Ensuring customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship

The request was partially successful.

Dear Broxtowe Borough Council,

A council taxpayer who owes more than just the current year's liability runs the risk of incurring additional recovery costs through a further application for a liability order if payments which are intended for the current year's liability are allocated by the council's computer to the previous year's liability. This would most likely happen where a non specific payment is made and the computer software is set to automatically allocate these payments to the oldest year's debt.

Councils computer systems have the necessary flexibility to be set to allow non specific payments to be allocated to the arrears or the current year's liability.

I understand that the majority of billing authorities have their computer software set to ensure that their customers are not subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs or hardship, i.e. so non specific payments are allocated to the current year's liability.

How does Broxtowe Borough Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated
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you directly.

Visit our website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and
to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls
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main council offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster
Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

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foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Gwyn,

Thank you for your request for information. I am currently making enquiries and will respond to you as soon as possible, but in any event not later than 16 November 2017.

Please contact me if I can be of any further assistance in the meantime.

Yours sincerely

Arron
_____________________________________________________________________
Arron Beckworth Ext 3592
Complaints & Compliments Officer

Broxtowe Borough Council
Legal and Planning Services
Council Offices, Foster Avenue
Beeston, Nottinghamshire, NG9 1AB
Tel: 0115 9177777
Fax: 0115 9173131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

foi, Broxtowe Borough Council

Dear Gwyn,

Further to your request, I can now inform you that, the IT software is set to reduce the oldest debt by default. However, where a tax payer makes the Council aware that they wish to reduce a different years debt then the Council would give full consideration to this request.

I hope that this answers your enquiry. However, please contact me if I can be of any further help.

Regards

Arron
_____________________________________________________________________
Arron Beckworth Ext 3592
Complaints & Compliments Officer

Broxtowe Borough Council
Legal and Planning Services
Council Offices, Foster Avenue
Beeston, Nottinghamshire, NG9 1AB
Tel: 0115 9177777
Fax: 0115 9173131
www.broxtowe.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Dear foi,

Thank you for you response. I consider Broxtowe Borough Council has provided the information I requested, however, the purpose of this exercise was to ascertain whether or not the principles surrounding the appropriation of payments were being adhered to.

R v Miskin Lower Justices (1953)

It was held in R v Miskin Lower Justices, that where an amount obviously relates to a specific liability, it would be an unwarranted assumption to allocate the payment elsewhere.

If no instruction is given at the time of payment, then the council has a duty to allocate payment to the account which it is most beneficial to the debtor to reduce. That would be in the majority of cases the current liability if the consequences of allocating payment to the arrears meant that the customer was subject to unnecessary recovery action, additional costs etc.

I understand by the council indicating that there are no measures in place to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor (other than relying on customer representation) that the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are not being complied with. If the laws of appropriation were being complied with, an unmatched payment allocated to the oldest debt (having the consequences of putting the current year's liability also in arrears) would be reallocated to the current year's liability on account of the circumstances implying that this was the debtor's intention (least burdensome for the debtor).

If it appears I have misunderstood anything by what I have stated I would appreciate if you would correct me.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Broxtowe Borough Council

Thank you for contacting Broxtowe Borough Council. This is an automated
reply to let you know that your email has been received. If any action is
necessary it will be passed to the relevant officer who will respond to
you directly.

Visit our website www.broxtowe.gov.uk to make payments, download forms and
to find information about all our services.

You can telephone us on 0115 9177777. Our switchboard is open for calls
Monday to Thursday from 8:30 to 5:00pm and 8:30 till 4:30 on Fridays. The
main council offices are also open for visitors between these times.

You can write to us at - Broxtowe Borough Council, Council Offices, Foster
Avenue, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 1AB.

Broxtowe Borough Council

DISCLAIMER:
This email and any attachments are confidential and intended solely for
the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. If you are not the
intended recipient be advised that you have received this email in error
and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this
email is strictly prohibited.
If you have received this email in error please contact the IT Service
Desk at Broxtowe Borough Council on [email address] or
telephone 0115 917 3194.
Senders and recipients of email should be aware that, under current
legislation, the contents may be monitored and will be retained. The
contents of the email may have to be disclosed in response to a request.
This disclaimer confirms that this email message has been swept for the
presence of computer viruses.

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