If you fail to pay your Council Tax
If you don't pay the amount due within seven days of your expected payment date, you'll be issued with a reminder. If you still fail to pay after being issued with a reminder, a summons will be issued requesting the full year's charge.
If you're issued with a summons and are unable to pay the balance in full, we can make a mutually acceptable arrangement based on your financial situation to clear the balance. To discuss this, please contact Revenue Services on 01642 726007.
If you still fail to pay, the council may:
- pass your account to an enforcement agent (a bailiff)
- take repayments directly from your earnings using an 'attachment of earnings order'
- make deductions from your Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Guaranteed Pension Credit, or Universal Credit
- make an application against you for bankruptcy or a charging order
People who still don't pay are issued with a summons to commit them to prison.
If you fail to pay your Housing Benefit overpayment
An invoice should be paid in full within 14 days of receiving it. If you can't do this you must contact us straight away so we can make arrangements for you to repay the amount based on your financial circumstances. You can contact the Overpayment Recovery Section via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01642 726562.
If you fail to pay your invoice or don't contact us within 14 days of receiving the invoice, a reminder notice will be issued.
If you fail to pay or contact us to make an arrangement within 14 days of receiving the reminder notice, a final demand will be issued.
If you fail to pay your outstanding debt within 14 days of receiving the final demand, your debt will be passed to a debt recovery service who will pursue you for repayment. This could result in further costs and you having to pay back more.
We may also decide to pursue the recovery of your overpayment via the County Court. Several different recovery methods are available to us through the County Court, and these can seriously affect your credit rating. They could also result in further costs and you having to pay back more.
If you're in receipt of benefits, we can apply for deductions to be made from your benefits. This could result in a third of your weekly income being deducted until the overpayment has been repaid in full.
Discretionary reduction in liability (hardship scheme)
The Council will look wherever possible to ensure residents are paying the correct amount of Council Tax, either by giving assistance through the Council Tax Reduction scheme, or by applying discounts and exemptions where appropriate.
In exceptional circumstances, where residents are considered to be genuinely unable to pay some, or all, of their Council Tax due to their individual circumstances, an application can be made through Section 13A (1) (c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. This allows the Council additional discretionary powers to reduce the amount of Council Tax where discounts, exemptions and reductions don't apply.
If you think you're experiencing hardship and would like to be considered for additional support through this scheme, please call us on 01642 726007 to find out more.