Our company specialises in dealing with council tax debt, the most frequently encountered debt. The council strictly collects outstanding payments by obtaining quick County Court Judgments through magistrates courts. Subsequently, they assign these debts to bailiffs (enforcement agents) for collection. You’ve come to the right place.

What does that mean for me?

If you cannot pay or your council tax bill is late, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Delaying payment can result in more severe debt collection measures by the council, including the repossession of your personal belongings by bailiffs. However, there is a solution to prevent this from happening, and we can help.

When you contact our friendly team for the first time, we will be ready to assist you with any debt-related concerns. We will carefully review your financial situation and inform you of the precise solution to stop any additional action.

We are here to work for you and support you throughout your debt management journey. We maintain complete confidentiality while taking charge of your debt situation and collaborate with you to find a sustainable solution in the long run.

Can I Write Off Council Tax Debt?

If you have unpaid council tax, it may be possible to have a portion of the debt forgiven through an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). However, whether or not this is possible will depend on your council’s decision in a creditors’ meeting. Council tax debts are handled differently from other types of debts as the council can apply for a county court judgment (CCJ) quickly if the debt remains unpaid. Once your request has been approved, bailiffs will be instructed to come to your property immediately and take away goods worth the same amount as your outstanding debt, including any vehicles you own.

The bailiffs will charge additional fees, and the items in your property will be evaluated at a lower value.

If you cannot pay your council tax bill, it is important to act fast. We assist numerous individuals experiencing difficulties with paying their council tax bill and offer free, private guidance to prevent your debts from increasing. Don’t wait until it’s too late – contact us today.

How can Credibble help me?

Dealing with debt can be overwhelming, especially when debt collectors or bailiffs are involved. Don’t panic! The Credibble Team is here to help. We can help you to stop proceedings and reduce the cost of your debt for free.

We offer a unique debt solution service partnered with Equifax, a world leader in providing consumer credit report data. This means we have instant access to all your major debt without you having to search through your paperwork. Furthermore, we’re supported by the Natwest Accelerator Programme for business and have a multiyear relationship with the organisation. Our extensive and unique personal finance knowledge goes far beyond debt solutions – so you can trust that you are in safe hands.

Have You Recently Been Contacted Regarding Outstanding Council Tax Debt?

It’s common to have council tax arrears, as evidenced by the £944 million owed in the UK during the 2017-18 financial year. However, figuring out what to do once the debt piles up can be challenging. If your local authority has recently contacted you about your arrears, you may have some questions, such as:

  • Can I get a council tax arrears payment plan?
  • What happens to council tax debt after 6 years?
  • Is it possible to get council tax debt written off?
  • Can an IVA help with council tax debt?

We have created a comprehensive guide to help you with your debts and provide clear steps to take control. Our guide offers practical advice to help you understand what you must do to fix the situation before it worsens. Let’s dive right into it.

I Owe Council Tax – What Can I Expect?

You need to be aware that the collection process for council tax arrears can be quite aggressive. Your council may employ various enforcement methods to recover the outstanding amount. If you choose to ignore your council tax arrears, be prepared for the possibility of facing serious consequences.

  • Repossession
  • Home visits
  • Removal of your goods
  • Enforcement agents with the right to force entry into your home
  • County court proceedings

So What Should I Do? Help With Council Tax Debt

It is important to address your council tax debt as soon as possible, even though it may not be easy. Avoiding or delaying the matter will only make it worse. Therefore, it is not advisable to take the opposite approach.

Additionally, since council tax payments are typically divided into 10 or 12 monthly instalments, taking prompt action may allow you to regain your ability to make monthly payments. However, even if you cannot agree to a suitable payment plan, demonstrating a willingness to participate in the process may be advantageous.

If you are contacted about council tax arrears, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We can help you take the necessary steps to prevent bailiffs from accessing your property and resolve the issue before it becomes more serious.

What Are The Consequences of Not Repaying Council Tax Debt?

Although local authorities may have slight variations, council tax arrears are typically handled using a similar process throughout the country.

  • If you fail to pay your council tax or choose not to make a payment, your local council will send you a reminder and provide you with a deadline of 7 days to pay it.
  • If you do not comply, you may receive a “final notice” that requires you to pay the entire year’s council tax.
  • If you don’t pay after receiving the final notice, the council may take legal action, including deducting money from your income or sending bailiffs.

What Are Income Deductions?

If legal action is taken, the council can direct your employer to deduct money from your wages. Similarly, government benefits, like other state benefits can also be used to recover the amount owed, even if you are not currently employed, such as:

  •  Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Employment & Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Jobseekers Allowance

Council Tax Bailiffs

People often ask if bailiffs will visit them for council tax debt. Unfortunately, the answer is yes. The next stage in the process is a visit from the bailiffs, which can be daunting.

If you have outstanding council tax arrears, you may experience a bailiff visit, which can be unpleasant. However, you will be notified in advance before they come. A court order will be required for the visit, and you should receive a notice 7 days beforehand.

The council may dispatch bailiffs to come to your property and take your belongings to collect payment for the debt.

You may have already received a notice and are anxious about proceeding. Perhaps a bailiff has even visited you. In that case, we recommend contacting a debt guidance service, such as Credibble, as soon as possible. This service can provide free and fast independent advice tailored to your situation.

You mustn’t allow bailiffs to enter your home under any circumstances. This cannot be emphasized enough. The following explains why…

What Can A Bailiff Do?

Compared to debt collectors, council tax bailiffs have greater authority. If you fail to reach a satisfactory payment agreement, bailiffs may seize your possessions and compile a list of items they can sell in the future. They can be tough to work with and are known for demanding high payments to avoid taking your belongings.

Council tax bailiffs can do the following:

  • Visit your home
  • Enter your home with a day’s notice in a peaceful manner
  • Take away items from your house
  • Attach a clamp to vehicles at your property
  • Issue county court judgments (CCJs) to your credit file

Which bailiffs collect debts for council tax?

Councils typically use the following debt collection companies to collect council tax debts:

  • Moorcroft Group
  • Lowell Financial
  • Cabot Financial
  • Rossendales
  • Marston Holdings
  • Advantis
  • PRA Group

If you are being pursued by a different company for unpaid council tax, you can handle the situation in the same way as with the above-mentioned companies. Keep reading for further details.

I’m Worried – Will Bailiffs Force Entry to My Home?

Remember that bailiffs can only seize your possessions after they have obtained peaceful access to your home. Therefore, it’s important not to let them in. Even if you accidentally leave a door or window open or if you answer the front door, the bailiffs can use it as an opportunity to gain access and seize your possessions.

Although it is rare for bailiffs to enter a home to collect unpaid council tax debts forcibly, they may enter through an unlocked door. It’s best to seek help from a debt advice service to find a solution that doesn’t involve losing your possessions.

This is better than giving up your belongings or waiting for them to stop trying.

Council Tax Arrears – How Far Back Are You Liable?

There is a misconception that council tax debt will be written off after 6 years, but there is no time limit for councils to collect debts. They have the right to collect any debt owed to them regardless of how long it has been.

The council can only legally chase a debt for up to 6 years after your last contact. However, this is not typically a problem for the council because their systems automatically file a CCJ and refer the debt to the magistrates court if payment is not received within 7 days.

After this period, your debt will not be forgiven automatically.

Can I Go to Jail for Not Paying Council Tax?

Are you worried about the possibility of being jailed for council tax arrears? While this may seem like scaremongering, it’s important to understand that you could face a prison sentence of up to 3 months if you refuse to pay your council tax. Even if you have the means to make your payments but choose not to, your local authority may request that you be sent to prison.

It is important to remember that being jailed for not paying council taxes is very uncommon. Although some individuals have been imprisoned for this reason in the UK, it is not a probable outcome.

Before you can be penalised for not paying your taxes, the judge must be convinced that you have either refused to pay willingly or have been neglectful.

To clarify, not repaying the debt despite having the ability to do so can lead to imprisonment. Making consistent payments, even small, can help demonstrate to the magistrates that you are making a sincere effort to pay. Although uncommon, there have been cases of individuals being imprisoned for not paying their council tax.

If you cannot pay your council tax, getting financial advice as soon as possible is important. The thought of bailiffs, court appearances, and even imprisonment can be intimidating. To avoid getting to that point, it’s best to take action to manage your council tax debt early on. Here’s what you can do.

The local authority instructs bailiffs who their order can stop. We may provide professional advice to persuade your local authority to cease bailiff action. Otherwise, prepare for frequent visits.

Our professional experience has shown that using deceptive letters and technical language to prevent bailiff action is ineffective. Therefore, we advise against following such advice.

To stop a bailiff from visiting your property, you must enter into an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA), which works as a payment plan for your council tax arrears over a specific period. Once you’ve entered an IVA, the bailiff can no longer legally visit your property. Additionally, there’s a chance that your council tax debt may be written off eventually. However, acting quickly and entering the IVA before the bailiff seizes any goods is important.

What’s an IVA?

Individuals who have accumulated council tax debt can eliminate a significant portion by opting for an IVA. This is the only legitimate method (apart from declaring bankruptcy) to eliminate council tax debt. Under an IVA, the person must pay back a percentage of their overall debt for 5 years. Once this period is over, the remaining debt will be eliminated, resulting in freedom from debt.

It is possible to write off a portion of your council tax debt by including it in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). However, you must meet certain requirements.

Basic Requirements for an IVA

  1. To meet the requirement, you must owe money to at least two creditors, and the total debt amount should be £5000 or more.
  2. To be eligible, your income must be at least £800 regularly.
  3. To be approved, your council must be on our list. Depending on the council, you may be able to pay back only a portion of your council tax debts, while others may require the full amount.

Get IVA Advice Today

The council offices listed below will likely vote in favour of your IVA proposal:

  • Bolsover District Council
  • Bolton
  • Brighton & Hove
  • Bristol
  • Bromley
  • Caerphilly
  • Oldham
  • Canterbury
  • Nottingham
  • Newcastle Under Lyme
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Derby
  • Devon
  • East Hampshire
  • East Lindsey
  • Newark & Sherwood
  • Newcastle Under Lyme
  • Hastings
  • Havant
  • Kings Lynn & West Norfolk
  • Kirkless Council (KPMG)
  • Lewes
  • Newport
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • London Borough of Redbridge
  • Mendip
  • North Kesteven
  • Plymouth
  • Portsmouth
  • Reading
  • Redcar and Cleveland
  • Reigate & Banstead
  • Rochdale Borough Council
  • Rochford
  • Rotherham
  • Rugby Borough Council
  • Rushcliffe
  • South Oxfordshire
  • Stockport
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • Tendring
  • West Lancs Borough Council
  • Wolverhampton
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • Dacorum
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

I Can’t See My Council – What Does That Mean?

Although the list above is based on our previous approvals, it is not exhaustive. If your council is not mentioned, please get in touch with us to determine if your debt can still be eligible for entering into an arrangement. No new information or facts are added in this rewrite.

Which Debts Can Be Included In Your IVA?

If you are dealing with council tax debt, you may face other types of debt. The positive side is that an IVA can help with more than just council tax debt. Your IVA can potentially include any of the debts listed below:

  • Council tax from previous years and current year (if in arrears)
  • Unsecured debts (overdrafts, credit cards, store cards, charge cards, catalogues, payday loans, unsecured loans, doorstep loans, credit unions, debts with CCJ linked to them)
  • Bailiff debts; e.g. Moorcroft Group, Lowell, Bristow and Sutor, Cabot Financial, Advantis, and PRA Group.
  • Utility supplier debts; e.g. gas, electricity, water
  • Service providers e.g. digital TV, mobile phones, landlines
  • Debts secured against an asset that has undergone repossession
  • Vehicle HP and properties
  • debts owed to family and friends.
  • HM Revenue and Customs VAT, PAYE, Self-assessed tax, National Insurance

Debts That Cannot Be Included In An IVA

Some debts are not eligible for inclusion in an IVA. Instead, these debts are considered as part of your monthly household expenditure allowance. Here are some:

  • Mortgages and secured loans
  • Hire purchase payments
  • Student loans
  • Child maintenance
  • Rent & property service charges
  • Current utility bills
  • Current service providers
  • Court fines
  • Someone else’s debts

Council Tax Debt Written Off? Get Started Today

If you’re having difficulties with council tax debt, you might be eligible to enter an IVA agreement. However, you must act quickly and enter an IVA before your possessions are seized. Some basic requirements and differences are depending on your location. To begin a free assessment of your situation, click here to see your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I miss a council tax payment?

Can my council tax arrears be written off?

Will my items be repossessed for not paying council tax?

Will an IVA help with unpaid council tax debts?

Can you be forced to pay council tax?

Can you negotiate council tax debt?

How long before council tax debt is written off?

What is a council tax demand?

Is non payment of council tax a criminal offence?

Is council tax a statutory demand?

What happens if you don’t pay council tax on time?

How much can council tax take from my wages?

What to do if you think you are paying too much council tax?

Can HMRC check council tax?

Can I appeal a council tax attachment of earnings?

Can you go to jail for not paying council tax in England?

What happens if I don’t pay tax?

How to avoid second home council tax?


  1. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/council-tax/paying-your-council-tax/
  2. https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/council-tax-arrears.aspx
  3. https://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/guides/council-tax.html
  4. https://www.gov.uk/challenge-council-tax-band
  5. https://www.findlaw.co.uk/law/government/council-tax/council-tax-offences.html
  6. https://www.debtcollective.uk/guides/council-tax
  7. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/council-tax/miss-council-tax-payments/
  8. https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/attachment-of-earnings-orders-council-tax.aspx
  9. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-refunds/
  10. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/exchange-of-information-with-local-authorities
  11. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/if-you-cant-pay-your-debts/stopping-a-deduction-from-benefits-or-wages/
  12. https://www.williamsandhughes.co.uk/resources/blog/failure-to-pay-council-tax
  13. https://www.gov.uk/tax-payments/non-payment-penalties
  14. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/council-tax-second-home-discount/
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