What happens if I don't pay?
Failure to pay instalments
- If you are making regular payments, but are paying later than the dates shown, or if you miss an instalment you may receive a reminder giving you 7 days to bring your payments up to date
- If you do not pay within the set time of that notice your right to pay by installments will be cancelled requiring you to pay the outstanding balance in full within a further 7 days
- If the balance is not paid, we may issue a Magistrates Court Summons plus costs
Court Summons and Court Hearing
- A summons may be issued if you have not made payment in accordance with the instalments shown on your NDR account, and you have not complied with the reminders, which have been issued.
- After the date the summons is sent then unless payment is made in full (including the summons costs) an application will be made for a Liability Order plus further costs and will be done in your absence if you fail to attend.
- Once a summons has been sent, special arrangements will only be made at our discretion once a Liability Order has been granted.
- If you are having difficulty paying and cannot pay the full amount on the Summons plus the costs you should contact the NDR Section as further arrangements, including payment by direct debit, may be made.
- If payment is made by cheque it should be received by the Council at least 7 working days before the date of the Court Hearing otherwise it is unlikely to prevent the Council from applying for a Liability Order plus costs.
- List Item 5It is your right to appear in court and tell the Magistrates why you feel you should not pay the NDR, however the Magistrates will not be able to consider your ability to pay. If you are going to attend the hearing, please advise the Council before the hearing and you may also wish to seek legal advice.
- If you dispute either the liability or the amount of the summons, you should immediately contact the Council's NDR Section; however your attendance will still be required, unless your dispute is resolved to your satisfaction beforehand.
- Even if you decide not to attend court, you should speak to us, or if you prefer your local Citizens Advice Bureau. We will try to come to a reasonable arrangement with you for payment, but we cannot do that unless you make contact. Arrangements may be made, however the liability order and costs will still be requested at the scheduled Court Hearing.
If a Liability Order is granted by the Magistrates and you have not paid in full or made an arrangement the Council may send you a 7 day letter requesting you pay in full or contact the NDR Section.
A liability order enables the Council to recover as follows:
Taking Control of Goods
- Enforcement Agents employed by the Council work to an agreed "Code of Practice" and can discuss your financial circumstances with you and can either request payment or enter an arrangement after Taking Control of Goods. The arrangement will include the Council's and the EA's costs. If you contact them on receipt of their letter to make an arrangement they may need to visit your home in order to secure the debt first.
- If you have been visited before and have not kept to an arrangement, they will add further costs and may not enter into another arrangement with you.
- The Enforcement Agent will ask to enter your property to list your goods - this is known as Taking Control of Goods. If you fail the arrangement the Enforcement Agent could return later to remove and sell your goods and further costs will be incurred for the removal of the goods, auctioneer's fees and the cost of storage.
- If you are unable to pay in full the Enforcement Agent has 3 options - A walking possession agreement where your goods will not be removed if you keep to the arrangements agreed with the Enforcement Agent; Close possession, by staying on the premises until payment is made or the goods are removed for sale; Removal of the goods immediately for their sale.
- If you fail to make contact, or if you have insufficient goods which can be removed, the Enforcement Agent will return the Liability Order to the Council for further enforcement action.