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My Norwich

Difficulty paying council tax

Further action

Bankruptcy proceedings

If we have been granted a liability order and your Council Tax still isn't paid in full, we may, in certain circumstances, start bankruptcy proceedings against you.

We will firstly issue a statutory demand, giving you 21 days to pay the amount due in full. If you do not pay the amount in full within 21 days, or take no further action , then we will apply to the County Court for a bankruptcy order. If such an order is made against you, the official receiver will take control of your financial affairs for the next three years.

You will also be liable for the substantial legal fees and disbursements incurred in this process.

Charging order proceedings

If we have been granted a liability order and your Council Tax still isn't paid in full, we may, in certain circumstances, apply to the County Court for a charging order.

This will place a secured charge on your property leading, in some cases, to the forced sale of your property to pay the outstanding Council Tax.

You will also be liable for the legal fees and disbursements incurred in this process.

Committal proceedings

If we have tried using enforcement agents but your Council Tax still isn't paid in full, we may apply to the magistrates' court for your committal to prison.

We will only take this step when other efforts have failed.

If we choose to make such an application the court will hold a 'means enquiry' with you present. The court may then make an order sentencing you to imprisonment if it is satisfied you have not paid because:

  • you have demonstrated ‘wilful refusal’ (ie you have deliberately refused to pay)

or

  • you have demonstrated ‘culpable neglect’ (ie your failure to pay is blameworthy)

and

  • you have the means on the day of the hearing to pay the debt.

The maximum period of imprisonment is three months however the court also has the power to suspend imprisonment on certain conditions (for example, paying off the debt in instalments or over a specified period of time).