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Council Tax Enforcement

Attachment of earnings order

Deductions from benefit

Enforcement agents (Bailiffs)

Commitment to prison

Bankruptcy

Charging order

 

There are a number of ways we can recover outstanding Council Tax from you.

 

Attachment of earnings order

An order is sent to your employer for deductions to be made from your wages in accordance with a pdf icon statutory table of deduction [7kb].

 

Deductions from benefit

If you receive Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Universal Credit, we can apply for regular deductions to be made from your benefits. The Department of Work and Pensions will confirm when deductions will begin and the amount.

 

Enforcement agents (Bailiffs)

We use three enforcement companies to recover debts on our behalf. They are:

Once a debt is passed to one of the agents for collection, payment arrangements need to be agreed directly with the company. When the enforcement company receives your account from us, you will incur a £75 compliance fee and be issued with a Notice of Enforcement.

It is important that if you receive a Notice of Enforcement, you contact the enforcement company to discuss payment. Failure to comply with the notice will result in a visit to your property by the enforcement company. They will take control of your goods and you will have to pay a further £235.

If the enforcement company has to carry out a visit with an intention to remove your goods, a further £110 becomes payable with 7.5% charged against any amount owed in excess of £1,500.

 

Commitment to prison

If the enforcement agents are unable to secure payment, the debt is returned to the Council. In this event we have the option to issue a summons for you to attend a hearing at the Magistrates' Court for your commitment to prison.

At the court hearing the Magistrates will hold a 'means enquiry' to determine if your failure to make payment is due to wilful refusal or culpable neglect. When the Magistrates have heard the case they can make one of the following decisions:

  • Send you to prison for a period of not more than three months
  • Send you to prison for a period of not more than three months but postpone this on condition that you make a payment or regular payments
  • Refuse to send you to prison
  • Write off all or part of the arrears

 

Bankruptcy

If your debt is over £5,000.00 we may instruct our solicitors to instigate bankruptcy proceedings. A Statutory Demand will be issued, giving you 21 days to pay in full. If you do not settle the demand, we will present a Petition for bankruptcy. Being made bankrupt is serious and could have a number of effects on you that include:

  • the official receiver will investigate your affairs

  • your bank accounts will be frozen

  • your credit rating will be affected, and

  • you could be forced to sell your home to pay your debts.

     

Charging order

Where a liability order or a combination of orders total over £1,000, we can obtain a charging order against your property. This will enable us to force a sale of the property or settle the debt from the proceeds of any future sale.

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