Court Summons – The best course of action
Moving into a property also means you have to pay council tax. If your outgoings start to outweigh your incomings, it is often the bill that gets swept under the rug. After your final warnings are sent through your letter box, the next course of action for the council to take is to summon you to court. It is this step that precedes the involvement of bailiff enforcement agencies, so it is extremely important you act accordingly to avoid things taking a turn for the worse.
These letters will firstly ask you to speak with an officer at the council. What this means is it gives you an opportunity to try and arrange a resolution. If you feel aggrieved in some way, the best way to enquire about this is to request a discussion with the Magistrates. This is perfectly within your rights, and generally speaking both the council offer and the Magistrates will be happy to oblige.
Improving your dialogue with the council is the best way of increasing the chances of an amicable resolution. For instance, a court summons adds a further £90 onto your pre-existing bill and if you believe that you should be entitled to exemption from this charge the council will always investigate your claim.
Another request you are allowed to make is to apply for an official review of your bill under the council tax reduction scheme. This is slightly more long winded. You will be required to write a letter to the council explaining why you believe you qualify for exemption. You will also have to detail your financial difficulties and explain why your circumstance warrants a review. Action is the most important thing when you receive these warnings rather than ignoring them. While it is not advisable to start making demands to the council you should always ask for a breakdown of your charges and ways that your case can be given further consideration.
Do not think that just because you have been issued a court summons you are a criminal. More often than not the council will try and work out the best way for both parties to resolve the dispute. This is especially the case when you request the involvement of Magistrates.
At Council Tax Advisors we have a team of consultants with a wealth of experience in this field. A court summons is not as serious as it seems, although if ignored it will develop into a much greater problem. The threat of bailiff involvement is a very serious one. Without giving the matter any attention you run the risk of your debt being passed on to bailiff enforcement agencies. With the right guidance, you will feel much more prepared when faced with these warnings. Contact Council Tax Advisors today for free advice on what will work best for you.