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STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS:
HOW TO STOP SHERIFF ACTION

Have you been visited by a Stirling Park Sheriff due to unpaid Council Tax, Business Rates, Benefit overpayments or any other debt?

If you have, don’t panic, Council Tax Advisors are the leading not-for-profit organisation who specialise in helping people just like you stop Sheriff action, avoid Wage Arrestment’s and set up affordable repayment plans, ensuring you retain your possessions and can get your life back on track.

So, how can Council Tax Advisors help you solve the problems you face with Stirling Park?

  • We will speak to the Stirling Park Sheriff on your behalf
  • We will arrange for a temporary hold on Sheriff visits to be put in place
  • We will negotiate with your local council for you
  • We will arrange an affordable, sustainable repayment plan for you
  • We do all of this completed free of charge as we are Not-for-Profit Community Interest Company

“Thank you Council Tax Advisors. You have all been so sympathetic, helpful, extremely efficient and have got a result!”
Shasta

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ABOUT STIRLING PARK

Stirling Park employs over 20 Sheriff Officers and 11 Messengers-at-Arms. They work with both the private sector and local authorities throughout Scotland, offering debt collection services. Stirling Park says that they aim to work to high professional and ethical standards, abiding by Scottish law. If you have been contacted by a Sheriff Officer from Stirling Park and you would like to know more about what you can do to avoid further intervention, contact Council Tax Advisors on 01225 667 667.

Stirling Park is a member of Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) and the Credit Services Association (CSA).

Contact Stirling Park LLP:
Website: www.stirlingpark.co.uk/
Tel: 01563 545 818
Address: 16 Nelson Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 1BD

 

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CALL 01225 667 667

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COUNCIL TAX COLLECTION BY STIRLING PARK

If you or any other person in the household responsible for paying Council Tax falls into arrears, the council will first of all send you a reminder to pay your bill. This first reminder will give you a seven-day period within which you will need to contact the council and make an arrangement to pay. You will be allowed to pay the amount in instalments that are affordable for you. However, if you do not come to an arrangement you will be sent another reminder, which will give you 14 days to pay, but you will have to pay the amount in full.

If you have received two reminders from the council but have still not paid, then the council can apply to the Sheriff Court for a summary warrant, demanding that you pay. If the summary warrant is granted, the council will send Stirling Park details about you and the amount that you owe. Stirling Park will send you the summary warrant outlining the amount that you owe and explaining how to pay it. An additional 10% penalty charge will be added to the amount you owe to cover the cost of the summary warrant.

“I have recently had involvement with council tax advisors and I have to say how much they helped me in particular, Steven Rule and Katie Kearney and what an excellent service they have offered ”
Kathryn Bennett

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STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS USING DILIGENCE AND CHARGE FOR PAYMENT

Should Stirling Park Sheriff Officers serve you with a summary warrant, you will need to contact them as soon as possible to make a payment arrangement. If you don’t, the council can take further steps to obtain a charge for payment. A charge for payment is a final demand that gives you 14 days to get in touch with Stirling Park or the council to agree a payment, before they take further legal action called diligence.

Council Tax Advisors - Council tax and debt advice

When the council use diligence they give Stirling Park the authority to collect the arrears from you in other ways, which could include taking money directly out of your wages or bank account.

If this method is unsuccessful, the council can take the most extreme step of applying to the Sheriff Court for an Exceptional Attachment Order. An Exceptional Attachment Order would allow Stirling Park to stop you from selling your home, property or business, or they could remove items of personal property, which they can sell off the raise money to cover your debt.

The types of diligence that Stirling Park can use to collect debt from you include an earnings arrestment, where money to cover your debt is taken directly from your earnings; a bank arrestment, where the money is taken directly from your bank account; attachment of property outside the home, where items you own are taken from outside the home and sold; Exceptional Attachment Order and bankruptcy, which prevents you from selling your home or business premises.

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CALL 01225 667 667

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AVOIDING DILIGENCE BY STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS

There are some good ways that you can avoid any further diligence being used by Stirling Park Sheriff Officers. Contacting Stirling Park or the council to discuss your situation and work out with them affordable ways of paying is recommended.

APPLYING FOR A TIME TO PAY ORDER

You can stop diligence by Stirling Park if you apply to the court for a time to pay order. This allows you extra time to pay off the money you owe in smaller monthly instalments.

APPLYING FOR A DEBT ARRANGEMENT SCHEME

Applying for a Debt Arrangement Scheme is another way you can stop Stirling Park from using diligence. This debt payment programme helps you to agree regular payments to cover what you owe, and if you stick with the agreement and pay off your debt, Stirling Park will no longer be able to use an earnings arrestment or bank arrestment, or remove any of your property to obtain the unpaid amount.

If you stick with the Debt Arrangement Scheme There are also some other advantages, such as any interest, fees and charges on your debt being frozen for the duration of the agreement. For more details about the Debt Arrangement Scheme contact our debt advice partners Carrington Dean.

“I just wanna say thank you to everyone that worked really hard to solve this case especially steven. HE was always keeping me update withe whats going on. Am so lucky to have you people here. ”
Anonymous

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WHEN STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS MAKE AN EARNINGS ARRESTMENT

If you have received a charge for payment but have still not paid, or made an application for a time to pay order or debt repayment programme, then Stirling Park Sheriff officers will be obliged to carry out an earnings arrestment to collect the money owed. They will be able to liaise with your employer to have the money taken directly out of your wages after tax has been taken out. Money can be taken from your wages on a regular basis until the amount you owe has been covered. Stirling Park will add their administration charge for carrying out the earnings arrestment, which will also be taken from your wages.

Stirling Park or the council will have to send you a debt advice information pack no earlier than 12 weeks before serving you with an earnings arrestment. The information in the pack will provide you with details of how to apply for a time to pay order or debt payment arrangement to avoid having money taken from your pay packet.

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CALL 01225 667 667

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WHEN STIRLING PARK MAKE A BANK ARRESTMENT

Stirling Park can also use another type of diligence called a bank arrestment to collect your unpaid Council Tax. Stirling Park can tell your bank to put a hold on your bank account, preventing you from accessing money. The account will be frozen until you give permission for an amount of money for Council Tax payment to be released. On top of the Council Tax you owe, an amount to cover Stirling Park’s fees for carrying out the bank arrestment will also be taken out of your account.

You have 14 days from when your account is frozen to give permission to release the money you owe. If you do not give permission, then after 14 days Stirling Park will instruct your bank to release the money to the council to pay the amount due. Any standing orders or direct debits will also be put on hold and you will not have access to the money that was in the account at the time of the arrestment. Any bank accounts that you hold can be subject to a bank arrestment, including bank accounts that are held jointly.

Council Tax Advisors - Council tax and debt advice

By law, Stirling Park will have the right to freeze the money in your bank account at that time so that you cannot have access to it.

Stirling Park will only be able to freeze the amount of money that is in your account at the time of the arrestment. As a bank arrestment can take place without any prior notice, you could be left in a situation where you are unable to access your money or pay any other bills. In the first instance you should call Stirling Park to arrange a mandate, giving them permission to release some money towards unpaid Council Tax. For any amount outstanding, you will need to arrange a standing order. You could also apply to the court for a time to pay order or make arrangements through a debt repayment plan. Contact Council Tax Advisors for more information: 01225 667 667, or complete the online contact form.

“Receiving letters from bailiffs wanting money I could never afford, I was honestly terrified. Council Tax advisors have been so friendly, understanding and extremely helpful. Without their help I would still be having sleepless nights. They arranged on my behalf a payment plan I can afford ”
R. Hughes

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STIRLING PARK AND ATTACHMENT OF PROPERTY OUTSIDE THE HOME

You will be subject to an attachment of property outside the home or attachment of goods, if you have not responded to two reminders about unpaid Council Tax, and you have still not paid in full, or made an arrangement to pay through a payment plan, or applied for a time to pay order. Stirling Park will have rights to remove possessions from outside your home and sell them off to raise the money to cover the amount you owe. The administration fees for Stirling Park carrying out the attachment will also apply, and will be taken from proceeds from the sale of your possessions.

You should receive a debt information pack from Stirling Park or the council no earlier than 12 days before they carry out the arrestment of your property. The pack explains what you can do to stop your property from being removed by Stirling Park Sheriff Officers, such as applying for a time to pay order or a debt arrangement scheme. Be aware that the pack can arrive on the same day as the attachment is being carried out, so you may not have prior notice that the attachment will happen.

Council Tax Advisors - Council tax and debt advice

Stirling Park cannot gain entry to your home except in the case where an Exceptional Attachment Order has been granted. However, they can enter outbuildings, garages and business premises. Even if the buildings are locked they can gain entry by breaking locks or windows, or forcing doors.

There are some types of items that Stirling Park will not be able to include in the attachment, such as tools, books and equipment necessary for your business, up to a value of £1,000, any vehicles valued up to £3,000 that you need to carry out your business, or a mobile home if it is your main residence.

Stirling Park Sheriff Officers will give you a list of all the items that they have included in the attachment, including the valuation of each item. They will be able to take the items away and sell them after seven days to make money to cover your Council Tax arrears. If the full amount you owe is not covered by the sale of the items, then you will still have to pay the outstanding amount.

You, or a friend or relative will be able to buy the items back at the amount they were valued by Stirling Park within 14 days of the attachment being made, before they are sold to someone else.

If Stirling Park have removed any items that you believe should have been exempt from attachment, or which do not belong to you, you can apply to the court to challenge the attachment.

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CALL 01225 667 667

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CAN STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS GAIN ENTRY TO MY HOME?

Only in the case of an Exceptional Attachment Order being granted will Stirling Park Sheriff Officers be allowed access to your home. If Stirling Park has been unable to collect your unpaid debt using any other means, then the council can apply for an Exceptional Attachment Order, giving Stirling Park the authority to enter your home any day except for Sunday between the hours of 8am and 8pm.

If you have been served with an Exceptional Attachment Order and a Stirling Park Sheriff Officer has been granted authority to gain entry to your home, you should first check the identity of the Sheriff Officer, and also check that they have the correct documentation. The court document they serve you with should ‘grant warrant for all lawful execution’. This means that you have to let the Stirling Park Sheriff Officer into your home. If you are not satisfied with the identity of the person or the documentation they have provided you should immediately contact Council Tax Advisors on 01225 667 667.

Council Tax Advisors - Council tax and debt advice

If the court documentation is all in order and you do not let the Stirling Park Sheriff Officer in, they will be allowed to use ‘necessary reasonable force’, meaning they can break a lock or window, or force open a door. You could also face being charged with obstructing an officer of the court, or breach of the peace.

If a Stirling Park Sheriff officer has had to use necessary reasonable force to gain entry, the council will be responsible for footing the bill for any broken locks, windows or doors. However, this is sometimes included in Stirling Park’s fee for carrying out the attachment and the amount may be passed on to you.

A Sheriff Officer from Stirling Park is only allowed to carry out an Exceptional Attachment Order if the person at home is over 16 and has the ability to understand what is going on. If the only person in the house is a child under 16, or someone who doesn’t understand English, or a vulnerable person with reduced mental or physical capacity, the Stirling Park Sheriff officer will not be able to enter your home.

There are some items that are exempt from an Exceptional Attachment Order such as clothing, bedding, basic furniture, refrigerator, cooking appliances. Sometimes, though, a Stirling Park Sheriff Officer may decide that there is an item from this list that you do not reasonably need and they can include it to be attached.

Contact Council Tax Advisors through this website or on 01225 667 667 if you have been served with an Exceptional Attachment Order.

WHAT FEES DOES STIRLING PARK CHARGE?

Stirling Park charge fees for carrying out the various stages of debt collection, which will be added on to any money you already owe. Below is a breakdown of the fees.

STIRLING PARK SERVICE OF DOCUMENTS FEES

  • 10% of the amount you owe for service of a summary warrant
  • £78.10 service of a document to each person at a different address/span>
  • £17.60 service of a document to each additional person at the same address
  • £17.60 postal service
  • £38.95 postal diligence

STIRLING PARK SERVICE OF ATTACHMENTS FEES

  • £11.05 notice of entry
  • £82.70 unsuccessful attachment
  • £9.20 reporting attachment to local authority


Stirling Park fees for arranging and carrying out an attachment

  • £96.80 for goods valued £681 and under
  • £150.05 for goods valued between £681 and £2,737
  • 10% of the appraised value when over £2,737 and up to £27,564
  • 10% of the first £27,564 and 5% thereafter when over £27,654 and up to £137,809
  • 10% of the first £27,564 and 5% thereafter when over £137,809


Stirling Park fees for arranging and carrying out attachment of cars or heavy machinery

  • £96.80 if valued £681 and under
  • £150.05 if valued over £681 and up to £3,028
  • 5% of appraised value if over £3,028 and up to £137,809
  • 5% of the first £137,809 and 1% thereafter if over £137,809


Stirling Park fees for arranging and carrying out an earnings or bank attachment

  • £96.80 if value is £681 or under
  • £150.05 if the value is £681 and up to £2,737
  • 10% of the value if over £2,737 and up to £27,564
  • 10% of the first £27,564 and 5% thereafter if over £27,564 and up to £137,809
  • 10% of the first £27,564 and 5% thereafter up to £137,809, and 1% thereafter if over £137,809

STIRLING PARK FEES FOR TAKING POSSESSION OF BELONGINGS

  • £79.00 for arranging possession
  • £145.90 for arranging and carrying out possession

There may also be other administrative fees charged for phone calls or making copies of documents. For more information about fees you might have to pay to Stirling Park, call Council Tax Advisors on 01225 667 667, or email using the online contact form.

“Thank you Council Tax Advisors. You have all been so sympathetic, helpful, extremely efficient and have got a result!”
Shasta

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MAKING A COMPLAINT ABOUT STIRLING PARK SHERIFF OFFICERS

If you feel that a Stirling Park Sheriff Office has not conducted debt collection within the law, or you feel you were treated unfairly, you should contact the Stirling Park Compliance Manager on complaints@stirlingpark.co.uk and ask for an explanation.

Alternatively, if you are still not satisfied, you should contact the Sheriff Principal at your local Sheriff Court or the Society of Messengers-at-Arms

Society of Messengers-at-Arms and Sheriff Officers
8-12 Torphichen Street,
Edinburgh
EH3 8JQ
Tel: 0131 228 2866
Email: admin@smaso.ednet.co.uk
Website: www.smaso.org

STIRLING PARK AND BUSINESS RATES COLLECTION

Stirling Park also works with local authorities to collect unpaid Business Rates, adhering to the same laws and stages of debt collection as explained above for unpaid Council Tax. You will also have the same rights to apply to the court for a time to pay order or apply for a debt repayment programme to avert further diligence being used. However, the council can apply to make you bankrupt, which in this case, it would be too late to apply for a time to pay order.

If you have overdue Business Rates of more than £3,000 and Stirling Park have not been able to collect the arrears using any other type of diligence, they can apply to make you bankrupt. Although declaring bankruptcy can have its benefits, it is a drastic step to take, which could lead to you losing your business, home and assets. If you owe Business Rates and are concerned about being made bankrupt call Council Tax Advisors on 01225 667 667.

 

STIRLING PARK AND BENEFIT OVERPAYMENTS COLLECTION

If the council have paid you too much Benefit, they will write to you explaining the reasons for the overpayment and you will be required to pay it back. If you do not pay back overpaid Benefits, the council can authorise Stirling Park Sheriff officers to collect the money from you in the same way they collect unpaid Council Tax, as explained above. If Stirling Park has contacted you about paying back overpaid Benefits and you are unsure about anything call Council Tax Advisors on 01225 667 667 or write using the contact form on this website.

STIRLING PARK PRIVATE AND CONSUMER DEBT COLLECTION

Stirling Park also offers debt collection services to private landlords and companies in Scotland. They are authorised with the same powers as described above to collect credit card debts, unpaid loans, rent arrears, overdue bank charges, and other types of consumer debt. There may be some differences, however, so it is always best to speak to someone at Council Tax Advisors who will be able to get someone to help.

CONTACTING STIRLING PARK

If you need to speak with Stirling Park directly they can be contacted in the following ways:

www.stirlingpark.co.uk
16 Nelson Street, Kilmarnock, KA1 1BD

01563 545 818

CALL US ON
01225 667 667

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