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Methods of recovery

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

A legal 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 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.

Enforcement fees are set out by law.

Commitment to prison

If the enforcement company is unable to secure payment, the debt is returned to us. In this event we have no option but to issue a summons for you to attend a committal hearing at the Magistrates' Court. This means we will ask the court to send you to prison.

At the court hearing the Magistrates will decide if you have deliberately refused to pay or have always overlooked paying. When the Magistrates have heard the case they can make one of several decisions:

  • Court order without a suspended sentence - You will be ordered to pay a set amount. If you do not keep up with the payments you will be ordered back to court to explain why you have not paid. The Magistrates will then decide what to do next.
  • Court order with a suspended sentence - You will be ordered to pay a set amount. If you do not keep up the payments you will be sent to prison for a set amount of time.
  • Committal to prison - The Magistrates can send you to prison straight away.

Bankruptcy

If your debt is over £5,000.00 we may pursue bankruptcy proceedings. The court makes a Bankruptcy Order following a hearing of the Petition.

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 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. See pdf icon Charging Order code of practice [28kb].



Page last updated: 12 October 2017
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