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2. Council Tax Arrears Information

Council Tax Arrears Information if you have received a Final Notice

What further recovery action can the Council take?

If you do not pay in full within seven days of the final notice being issued, and you have not made any contact with us to request help, we will apply to the Magistrate's Court for a Liability Order.

You will receive a summons with a court hearing date detailing the amount of Council Tax unpaid.

At this point an additional charge of £35.00 will be added to your outstanding Council Tax balance, this is the cost of applying for the liability order.

Common questions asked in relation to a court summons

Why has this summons been sent to me?

Because, according to our records, despite a previous reminder, you have not made payments in accordance with the statutory instalment arrangement scheme or an annual or yearly-agreement with Exeter City Council.

Do I have to appear at the Magistrates Court?

No, not unless you dispute the balance of Council Tax and costs shown as outstanding. However if you have a query concerning your Council Tax Support entitlement, you should contact us immediately. Please note that the Court cannot make a financial arrangement with you for payment. If you wish to discuss such an arrangement you should contact us.

What happens at court?

The court will decide if you are liable to pay the Council Tax charge. If they decide that you are liable they will grant a Liability Order. When a Liability Order is granted this allows us to recover the amount of Council Tax you owe in the following ways:

  • Attachment of Earnings - we can recover the amount owed directly via your employer from your wages.
  • Deductions from benefit - we can recover the amount owed directly from certain benefits you receive.
  • Enforcement Agents Fees - we can use enforcement agents to recover the amount owed - this will add more costs to the amount you already owe. If you do not agree to make an arrangement with the Enforcement Agent they can take control of goods to recover the amount of Council Tax owed.
  • Bankruptcy & Charging Orders - we can consider commencing bankruptcy proceedings to determine if you should be declared bankrupt, or if you own your own property we can apply for a charging order to be put against the house you own for the Council Tax to be paid when it is sold, we can also request that the property is sold to clear this debt.

Could I go to prison?

Yes, if your Council Tax still remains unpaid after all of the above recovery methods have been unsuccessful we can apply to the Magistrate's Court for a Warrant of Commitment. The court will decide if you have deliberately not paid because of wilful refusal or culpable neglect.

What happens if I make a payment?

If the total amount due (including costs) is paid in full to Exeter City Council by the day before the Court Hearing, no further action will be taken and proceedings will be stopped. Do not make payments by Bank Giro Credit as payment may not be received by the Council before the Court Hearing. If payment is being made by cheque, please allow at least three working days for clearance