When it gets to the time of the month when all our bills are scheduled to go out, each visit from the postman is met with an increasing degree of apprehension. As gas and electricity bills merge into phone contracts and broadband connections, it’s extremely easy to lose track of our outgoings – it is something that is affecting a higher and higher number of Britons every single year.
This is no different when we talk about council tax, either. Arguably the country’s most divisive compulsory charge since Poll Tax, its banded charging system and the perceived ruthlessness at which people in lower income brackets are targeted are all things that come up in the mainstream media every on a regular basis and this is unlikely to change as we march forward to the 2015 election and beyond. But for those of us faced with Liability Orders, it’s crucial that we don’t sit and wait for change while our problems continue to snowball; it is crucial that we understand our circumstances and act swiftly and effectively.
After the second letter you receive regarding missed council tax payment, you will inevitably receive a Liability Order through that summons you to a local Magistrate’s Court in order to work towards an amicable repayment solution. Without responding to any of these official documents from the council – and that includes missing the court hearing – you are putting yourself increasingly at risk from the council opting to involve a bailiff company in the proceedings.
What is telling about today’s society is that many of us are lead to believe that we are on our own, when in reality that couldn’t be further from the truth. Last year alone, local authorities in England and Wales obtained around 3.3 million Liability Orders to reclaim unpaid council tax, a huge percentage of the working population. With outside factors playing a part in the increase – public sector cuts have meant benefits are being slashed and extra charges such as the bedroom tax were introduced – more of us than ever before are being told we need to attend a hearing at a Magistrates Court to hear in person what is written out in front of us on paper: You have an outstanding council tax payment of an amount you are struggling to afford.
The important thing to remember is what to do should you find yourself in a difficult financial situation. Local authorities, despite their public image, will always prefer to work towards a solution with you personally than resolve things via enforcement agencies. However, we understand that it may be daunting to try and resolve this on your own; without the right support, guidance and information it may be difficult to reach a conclusion that suits both you and the council.
This is where agencies like Council Tax Advisors come in. With years of experience in local government legislation – ranging from ways you can go about paying various bills to the rights you possess when confronted with bailiff agencies – we are perfectly placed to ensure you work towards a solution in a manner that suits you. Our team are on hand to sit down and recognise routes out of your financial predicament and will be in close communication with your creditors – local council, payday lender or otherwise – to make them aware that you have actively sought out advice when you need to do so.
For more information on the services we offer, contact one of us here at CTACIC today and take the first steps towards a debt-free future.