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Council tax - what happens if I don't pay

Last Modified April 24, 2014
 

Your council tax bill shows you how much you need to pay and when your payments are due. Monthly instalments are normally payable on the first of the month unless otherwise shown. If you pay through the post office, or through the bank you should allow extra time for your payment to reach us.

Reminder and final notices

If you do not pay instalments when they are due, we will send you a notice reminding you to pay.

If you still do not make a payment, we will then send you a summons. This is because you lose the right to pay by monthly instalments and so you have to pay the full amount.

If you pay the instalment shown on the reminder, but then default on later payments you risk losing your right to pay by instalments through the issue of a final notice, which cancels the instalment facility and demands the balance of your payments to the end of the financial year in full.

If you are having genuine difficulty in making payments you should contact us straight away and we will do our best to help you. Do not ignore the reminder notice because if we have to continue with recovery action against you, you may have to pay extra costs.

If you pay nothing, or pay late resulting in a final notice, your right to pay by instalments is lost and the full outstanding balance becomes payable in advance.

If you do not pay the amount outstanding, or make an acceptable payment arrangement with us to clear the balance of your account (usually by direct debit) we will continue with recovery action.

Summonses

If no payment, or no acceptable payment arrangement, is made within 14 days of sending the final notice you will receive a Magistrates' Court summons incurring costs of £30, which will be added to how much you owe us.

Liability order

If payment, including costs, is not made on the summons, an application will be made to the Magistrates' Court for a liability order. This will involve a further £50 costs being added to how much you owe us. A liability order gives us the power to recover the debt from you in a number of ways, including:

  • An attachment to earnings order.
  • An attachment to benefits order. 
  • Applying for a charging order against your property.
  • Passing your account to an external enforcement agent which will involve further charges being incurred. 
  • Starting bankruptcy proceedings against you.

 

From the 6th April 2014 all Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) action and the fees that can be charged, is now will be governed by the Tribunal Courts & Enforcement Act 2007 and the Taking Control of Goods and Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014.

There is a new fees structure.These fees are fixed and set by Government and involve

  • a £75 charge should your case be passed to the Agent (Compliance Stage);
  • a £235 charge (plus 7.5% for any amount in excess of £1,500) (Enforcement Stage) should enforcement action take place;
  • a £110 charge (again plus 7.5% for any amount in excess of £1,500) should the case reach sale at auction.

 

If your case is passed to our Enforcement Agents you WILL be subject to the new fees, which can be significant and substantial. To avoid these fees you need to contact the Recovery Section on (020) 8207 7409 as a matter of urgency.

If you have any question or queries about the above, or have received recovery notices from us and wish to discuss your account, call the Recovery and Rating Team on 020 8207 7409 or email revenues@hertsmere.gov.uk.

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