Depending on your circumstances, there may be a number of ways to get out of council tax arrears. One option is to seek advice from a debt adviser. The other option is to write off your debt.
Obviously, the most important thing is to get your bill paid on time. Usually, this is done by making monthly payments spread over 10-12 months. If you miss one instalment, your account is put into arrears. You will get a reminder of your non-payment, and then a second reminder a few days later.
The first step is to contact your local council. They can help you to negotiate a suitable repayment plan. This might include cancellation of your monthly bill, or allocating your payments to the correct year’s bill. You can also ask for a reduced amount. This is a great way to show your willingness to engage with your council.
Another option is to take the council to court. They can apply for a County Court Judgment (CCJ), which will freeze interest on the debt. However, if you are unable to afford the full amount, it is not necessarily a good idea to fight this. The court will ask you a number of questions, and you must show up at a means enquiry hearing. The court might order you to pay the debt monthly until it is paid.
The court may also order you to pay a smaller sum as voluntary payments. If this is the case, you may be eligible for a discount on your bill. However, you should check with your council before accepting any offers. They may have a vulnerability policy, which can help you to avoid this type of legal action.
You might also want to contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau. They can provide advice on debt, as well as other useful information. You can also contact the National Debt Line, which offers free debt advice.
Finally, you can also try to make an offer to the council to clear your arrears. The best offer is one that you can afford, but which also proves that you are taking the necessary steps to get your bill paid. You may be able to ask for a special payment arrangement or even ask the council to take the money out of your wages or benefits.
The most important thing to remember is to keep up your payments, or get in touch with a debt adviser. You should be able to work out a realistic plan that will get you back on track.
The best thing to do is to use a debt adviser, as they can negotiate with the council for you. This will save you the stress of arguing with a councillor. If you do not know where to start, you can always contact the National Debt Line for free advice. However, if you are looking for a more formal solution, you should talk to a lawyer. You should also check out your options if you have been threatened with prison.
How to Get Out of Council Tax Arrears was first seen on Help with My Debt