Arrears / Set up payment plan
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, or if you have missed a payment, please get in touch with us so that we can help you. If you do not let us know you are struggling to pay, you may incur further costs and charges which have to be paid. It may be possible to set up a payment plan to repay your Council Tax. Contact us on 01267 228 601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.
Each stage below explains what happens when you miss a payment and the costs involved.
If the reminder or final notice is not paid in full, a Magistrate's Court Summons will be issued for the full amount of council tax due for the year plus costs of £62.00. If payment is made in full including £62.00 prior to the court date then no further action will take place.
If payment is not made then an application will be made on the court date for a Liability Order.
It is possible to make an arrangement at this stage to set up a payment plan and it is important you contact us immediately on 01267 228601 or e-mail email@example.com to discuss your options.
Please note, if an arrangement is made we will still apply for the Liability Order. Please note, only one arrangement can be made on your council tax in any financial year.
A Liability Order gives us the power to recover the debt by taking deductions from your earnings or benefits, instructing enforcement agents or applying to commit you to prison for three months. We may also instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you or obtain a charging order against your property.
If you have not already agreed a payment plan by this stage a Liability Order will be issued requesting your income and expenditure. You will be asked to provide an income and expenditure report which you can do online.
This must be completed and returned within 14 days. You could be fined up to £500.00 for not completing this form, £1000.00 for supplying false information and/or be summoned to the Magistrates Court.
If you have not made a suitable arrangement then we have the power under a Liability Order, to use an enforcement agent to collect the debt. Any arrangement made at this stage must be made with the enforcement agent. This course of action will incur further costs which are added to the amount you owe.
- Compliance stage: £75.00 is added to each liability order as soon as it is passed to the enforcement agent. This fee is payable before the debt.
- Enforcement stage: £235.00 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that is over £1500.00. This fee is payable on the first visit to your property. Only one enforcement fee will be charged even if there is more than one liability order.
- Sale or disposal stage: £110 plus 7.5% of the value of the debt that is over £1500.00. This fee is payable on the first visit to remove your goods.
The enforcement agent may also recover fees that are reasonably incurred such as the costs of removal, storing goods and locksmith’s fees.
Deductions from your pay or benefit
An order will be sent to your employer instructing them to recover the debt directly from your wage. The amount of the deduction is a percentage scale specified by law.
If you claim Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Guaranteed pension Credit then the Department of Work and Pensions will be asked to deduct the debt from your benefit. The amount of the deduction is specified by law and is currently £3.70 per week.
We may seek to instigate bankruptcy proceedings against you. This course of action will:
- Affect your credit rating and you will be blacklisted from getting any more credit.
- Incur further costs on your account
- Your bank accounts will be frozen
- Your property may be sold to recover the debt.
We may obtain a charging order against your property, which may result in a force of sale to recover the debt.
Commitment to prison
If the enforcement agents have been unable to recover the debt and it is returned to the council, you may be issued a Committal Summons for a Means Enquiry. The Magistrates will look into your means and decide if non payment is due to wilful refusal or culpable neglect and can set a prison term of up to three months.
You will need to provide evidence, including copies of wage slips and bills to confirm the details you provide.
If you receive a Committal Summons you should contact us immediately on 01267 228601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and seek legal advice.
If you have not paid the total sum due including the costs to us before the hearing and you fail to appear, a warrant may be granted for your arrest.
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