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

The request was successful.

Dear Bury Metropolitan 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 Bury Council have its computer software set to deal with non specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

Yours faithfully,

Gwyn Worth

Customer Contact Team, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

6 Attachments

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Customer Contact Team

________________________________

Thank you for contacting us.

We aim to reply as soon as possible and this e-mail box is checked regularly. Our normal working hours are 8.45am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. Only If your request is urgent and requires immediate attention please telephone 0161 253 6606.

Customer Contact Team
Bury Council
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________________________________
Did you know what services are available at Whittaker St Digital Hub?

Free training courses are available to help with computer skills and using the internet.

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

7 Internet Access pc's available for customers you will either need a library card or we can join you if you bring ID

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

An additional 7 pcs with access to Bury Council and Direct Gov with freephones to contact council offices/Six Town Housing and Step Change Debt Charity.

Monday 9.30am to 12.30pm

Citizens Advice Debt Drop in Clinic to discuss any debt advice

Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm

Citizens Advice Drop in Session.

Please telephone for more information 0161 253 5000 or call in at the Reception.
_____________________________________________________________________

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Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

 Customer Contact Team

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Thank you for contacting us regarding your FOI Request, your request has
been passed to the appropriate departments(s):

Resources and Regulation

Should you need to speak to us regarding this, your reference is: 
2882821.

If you have any further questions about this issue please E-mail
[1][Bury Council request email] quoting your reference number.

Customer Contact Team
Bury Council

[2][IMG] [3]Receive your council tax bill by e-mail.
Help reduce costs and preserve the environment
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[6][IMG] [7]Find out when we will empty your bins

Freedom Of Information Customer Support & Collections, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Hi

        I  acknowledge receipt of your request.

 

Regards

 

Lynda Smith  |  Bury  Council  |  Customer  Support  &  Collections  | 
Admin  Team  Leader

 

 

 

From: [1][email address]
[[2]mailto:[email address]]
Sent: 06 November 2017 11:21
To: CEX-FOI Requests
Subject: Freedom of Information Request Resources and Regulation

 

     Customer Contact Team

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

Call details (Crm number): 2882821 Recorded: 06/11/2017 11:20:38

Name/Business: Gwyn Worth
Address: 

Contact Number: , Mobile Phone: 

Email Address: [3][FOI #443445 email]

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

Freedom of Information Request for Resources and Regulations

Teams selected: Financial Management,ICT ad E-Govt
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 Bury Council have its computer software set to deal with non
specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

The request has been sent to the following departments: Resources and
Regulation

If you have any further questions about this issue please ring 5353, or
Email [4][Bury Council request email] quoting the CRM reference
number. 

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

Yours faithfully
Customer Contact Team
Bury Council

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

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]
3. mailto:[FOI #443445 email]
4. mailto:[Bury Council request email]

Council Tax, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

If a non-specific payment is received which does not match an instalment
the money is allocated to the oldest account first

 

However, before a summons is issued and before any additional costs are
added to the account the account is always checked just to make sure a
payment meant for current year has been allocated to an older debt.  A
transfer would then be done to current year.

 

Similarly if a customer who makes a payment later phones to say the
payment was meant for current year then a transfer would be done.

 

Regards

 

Council Tax

 

 

 

From: [1][email address]
[[2]mailto:[email address]]
Sent: 06 November 2017 11:21
To: CEX-FOI Requests
Subject: Freedom of Information Request Resources and Regulation

 

     Customer Contact Team

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

Call details (Crm number): 2882821 Recorded: 06/11/2017 11:20:38

Name/Business: Gwyn Worth
Address: 

Contact Number: , Mobile Phone: 

Email Address: [3][FOI #443445 email]

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

Freedom of Information Request for Resources and Regulations

Teams selected: Financial Management,ICT ad E-Govt
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 Bury Council have its computer software set to deal with non
specific payments. Current or oldest year's liability?

The request has been sent to the following departments: Resources and
Regulation

If you have any further questions about this issue please ring 5353, or
Email [4][Bury Council request email] quoting the CRM reference
number. 

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

Yours faithfully
Customer Contact Team
Bury Council

show quoted sections

Dear Council Tax,

Thank you for your response. I consider Bury Metropolitan Borough Council has provided the information I requested. 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's response (see *NOTE*) that there are measures in place to ensure that unspecified payments are allocated to the account which it is least burdensome for the debtor, and consequently the laws surrounding the appropriation of payments are being complied with. This effectively means that 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.

*NOTE*: "If a non-specific payment is received which does not match an instalment the money is allocated to the oldest account first. However, before a summons is issued and before any additional costs are added to the account the account is always checked just to make sure a payment meant for current year has been allocated to an older debt. A transfer would then be done to current year."

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Council Tax, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Customer

Thank you for your e-mail. We aim to issue a reply as soon as possible and please be aware that all of our emails received are dealt with in date order so we thank you in advance for your patience.

If you are telling us about a change of address, we may need more information from you in order to amend your account. Please visit www.bury.gov.uk/counciltaxmove<http://www.bury.gov.uk/counciltaxmove> where you can provide us with this information.

Did you know you could have your Council Tax bill sent to you by e-mail and that you can pay your account by direct debit?
[cid:image001.gif@01D10B27.AF8341E0]

Receive your council tax bill by e-mail.<http://www.bury.gov.uk/ebills>
Help reduce costs and preserve the environment

[cid:image002.gif@01D10B27.AF8341E0]

Pay your council tax bill by direct debit<http://www.bury.gov.uk/directdebit>

Did you know what Services are Available at Whittaker St Reception?

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

7 Internet Access pc's; 2 hour slots available for customers you will either need a library card or we can join you if you bring ID

Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm

Citizens Advice Drop in Session.
Alternatively book an appointment on another day telephone 253 7091.

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

An additional 7 pcs with access to Bury Council and Direct Gov and freephones to contact council offices/National Careers Service/Step Change Debt Charity.

Yours faithfully

Council Tax Team

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Why not visit our website www.bury.gov.uk

show quoted sections

Council Tax, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

You understand correctly

Regards

Council Tax

show quoted sections

Dear Council Tax,

Thank you, I appreciate your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Gwyn Worth

Council Tax, Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

2 Attachments

Dear Customer

Thank you for your e-mail. We aim to issue a reply as soon as possible and please be aware that all of our emails received are dealt with in date order so we thank you in advance for your patience.

If you are telling us about a change of address, we may need more information from you in order to amend your account. Please visit www.bury.gov.uk/counciltaxmove<http://www.bury.gov.uk/counciltaxmove> where you can provide us with this information.

Did you know you could have your Council Tax bill sent to you by e-mail and that you can pay your account by direct debit?
[cid:image001.gif@01D10B27.AF8341E0]

Receive your council tax bill by e-mail.<http://www.bury.gov.uk/ebills>
Help reduce costs and preserve the environment

[cid:image002.gif@01D10B27.AF8341E0]

Pay your council tax bill by direct debit<http://www.bury.gov.uk/directdebit>

Did you know what Services are Available at Whittaker St Reception?

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

7 Internet Access pc's; 2 hour slots available for customers you will either need a library card or we can join you if you bring ID

Wednesday 9.30am - 12.30pm

Citizens Advice Drop in Session.
Alternatively book an appointment on another day telephone 253 7091.

Monday to Friday 9am to 4.45pm

An additional 7 pcs with access to Bury Council and Direct Gov and freephones to contact council offices/National Careers Service/Step Change Debt Charity.

Yours faithfully

Council Tax Team

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Why not visit our website www.bury.gov.uk

show quoted sections

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