Debts to council tax can feel like the most complicated and frightening debts to manage. As a priority expenditure council tax must be paid before other debts like credit cards, payday loans and personal loans. Council tax is paid to your local Government body to help your local area pay for services. Many people we help at Debt Support Trust can’t afford to pay their council tax because of their other unsecured debt problems.
Council tax departments may not contact you as regularly as your credit cards and other debts but they are vitally important. The council can take action to recover their money which we will discuss.
If you have debt problems with your local council then speak to our charity advisors at Debt Support Trust today. We’ve helped thousands of people with council tax debt issues. You can call Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226.
Council Tax Debts
Council tax debt problems are some of the quickest to become a concern. A reduction in income can mean paying for council tax is harder. People who are unemployed will get a discount, as will people who are living as a single person in a property. At Debt Support Trust people in debt often have to spend 10% of their income on their council tax, which can seem like a lot when there’s rent/ mortgage, food, gas, electricity and transport to pay for too.
Recent statistics show that 17% more people are struggling with council tax debts, compare to the same period last year.
Your arrears will quickly be passed to a debt collector, even if it’s just one monthly you’ve accidentally missed. The debt collector will want to organise a payment plan. If this payment agreement is broken then they will take further action against you to recover the money.
Council Tax Wages Arrestment
One of the actions some councils are taking when arrears exist is to organise a wages arrestment. This involves the council going to court and getting permission to take a percentage of your wages.
If you have a wages arrestment your employer will pay the money directly to the council each month. This means they are guaranteed to get their money back each month. You want to avoid a wages arrestment because it can be a substantial amount of your income and cause further money worries.
There are some local councils that won’t lift a wages arrestment once it’s in place, even if you’re planning to enter a debt solution like a debt management plan.
Help with Council Tax Arrears
It’s important to speak to a debt advice charity if you’re struggling with arrears. There are routes to resolve money worries which include payment plans, debt solutions and short term token payments.
The council will want their money back but they will be supportive and understand that you could have short term money issues.
If you need help to understand your options you should first speak to the local council about what they can do. Most councils will have a recovery or debt collection department. If you have council tax debts plus debts to overdrafts, loans and credit cards then speak to Debt Support Trust about the solutions available to you.
Complete the debt test or call 0800 085 0226.
Council Tax Debt Management
Your local council may have a debt management and debt advice department so you can contact them directly. They will explain their recovery process and help you come to an arrangement to repay the arrears.
If you agree a payment plan you should ensure to meet these repayments as you could only get one chance at a payment plan. These payments will be on top of your existing council tax liability for the current year. So, if your council tax is £130 per month then you could agree to pay £70 extra to pay off the arrears, meaning you have to pay £200 per month.
Help with council tax arrears is available from Debt Support Trust on 0800 085 0226. We work closely with many councils and can help you arrange payment plans or enter a debt solution which will resolve all of your debts, making paying council tax affordable in the future.