If you have received a court summons

What is a liability order

The council will request a liability order in court which will enable them to take more actions to recover the money if you do not stick to your payment plan. This enables the council to legally do the following:

  • Deduct money you owe directly from your net wage, at the rate specified by law, this is known as an attachment of earnings
  • Deduct money you owe from your income support or jobseekers allowance, again at the rate specified by law, this is known as an attachment of benefit
  • Pass your debt on to enforcement agents (formally known as bailiffs). Once the enforcement agents have become involved any arrangement must be made direct with them. There will be additional costs incurred if this route is taken.
  • If the debt remains outstanding following enforcement agents action we will issue a notice for you to attend a committal hearing. At the hearing you will need to provide details of your income and expenditure, after which the magistrates will determine whether to make a committal order.
  • We can make an application to the county court for an order to receive the amount owed in respect of council tax on any interest held by the debtor in a property. If the debt and costs incurred by us are not then paid, an enforced sale of the property can be investigated, again by order of the court, this is known as a charging order.
  • We can issue a petition for bankruptcy (against individuals) or liquidation (against a company) which again could lead to the assets of the individual or company being seized and sold to clear the debt and all costs.

An outstanding benefit claim or appeal against your property band is not a valid defence against the granting of a liability order.