them - ie, attachment
of earnings, charging orders, etc,

Also, of the 1444 bankruptcy petitions issued, as per your recent
response,you state that 1427 were home owners/ mortgage payers.
Please could you clarify the status of the remaining 17 ?

How many of these bankruptcies - if any- are presently being
investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman -

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

George Cant left an annotation ()

Very interesting

Its looks like the bankruptcy document was changed after you asked for it.

It says Request sent 30 sept, doc edited 7th oct, responce sent to you afterwards. I would ask them for the document in place before this,

Also, good question about the employees

Charles Metcalfe, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Hello Mr Gill.

Here is the response to your FOI request.

Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

show quoted sections

George Cant left an annotation ()

Hi D Gill

V interesting, i will be back on this shortly, have they sent you a copy of the old policy

have you seen this http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/19...

Dear Charles Metcalfe,

Thank you for your response.

I do however have further points I would like you to clarify..

In your recent response, you state that the collection policy 2009 document that you are presently using was originally put into use in 2008 and updated in 2009.
What methods, guidelines, etc., were in place prior to the use of this document regarding collections, court orders, bankruptcy, etc.,

A copy of the procedures prior to the use of the 2008/2009 document would be much appreciated.

In October 2009, the council was criticised in the way it used bankruptcy proceedings to recover council tax arrears.
To quote from the Local Ombudsman website :

---- * it did not have any written procedure in place to consider whether bankruptcy was appropriate in this case;
* it failed to adequately consider the alternative of an attachment of earnings which could have been applied to Mrs Joseph's wages; and
* it failed to give Mr Joseph sufficient warning of the potential consequence of its intentions to commence bankruptcy proceedings from January 2006 onwards.---

Could you therefore let me know what your intentions are in respect of reviewing all the bankruptcies issued up to this time and whether you would assist those affected by helping to get any bankruptcies annulled in the courts, due to the shortcomings and ineptness of the council.

If you do not intend to do this, please could you give the reasons why.

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

D.Gill left an annotation ()

Hi George,

I have emailed you separately ,

Regards,
D. Gill

Charles Metcalfe, Manchester City Council

Hello Mr Gill.

Decisions to pass an account for bankruptcy were made on a case by case
basis by a small group of experienced staff.

There was no recommendation in the Ombudsman's report for the Council to
review all the cases passed for bankruptcy.
Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

"D.Gill" To Charles Metcalfe
<[FOI #18759 email]> <[email address]>
cc
13/01/2010 10:17 Subject Re: Freedom of Information
request - Council Tax Arrears
and Bankruptcy Proceedings

Dear Charles Metcalfe,

Thank you for your response.

I do however have further points I would like you to clarify..

In your recent response, you state that the collection policy 2009
document that you are presently using was originally put into use
in 2008 and updated in 2009.
What methods, guidelines, etc., were in place prior to the use of
this document regarding collections, court orders, bankruptcy,
etc.,

A copy of the procedures prior to the use of the 2008/2009 document
would be much appreciated.

In October 2009, the council was criticised in the way it used
bankruptcy proceedings to recover council tax arrears.
To quote from the Local Ombudsman website :

---- * it did not have any written procedure in place to consider
whether bankruptcy was appropriate in this case;
* it failed to adequately consider the alternative of an
attachment of earnings which could have been applied to Mrs
Joseph's wages; and
* it failed to give Mr Joseph sufficient warning of the potential
consequence of its intentions to commence bankruptcy proceedings
from January 2006 onwards.---

Could you therefore let me know what your intentions are in respect
of reviewing all the bankruptcies issued up to this time and
whether you would assist those affected by helping to get any
bankruptcies annulled in the courts, due to the shortcomings and
ineptness of the council.

If you do not intend to do this, please could you give the reasons
why.

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

show quoted sections

Dear Charles Metcalfe,

I am quite disappointed with how basic your response was to my most recent questons and would really appreciate a more thorough reply.
I will persist in asking until I receive the courtesy of this, as the law allows me to do so.

You say that the decision to apply for bankruptcies was taken by a group of experienced staff.
Could you please elaborate on their qualifications, expertise, suitability for the decision making and also the guidelines they used in the decision making process.
For them to pursue cases without the necessary guidelines in place does not make me confident they were suitable to make these decisions.
If they were suitably qualified, surely at least one of them should have known that guidelines should be in place
Could you tell me whether this issue was ever raised amongst them?

As far as deciding which cases to pursue, I am assuming what you are saying is they would chase mainly those who owned or were mortgaged on a property ( with equity), as your figures prove that the vast majority of bankruptcies were issued to those in that category. Only 17 of the 1444 cases were against tenants.
Please correct me if I am mistaken in this belief.
However, if I am wrong, I would like to know the methods used in pursuing those who are tenants with no assets.

To take this action mainly against those who have assets is surely discrimination and obviously goes against the council's own discrimination policy of treating every person equally. Your comments please.

I agree that the Ombudsman did not directly ask you to review previous bankruptcy cases, however, in response to their findings on the "Mr Joseph" case, a new guideline document was put into practice. This surely must prove that you admit that the councils previous methods were lacking, or you would have continued using the previous methods

Surely there are employees in your department who could use their moral compass and have the courtesy of reviewing those bankruptcy cases that have been sought under dubious conditions.

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

George Cant left an annotation ()

Make sure they answer this bit.

"You say that the decision to apply for bankruptcies was taken by a group of experienced staff. Could you please elaborate on their qualifications, expertise, suitability for the decision making and also the------ guidelines they used in the decision making process.-------"

"In October 2009, the council was criticised in the way it used bankruptcy proceedings to recover council tax arrears."

I would ask them what policy's they have changed, if any, since the ombudsman diccission "

Then ask them if any of the other bankruptcy conducted by there council have been reviewed since the ombi,

D.Gill left an annotation ()

Too right George.
The last reply I received from Mr Metcalfe was lacking much substance.
It makes me wonder why the information given is sparse and why some points have either been ignored or answered evasively.
Many things just do not add up.

Charles Metcalfe, Manchester City Council

Hello Mr Gill

I have answered the specific questions that you have asked below.

The staff concerned were scale six or above and all had considerable
Council Tax experience. They looked at each case individually, considering
whether bankruptcy was appropriate and would be effective. A formal
written policy and/or guidelines was not a legal requirement at that time
or now.

You are correct in assuming that bankruptcy was used mainly against
property owners.

Charles Metcalfe
Revenues Manager - Manchester City Council
Alexandra House
Moss Lane East
Manchester
M15 5NX

Internal tel: 811 8449
tel: 0161 219 6382
fax: 0161 274 7214

"D.Gill" To Charles Metcalfe
<[FOI #18759 email]> <[email address]>
cc
14/01/2010 12:49 Subject Re: Freedom of Information
request - Council Tax Arrears
and Bankruptcy Proceedings

Dear Charles Metcalfe,

I am quite disappointed with how basic your response was to my most
recent questons and would really appreciate a more thorough reply.
I will persist in asking until I receive the courtesy of this, as
the law allows me to do so.

You say that the decision to apply for bankruptcies was taken by a
group of experienced staff.
Could you please elaborate on their qualifications, expertise,
suitability for the decision making and also the guidelines they
used in the decision making process.
For them to pursue cases without the necessary guidelines in place
does not make me confident they were suitable to make these
decisions.
If they were suitably qualified, surely at least one of them should
have known that guidelines should be in place
Could you tell me whether this issue was ever raised amongst them?

As far as deciding which cases to pursue, I am assuming what you
are saying is they would chase mainly those who owned or were
mortgaged on a property ( with equity), as your figures prove that
the vast majority of bankruptcies were issued to those in that
category. Only 17 of the 1444 cases were against tenants.
Please correct me if I am mistaken in this belief.
However, if I am wrong, I would like to know the methods used in
pursuing those who are tenants with no assets.

To take this action mainly against those who have assets is surely
discrimination and obviously goes against the council's own
discrimination policy of treating every person equally. Your
comments please.

I agree that the Ombudsman did not directly ask you to review
previous bankruptcy cases, however, in response to their findings
on the "Mr Joseph" case, a new guideline document was put into
practice. This surely must prove that you admit that the councils
previous methods were lacking, or you would have continued using
the previous methods

Surely there are employees in your department who could use their
moral compass and have the courtesy of reviewing those bankruptcy
cases that have been sought under dubious conditions.

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

show quoted sections

Dear Charles Metcalfe,

Yet again you have failed to address the questions I asked with any real clarity.
Some points have been ignored entirely.
I find myself having to remind you yet again that I am legally entitled to proper responses and answers to these points.
I am therefore asking you to look again at the points I raised and if you feel you are not qualified enough or incapable of responding to them, could you afford me the courtesy of passing the concerns onto someone within your department who can do so.

May I remind you that the questions and answers contained on the forum are open for all to see.
The way in which you have responded to my two most recent requests will just reinforce many people's beliefs that the council is arrogant and disrespectful.

So, please could you answer properly :

1) The qualifications, and expertise of those involved in the decision making process of cases prior to the implementation of the guidelines. Your recent answer of them being "Grade six or above" is council speak and means nothing to anyone not employed by the council.
Please could you tell me of any legal qualifications any or all of them have got?

2) I would also appreciate your comments on the fact that the vast majority of people made bankrupt were home owners. How does this fit in with the councils own statement of treating everybody equally?

3) You state that it has never been a legal requirement to have collection guidelines in place. Why then was a policy introduced after the LGO expressed concerns?
If there were no guidelines in place previously, then how did your "suitably qualified group of people" decide which cases to pursue. There must have been deciding factors.
If so, what were they?
Could you confirm or deny that the real deciding factor was whether the debtor owned property or not?

Finally, may I just say that if these points are not answered in a proper manner, I will be asking for an internal review.

Thanks once again

Dear Manchester City Council,

The request for further clarification to my FOI request, sent 18th January is now long overdue.
Please could you afford me the courtesy of a reply to the points raised in the request.

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Gill

I apologise for the delay and confirm that your supplementary request will
be dealt with as soon as possible.

Lynn Evans
Information Governance Manager




"D.Gill" To
<request-18759-4bef3077@whatdothey FOI requests at Manchester City Council
know.com> <[Manchester City Council request email]>
cc
15/02/2010 19:00
Subject
Re: Freedom of Information request - Council Tax Arrears and
Bankruptcy Proceedings

Dear Manchester City Council,

The request for further clarification to my FOI request, sent 18th
January is now long overdue.
Please could you afford me the courtesy of a reply to the points
raised in the request.

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

show quoted sections

Dear Manchester City Council,

Thank you for your acknowledgement.
However, you are approximately one week overdue with your response to my most recent clarification request.
This is unacceptable.

How long is "as soon as possible" as stated in your most recent response.
Surely there must be someone within the department who can answer in a concise, accurate manner, within the generous timescale.
You will notice that much of the information I am STILL trying to get is from back in September 2009.

What are you trying to hide? .........

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Dear Manchester City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Manchester City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Council Tax Arrears and Bankruptcy Proceedings'.

I Have been awaiting PROPER responses to a request originally made September 2009.
All I have received are vague answers to many of the points asked.
Some questions have not been answered whatsoever.

I believe the council is purposely avoiding giving proper answers and therefore are in breach of the FOI laws.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

George Cant left an annotation ()

Hi there.

Your just getting messed about here. I would suggest you complain to the ICO. You should not have to fight for information like this,

I understand that there was a bonus scheme in effect for financial staff for closing outstanding CT accounts.

So to answer your question, What considerations are taken by the staff into conducting the bankruptcy, @

The real answer form Manchester council should have been 'To maintain the highest amount of bonus income for our staff'

because it has nothing to do with the actual amount that the council collects.

I will get back to you in a week or so with some other details.

J Wilson left an annotation ()

Mr Gill,

I think, having only started to read the policy document provided to you, that there are things which the BBC ought to be made aware of. To start with they stated in their article, for which a link was provided above, that Manchester City Council had "launched bankruptcy proceedings against 433 people since 2005, netting about £3M".

However, the information supplied to you was that proceedings started against 1444 people, although it is not clear what period this covers. Nonetheless the figure of 433 is given as the number who were actually made bankrupt, not the initial number proceeded against. That works out about £7,000 per person, for who knows how much CT arrears?

How much did the Councils actually recover and what other costs have been added to these 'debts' and who gets that money? Are all these 433 people now 'homeless' and needing to be provided with Council Accommodation?

The whole system of bankruptcy is corrupt and always has been. It only really works for Companies to enable them to avoid liabilities they should pay.

On Man.City Council's Policy document I have this to say. They state in paragraph 2.1 "The legal requirements are contained within the Insolvency Act 1986. Essentially, bankruptcy action can be taken against any debtor who owes in excess of £750 to creditors and who, for whatever reason, is unable to satisfy his creditor’s claims in full".

However section 271(3) of the Insolvency Act states
that a court may dismiss any bankruptcy petition "if it is satisfied that the debtor is able to pay all his debts" and later on that ""in determining for the purposes of this subsection whether the debtor is able to pay all his debts, the court shall take into account his contingent and prospective liabilities".

This implies therefore that the court needs to actually consider an individual's solvency in entirety, not just the existence of one claim over £750. I note that their policy is now to apply a limit of £1500 (except when they choose), so is this because that was the limit in Scotland from 1999/2000 after devolution? The Scottish Parliament has since increased that limit to £3,000 so where is 'equity under the law' in England & Wales?

Furthermore how can the entire Insolvency Act be 'lawful' if the 'bankruptcy level' has never been amended since 1986? That is hardly fair or just. All it would have taken is a review by the Minister responsible for the Insolvency Service under section 267(4) of the Act and a Statutory Instrument, every 5 years at most, to amend it.

The failure by the State to do so, is in itself a maladministration of justice, so no bankruptcies since 1991, at least, should be upheld, especially since s271(3) has not apparently been complied with by the courts.

I've had extensive contact with Robert Evison (Regional Director North West), in Manchester for the Insolvency Service in regard to S271(3) above. He repeatedly told me that there has never been any requirement for the court to do anything to comply with this section, nor any guidance issued to the Insolvency Service about it either.

He claims that "As long as that debt is over the prescribed limit the debtor is entitled, as of right, to recourse in bankruptcy,and it is immaterial what the debtor's aggregate liabilities or assets are". He also claims that "the Court's ability to dismiss a petition under S271(3)is discretionary ("the Court may dismiss the petition....") rather than mandatory" and that "There is no requirement in the rules for the Official Receiver to verify your solvency or otherwise, neither is there any internal guidance that this should to be done".

I don't know how anyone else feels but I think this is a perversion of justice as it is not compatible with any reasonable interpretation of the Insolvency Act as it was written. Nor is it compatible with a fair interpretation of sections 3 & 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998. Not that the IS or the Courts care about this either, especially when they issue any orders without hearings. All they care about is the money they get in fees and asset stripping of solvent persons is just a bonus to such a corrupt State.

Can we start a protest to Parliament about the way the entire system is corrupt, when politicians are also mostly corrupt?

Michelle Duckett, Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Hi

Please find attached response relating to emails of 12, 14, 18 and 21
January 2010.

We apologise for the delay in responding to your requests.

show quoted sections

Dear Michelle Duckett,

Thank you for your reply, although well past the date set out by law.

You state that I am asking the same questions.
If you have taken the time to read the previous communications, you will see that it was in fact the replies from Manchester Council which were mostly extremely ambiguous- I was merely requesting clarification.

.
I have just been trying to get the replies in normal wording and not council speak as you all seem too happy to use.- I suspect in an attempt to try and confuse while erroneously believeing that by doing so , you had fulfilled your legal obligations.
It only really proved the arrogance and lack of respect towards the people who pay your wages.
One such example of the "council speak" is the mention of the staff being "Grade six or above". How am I meant to know what that means?
I am sure if I used similar terminology relating to my employment, you would also seek clarification.

You are correct in stating that I said I will continue to ask the questions until they were answered properly. It is my legal right.

Also, you mention if I am unhappy with your recent response I can ask for an Internal review.

This is yet more proof that you have not read the full thread of communications, as you will have seen that I had already asked for the internal review over a week ago when it became apparent that you were not able to comply with the generous timescale for replying to the requests.

If nothing else, an internal review will hopefully investigate the reasons that you feel able to make your own timescales with little, or no regard for your legal obligations.

There is no reason why the original questions were not answered properly a long time ago.

Yours sincerely,

D.Gill

J Wilson left an annotation ()

Mr Gill,

Further to my last annotation on Section 271(3), I have checked their reference to paragraph 2.4 of their policy document, which is very limited in scope.

However, I've found a High Court case; Howard v Savage BPIR[2007] 1097, which I believe is also relevant to all of the 1427 home owners whom the Council threatened with Bankruptcy proceedings.

Mr Savage was a home owner who was declared bankrupt in 1994 whose main asset was a half share in a house. Initially the house was in negative equity, but as soon as it increased by enough to pay his 'bankruptcy debts and costs' a judge granted him an annulment "under section 282(1)(b) on the grounds that the bankruptcy debts and expenses had been either paid or secured to the extent required by the rules" and that "The district judge had been satisfied that there would be a surplus of assets over liabilities once the creditors, including the trustee, had been paid and therefore granted an annulment".

His trustee wasn't happy with this and brought the case above to overturn it. Thankfully he was turned down and sent away with a flea in his ear. However, it makes me think even more, that this ruling means that no one, who is able to pay their debts, or has assets including equity in a house, should ever be or have been declared bankrupt. Because the 'debts' could be settled by sale of the house and 'downsizing' whereas Bankruptcy just creates more debt, including the Official Receivers cut and the extortion of so called Trustees who need never be appointed.

Please ask the Council to change their policies in the light of this decision and to explain why they haven't already applied it?

J Wilson left an annotation ()

Mr Gill,

If you haven't already seen it I suggest you check out the reply I had from Wolverhampton City Council at http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/an....

They have confirmed that section 375(1) of the Insolvency Act was used to 'rescind' the June 2005 Order against Mr Ford, whom the Local Government Ombudsman found in favour of in his complaint to him, and not section 282 on annulments.

As I've said in my reply however, the Courts should be using it themselves along with section 271(3) to deny Bankruptcy Petitions against home owners and solvent persons. Failing to do so makes the Courts guilty of violating human rights and even the useless Human Rights Act 1998.

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Gill

Thanks you for your email dated 31st March 2010

The title in your email is "Pre- court action vulnerability checks" which
relates to one of a number of information requests you have made.

You state that none of the questions you have raised have been answered.

I do not share this view.

The questions in your email of 21st January 2010 about "Pre- court action
vulnerability checks" were answered in the response dated 12th March 2010
which also contained responses to your separate emails of 14th and 18th
January 2010. This response was sent to the following address:

“D.Gill”<[FOI #18759 email]>

I must advise that if you remain dissatisfied following the review which
has now been undertaken in respect of the Council's response dated 12th
March 2010 (dealing with two internal reviews requested by you), you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner.

Lynn Evans
Information Governance Manager
Democratic Services
Chief Executive's Department
Town Hall
Manchester City Council
www.manchester.gov.uk
Tel 0161 234 5000

.




"D.Gill" To
<request-27452-0eab2df4@whatdothey [Manchester City Council request email]
know.com> cc

30/03/2010 23:56 Subject
Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Pre-
court action vulnerability checks

Dear Manchester City Council,

I urge you to read the questions again and then you will see that
NONE of them have been answered.

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

show quoted sections

George Cant left an annotation ()

Hi there

i agree with you D Gill and will email you direct. If they did not have a policy for this time, then the general terms by the FSA for a vulnerable person will suffice . i will send you the link, both the councils and there agents have to stand by it

Dear The unbelievably inept Manchester City Council,

Maybe the reason I have not seen your responses is because you have answered them on the wrong thread.

The questions were asked under a separate request entitled "Pre-court action vulnerability checks", and yet answered in this thread entitled "Council Tax arrears and bankruptcy proceedings"

Quite ironic given that the questions asked in the thread was in relation of your ineptness!!

I will peruse your reply and get back to you should I require any further clarification

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Dear Manchester City Council,

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do not seem to have been given an answer to the question regarding whether your pursuing bankruptcy proceedings in at least 98% of cases towards homeowners/mortgage payers (1427 out of 1444 cases) fitted in with your "Everybody treated equally" and "No discrimination".... blah blah... policy.
Surely it is discrimination to mainly pursue one particular sector. Do you agree?
If not, please could you be so kind as to supply a copy of your equality statement with the relevant exception highlighted.

Just to remind you also, you stated in your response that I was asking the same question again.
It is more that you have avoided many of the question repeatedly, which has caused me to have to do so

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

George Cant left an annotation ()

You would be surprised how many of the people that they pursue or also one parent family's or people in receipt of benefit.

Working people on the edge of benefits make up most of the rest.

am conducting some research into this. The key to understanding these actions is the published collection rates ( audit commission ), The timing and application of liability orders, ct officers bonus schemes, the court collection fund and charges, and how this money is spent.

D.Gill left an annotation ()

Hi George,
It is quite annoying the way they are just answering as evasively as possible.
If they had nothing to hide, the original request would have been resolved a long time ago.

They then have the cheek to tell me I am asking the same questions again and again.
The only ones I have done this to are the ones they have not given proper answers to.

I am also investigating some very interesting info I have been given regarding the way these BR proceedings were issued.

Also I am still awaiting the courtesy of them answering and attaching the checklist they imply they used to clarify the present welfare and vulnerability state of the debtor prior to issuing BR proceedings.

Not looking too good for them at the moment.
Time will tell.

Manchester City Council

Dear Mr Gill

In response to your email of 20th May, please find response sent by meial
on 31st March 2010.

Lynn Evans
Information Governance Manager
Democratic Services
Chief Executive's Department
Town Hall
Manchester City Council
www.manchester.gov.uk
Tel 0161 234 5000

show quoted sections

Manchester City Council

informationcompliance@manchester.g To
ov.uk "D.Gill" <[email address]>
cc
21/05/2010 11:38 “D.Gill” <[FOI #18759 email]>
Subject
Fw: Internal review of Freedom of Information request -
Pre- court action vulnerability checks

Corrected spelling

Dear Mr Gill

In response to your email of 20th May, please find response sent by email
on 31st March 2010.

Lynn Evans
Information Governance Manager
Democratic Services
Chief Executive's Department
Town Hall
Manchester City Council
www.manchester.gov.uk
Tel 0161 234 5000

show quoted sections

George Cant left an annotation ()

Why is the response not posted on here

D.Gill left an annotation ()

Hi George.

The response was put on this thread http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/pr... (Dont ask me why!!!)

Just an acknowledgement to say that they are investigating.

Still no real responses from them.
They must think the law doesnt apply to them.
Must be one of the most arrogant councils.

They definitely have something to hide or they would have answered properly well before now.

Why am i not surprised.

Dear Manchester City Council,

Still Waiting !!!

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Dear Manchester City Council,

I am still awaiting a proper response.
Please have the courtesy to acknowledge and give an estimated time you expect to be able to comply.

Yours faithfully,

D.Gill

Manchester City Council

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Gill

Please find attached in response to your request for an internal review.

(See attached file: InternalReviewResponseBankruptcyProceedings.pdf)

Information Compliance Unit
Democratic Services
PO Box 532
Town Hall
Albert Square
Manchester
M60 2LA

Email: [Manchester City Council request email]
Website: www.manchester.gov.uk

show quoted sections

S.K.Bentley left an annotation ()

Here's my story..How to change a £1080 bill owing to a £250,000 debt.

1, Bankruptcy by Hull City Council in November 2005 over unpaid council tax,i owed just over £1080 which i was going to pay in full in the New Year,as i was having £80 a week stopped out of my wages
for 18 months by the court to pay my ex wifes court costs.

2, Attended a meeting with the Official Receiver a P Mallatratt on the 10th of January 2006.

3, Paid the £1080 plus costs in the February of 2006 (costs £950).

4, To the court in Feb 2006 to have Bankruptcy annuled, the Official Reciever wouldnt let it be annuled.

5, Back to the Official Receivers office,he advised me to go to Baker Tilley,a Mike Gerrard,he was appointed the Trustee of my estate. ( OR used to work with him,mates etc).
To list my assets etc

6, Rang Lloyds bank regarding the loan,applied to cash in a endowment policy to pay it off,just over 10k.

7, Received monies from endowment,made a appoitment at the bank to pay it all off. B/Tilley stopped it.

8, Received a letter from Baker & Tilley saying i owed them just over £103k??????? in the August of 2006.Spent night and next day in Hull RI.

9, Went back to court in the Jan of 2007,for Baker & Tilley to force the sale of MY home,the Judge adjourned it for 4 weeks.

10, Back to the court Feb 2007,different judge never listened to me the whole time.

11, Court order for me to be thrown out of my home in the May 2008,had to re mortgage to buy MY own home back.

12, Stopped from picking up important papers from MY house for remortgage, as i was evicted from my house the same week,i was living with my daughter,then to some friends.

13, Similar case for similar monies owed taken to Ombudsman,"found deemed to be wrong",Ombudsman ordered Wolves CC to pay all costs.
I contacted the Ombudsman. Calls,emails and letters sent,recieved over the next 18 months.

14, Applied to the Chelsea B/Soc,approved,,B/Tilley added £7k on that month,back to Chelsea to ask for £7k more,refused it.

15, Applied to a company in Brighton for the monies,approved B/Tilley added another £7k in interest that month,re applied,was refused.Plus the company sent my passprt and driving licencse back via royal mail
these was lost in the post.

16, Applied to the West Bromwich B/Soc,approved,B/Tilley added £7k that month in interest.

17, Applied to Moneypartners for the full amount £98k approx over 25 years.

18, Creditors hearing at B/Tilley, all debts paid off,,,,,,,,,,,,free at last,,,,,

19, Letter containing cheque from HCC council for the costs returned to me by mistake (i still have these),paid these twice,rang B/Tilley,i said thats my money,they said no,extra charges incurred.

20, Decision from Ombudsman,thrown out. That was last year 2010.

21, Letter from Mortgage transfer company,Engage Credit,putting the interest rate up even tho Bank of England had not.

22, Court Appearance Feb the 9th.

23, My local MP after consulting with the "trustees" thinks their £7,000 a month charges are legal.

This house would have been paid off on the 18th of December 2009.Instead this has cost me upto now in excess of £28,000.00p in extra payments.

J Wilson left an annotation ()

This is just another example of how the State is corrupt and Official Receivers are not being honest, with their handling of alleged bankrupts, nor are the Courts.

Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, Article 17(2) stated simply that "No one may be arbitrarily deprived of their property". Yet anyone who allegedly has owed more than £750 to a 'creditor' since 1986 can be declared bankrupt, even without a hearing it seems, because I was.

There can be nothing more arbitrary than that. Yet since 1999/2000 the law in Scotland raised the 'bankruptcy level' to £1,500 where it is now £3,000 and yet it's still £750 in England & Wales. But under the rotten Human Rights Act's (Schedule 1), from the European Convention - Article 14 stated that "The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status."

Has this no validity in UK law at all? It seems to me that discrimination is the order of the day in Courts because if you don't have a lawyer in tow the Judge just ignores you and all your human rights too.

Of course since no UK laws have respected the Universal Declaration or subsequent Universal Human Rights instruments then perhaps that's their excuse, but it is immoral and therefore corrupt. The HRA also ignores the fact that we are all entitled to just satisfaction for any and all Human Rights violations, no matter whom they are committed by (Article 13 of the European Convention, which was left out entirely).

Yet the Minister for Justice and my MP sees no problem with that. Perhaps we need to revolt and get our property back that way if they won't be honest and admit their own guilt and thus liability to pay 'just satisfaction' for all their wrong doings. Especially 'Trustees in Bankruptcy' who are nothing more than State sanctioned thieves.

S.K.Bentley left an annotation ()

Hello J Wilson,yes,that is exactly what happened to me in court,the judge never even allowed me to speak,all he did was listen to the snivelling solicitor.
I told the judge at the end of the hearing,i said "thank you,next time you get a smack head in for robbing a pensioner for the money to buy drugs,put him down for life,because that is what you have just done to me,all for £1080.00.
I felt like spitting in his smug little face.

J Wilson left an annotation ()

S.K. Bentley,
Did the Judge even consider whether you were actually a 'bankrupt' in the real sense of it? I.e. if like me your 'ability to pay' wasn't even questioned and Section 271(3) of the Insolvency Act was ignored, then I think you should apply for an annulment. Not that it's gotten me anywhere yet, but that's simply because the whole system is corrupt. Your MP is also legally required to defend your rights under the UN Charter and other UN Resolutions too.

Again, they might be too busy fiddling their expenses claims to even want to help you, but you might as well try as you may get lucky and find a half decent one works in your constituency.

S.K.Bentley left an annotation ()

Hello J.Wilson,i have been in touch with my MP and the LGO this morning,there is nothing they can or want to do on this,so for owing just over a £1000 i have lost around £140,000,excellent news eh.

S.K.Bentley left an annotation ()

Hello,i have just open my e-mails and received this one this morning.

Mr Bentley,

"Thank you for this link."

I think this supports my point as clearly states that MPs are there to represent you on issues that are affected by Parliament or central government. They are not there to get involved in legal cases.

Again I cannot see any reference to a legal requirement to defend constituents under the UN Charter or other UN resolutions

As I and Mr Turner have said that you need legal advice and Mr Turner in his role as an MP is not the person to do this.

Regards

Darren

Darren Milner

Senior Parliamentary Assistant

Office of Karl Turner MP

020 7219 7088

07906 386 676

J Wilson left an annotation ()

Mr Bentley,

As regards this message from Karl Turner MP's SPA he is talking out of his rear end, but that is nothing new as my own MP does likewise too.

I have tried explaining to mine that under the UN Charter every UN Member State promised to "secure to their citizens" all of their human rights. Indeed in General Comment No.9 issued by the Human Rights Treaty Bodies, The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1998 (which also referred to comment No.3 of 1990 on the same matter)stated in paragraph 3 thereof that - "Questions relating to the domestic application of the Covenant must be considered in the light of two principles of international law. The first, as reflected in article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties,t is that "[A] party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perforrn a treaty''.
In other words, States should modify the domestic legal order as necessary in order to give effect to their treaty obligations.
The second principle is reflected in article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, according to which "Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law".

The UK Government's argument seems to be that because we don't have 'constitutional rights' or laws protecting them either, then any Court Judge (acting for the State) can arbitrarily deprive anyone of their property without regard to their rights. One of which was the right to "Not be arbitrarily deprived of their property" in Article 17(2) of the 1948 Universal Declaration. But Judges don't seem to know nor care about that any more than MP's do.

I would have though that they had higher moral standards than that since they also claim the right to judge us in the name of God. I.e. the 'motto' of the Courts has since the 12th Century been "Dieu et mon Droit", which translates as "God and My Right".

However, if they also violate the right for a defence to be heard in public, then under the second law of 'natural justice' their decisions cannot stand. So we should have had alternative remedies that do not include going before the Courts who are guilty of violating the very rights they ought to uphold.

Perhaps you should ask your MP to look at all the documents on this web page for the High Commissioner on Human Rights - http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ before he makes any more remarks claiming that he has no obligation to protect any of our rights.

If we don't have the right to own our own property then why should MP's have the right to 'own' their 'second homes' when these are paid for by taxpayers?