If you have failed to pay your Council Tax in accordance with the demand notice then the Council will make complaint to the Magistrates Court. If the Court is satisfied that the debt is owed they will grant a Liability Order and you will incurr a further £20.00 in costs. This Liability Order will compel you to make immediate payment of the total sum due. The Council can now take further recovery action to collect the debt.
Once the Court grant the Liability Order the Council is obliged to advise you in writing. If you are subject to a Liability Order for unpaid Council Tax you are under a legal obligation to provide the information requested in the 'Request for Further Information' form within 14 days. Penalties can be imposed for failure to supply information or knowingly supplying false information.
If you cannot pay the total sum due immediately you are strongly advised to contact us immediately to discuss your payment intentions.
The procedures the Council may now use to collect the debt include:
- Instructing Enforcement Agents to remove goods belonging to you to sell at auction to clear the debt;
- Commence bankruptcy procedures against you;
- Apply to the County Court to obtain a Charging Order on your property;
- Issue an Attachment of Earnings/Benefits Order to deduct money direct from your wage/benefits; or
- Ultimately, we can apply to the Magistrates Court for you to be committed to prison for non-payment.
Once the Courts have granted a Liability Order for unpaid Council Tax, the Council may instruct Enforcement Agents to take control of your goods. This means that Enforcement Agents can call at your home to take control of your goods and to remove and, ultimately, sell them at public auction. Any revenue raised from the sale of your property will be used to clear the debt.
The Council employs the services of two specialist Enforcement Agenices covering the whole of England & Wales.
If Enforcement Agents are instructed to collect the debt, then you will incur additional fees:
The fees involved are statutory amounts laid down in legislation and are charged at different stages throughout the process:
|Compliance Stage||£75 (per Liability Order|
|Enforcement Stage||£235 (plus 7.5% of any debt above £1500)|
|Goods Removal Stage||£110 (plus 7.5% of any debt above £1500)|
If you have been sent a letter warning of an impending Enforcement Agent visit, you are advised to contact them immediately to discuss your payment intentions. You must make any payment arrangements with them and, also, make any payments directly to them.