Payments must be received by the due date shown clearly on the bill. Paying within the month will not always avoid recovery. When one instalment is missed, we will issue a reminder notice. If you pay the reminder within the specified time period and future payments are made on time, we will take no further action.
If you pay the reminder, but then default on a later instalment, we will issue a final notice. If you receive a final notice, you will not be able to pay by instalments for that year. The final notice will request that you pay the full outstanding balance within 7 days. Bringing your account up to date at this stage will not prevent recovery action continuing. If the full account is not paid within 7 days, we will issue you with a summons and we will charge costs of £70 to your account. At the Magistrate's Court, we will apply for a Liability Order and we will charge costs of £20 to your account. The Liability Order gives us the power to send an enforcement agent to seize goods, which will again incur further costs.
If your debt is passed to an enforcement agent you will incur a fixed compliance fee of £75 for each liability order outstanding and they will issue an enforcement notice to you. The agent will contact you to arrange payment in full or by instalments. You must answer the agent's letters, emails or calls and arrange payment. Any payments or offers of repayment should then be made to the agent and not the council. If you do not arrange to pay the agent, or arrange to make payment and then do not pay as agreed, they will visit you. If they visit there is a fixed enforcement fee of £235 plus 7.5% of any balance owed over £1500.00.
The enforcement agent may enter into a Controlled Goods Agreement where the agent makes a list of your possessions that is equal in value to your debt. If your possessions are subject to a Controlled Goods Agreement, you cannot dispose of or sell them without the Enforcement Agents permission. If you do not sign the Controlled Goods Agreement the agent can take your goods whilst they are at the property. If you do not pay as agreed and you have signed a Controlled Goods Agreement, the enforcement agent may enter your property, by force if necessary, to take the goods listed. If goods have to be removed and sold there are additional costs of £110 plus 7.5% of any balance due above £1500.00. There may also be extra costs to pay for locksmiths, auctioneers fees etc. relating to the sale of the goods. If the Enforcement Agent believes that there are insufficient goods to clear the debt, we will then consider other recovery options such as bankruptcy, putting your company into liquidation and applying for your committal to prison.