Whether you have fallen behind on your council tax payments or you are about to, it is important to take action. The consequences of falling behind can be worse than any other debt. You could find yourself in prison for not paying your council tax or your home could be sold off to pay off your arrears. You should also consider contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further information.
First, you should try to work out a budget. This will help you decide on a suitable repayment plan. You can ask for a reduced amount, or even spread the payment over a longer period. Then, you can talk to your council about how they could help you manage your payments. The more they know about your situation, the better. They may be able to help you avoid having your possessions confiscated or getting a warrant.
If you are unable to afford to make the minimum monthly payment, you can apply for a special payment arrangement. This can include spreading the money out over a year, or asking for weekly or monthly instalments. You should also make sure you have a clear record of your payments. This will help you if you need to apply for a means enquiry in the future.
A means enquiry is a court process used to decide whether you can pay your council tax. This involves a court hearing where you will be asked questions about your debts and assets. You can also expect to pay a fee of around PS200 if bailiffs visit you.
The court system will also send out a CCJ (common court judgment) if you do not respond to a request for payment. You will be sent a final notice letter and a date for your final payment. If you do not pay within 14 days, you will receive a warrant for arrest.
The best way to avoid this is to contact your council and ask them for a payment plan. If they do not offer a solution, you should get help from a debt advice service. You should also keep a record of your payments, so you can demonstrate to the council that you are serious about making payments.
You should also consider taking out a debt advice service to ensure you do not end up having your possessions confiscated. You should also consider calling the Local Government Ombudsman. This will help you find out if your local council is using all its legal powers to collect your money.
The most expensive way to pay your council tax arrears is to miss payments, but it is not always the only way. You should also keep a budget to prevent your payments from slipping through the cracks. This will help you to see how much you can afford to pay each month.
The best way to handle your council tax arrears is to get in touch with your local council and explain your situation. If you need help, you can ask for a payment plan, or you can ask for the council to write off the debt if you cannot pay.