Another Debt Question!

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The internet says that in flat-shares where each person has an individual contract for a room then the responsibility is the landlord's; the tenants are collectively responsible where there is a joint contract covering the whole property, which is the case here. This seems straightforward, and even sensible.

In this case, the original council tax bill, with the three names on it, included a deduction of a third for this guy's council tax benefit. So two people shared the remainder. Now, just after he's moved out, a new bill arrives with the last few month's benefit cancelled. The Hackney phone people confirm there has been a problem with the claim, but refuse to go into detail because they can't discuss someone else's benefit. They did say that the remaining tenants are jointly liable for the money.

This seems ridiculous to me because the problem can only have been either a) the council's error, in which case they can get stuffed, or b) a fraudulent claim (highly likely) in which case they should call the police or chase after the claimant themselves, rather than pestering the people who actually bothered to pay their share. As I said, I don't think they can legally demand this money, otherwise everyone who's shared a property is liable for the behaviour of all their former flatmates.

Eyeball Kicks (Eyeball Kicks), Friday, 27 October 2006 12:35 (thirteen years ago) link

is your name on the bill anywhere?

if not, you only just moved there just last week.

this is how you should do things for rental properties

A) have your payslips, bank statements sent to your parents address. this is your official address. make sure you stay on the electoral register there also. you might even want to appear on the council tax bill there

B) all bills at the property you rent must not have your name on them. it really doesnt matter who's name is on them. make names up. david hamilton is a good one, dudley richards another, but it really doesnt matter. you can put anyones name on a bill, they really dont care. same for the council tax. it really doesnt matter, just make sure your name is never on there

c) make sure the bills are paid, this way lies the least trouble. but, in rental properties problems arise, you are not responsible, and, whats more, you have proof you live somewhere else

-- (688), Friday, 27 October 2006 13:00 (thirteen years ago) link

also, this way, when you leave, nothing follows you. after all, you were never there

-- (688), Friday, 27 October 2006 13:01 (thirteen years ago) link

three years pass...

Has anyone dealt with a legit debt relief/debt management company?

I have ~18k in credit card debt, and make less than $20k/year. I'm working on selling everything I don't need, but it's still going to be a slog to pay it off and start over. I'm not behind on anything, and unless business bottoms out completely I should be floating for the foreseeable future.
I was thinking about contacting a company that the NFCC recommends to speed the process of paying it all off - but I'm not sure how much I'd potentially save in exchange for the hit on my credit score.

FIST FIGHT! FIST FIGHT! FIST FIGHT IN THE PARKING LOT! (milo z), Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:05 (ten years ago) link

I don't know a good one, but I had a not-great experience with The Credit Counseling Foundation (based in Florida). They charged extra to make your payments electronically and failed to make payments on time several times in the 3 years I used them, negatively impacting my credit rating even more. They did get the interest rates lowered on several cards, but with the up-front payment they required and the additional fees they charged ($35/month service fee), I really don't think they saved me any money.

If you are thinking about trying to do it yourself with a consolidation loan to pay things off, I can highly recommend Prosper.com.

Jaq, Tuesday, 16 March 2010 20:32 (ten years ago) link


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