Recovery & Billing
If you still dispute your Liability, you can put your case to the Magistrates. Otherwise, your attendance at Court is not required.
This gives the Council further powers to collect the Council Tax. It allows us to obtain information about your employment or benefit details. This will incur further costs of £30.00.
The Council can demand to have money deducted from your salary in accordance with the Government guidelines, this is called an Attachment of Earnings.
Deduction from Benefits
The Council can request that payments are made direct from some benefits to pay outstanding Council Tax subject to the Liability Order.
The Council can send the Liability Order to certificated Enforcement Agents.
From 6th April 2014 certificated bailiffs will be known as Enforcement Agents. If a Liability order is passed to an Enforcement Agent you will incur extra statutory costs.
These costs are:
£75 when the liability order is sent from Braintree Council to the Enforcement Agent. The Enforcement Agents will contact customers to arrange repayment.
£235 (plus 7.5% of the original debt over £1500) if the Enforcement Agent needs to visit you if you don't make or keep to an agreement to pay or for the purpose of taking control of your goods.
Once accounts are passed to the Enforcement Agents they will not normally be returned so it is important you contact the Council if you are sent any recovery letters.
If you own your own property the Council can apply to the County Court to have a charge placed against your home. The Charging Order works in the same way as a mortgage – it would have to be paid if you sell the property. The Council could apply to the court to order you to sell your property to satisfy the charge
The Council can apply to the County Court to have you made Bankrupt. This is a very serious step that would affect your ability to get credit and could lead to you losing your home and you would be liable for Solicitors costs and insolvency fees.
Bankruptcy action would only be considered once the Council has gathered and considered information regarding an individual.
The law allows Councils to apply to the Magistrates Court to have a person sent to prison where there is ‘Culpable neglect’ or ‘Wilful refusal to pay. ’ This action would only be considered once all other methods of recovery have failed.
For impartial advice, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.