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, you may:
- Have your account passed to an enforcement agent (a bailiff)
- Have repayments taken directly from your earnings (the council will use an 'attachment of earnings order')
- Have deductions made from your Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment Support Allowance, Guaranteed Pension Credit, or Universal Credit
- Have an application made 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 an arrangement for you to repay based on your financial circumstances.
Please 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 may 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 your 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 assisting through the Local Council Tax Reduction scheme or applying discounts and exemptions where appropriate.
In exceptional circumstances, where residents are genuinely considered to be 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 do not apply.
If you feel that you are experiencing hardship and would like to be considered for additional support through this scheme, please telephone us on (01642) 726007 to find out more.