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Debt Collections / Enforcement

Requested on
Thu 20th June, 2013
Reference
FOI 3111
Resolution
Information provided

Question

Please provide me with the following information

1. Does the council have a corporate debt strategy? If so, please provide a copy.
2. What is the council’s complaints procedure for residents who have a grievance over a bailiff’s actions, other than referring them to the bailiff company?
3. Does your equality strategy cover debt collection?
4. If no payment arrangement is made how long after sending the final reminder do you usually issue a liability order?
5. How much do you usually charge for a liability order?
6. If no payment arrangement is made how long do you usually leave after issuing a liability order before passing the case to the bailiff?
7. Which bailiff firms do you use, and when were their contracts awarded?
8. Could you also please provide for the financial years 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 the following information:
a. Number of accounts issued with final late payment reminders for
i. unpaid council tax
ii. unpaid parking penalties
iii. any other debts
b. Number of liability orders issued for unpaid council tax
c. Number of cases passed to bailiffs for:
i. unpaid council tax
ii. unpaid parking penalties
iii. any other debts
d. Amount of unpaid council tax revenue collected by bailiffs
e. Council tax collection rate
f. Amount of unpaid parking penalties collected by bailiffs
g. Number of complaints received about the bailiffs used
9. Have you received a copy of the recent ‘Council Tax: guidance to local councils on good practice in the collection of Council Tax arrears’ from the Department for Communities and Local Government?

Answer

1.   Does the council have a corporate debt strategy? If so, please provide a copy.  Yes
2.  What is the council’s complaints procedure for residents who have a grievance over a bailiff’s actions, other than referring them to the bailiff company? 
If the charge payer is not happy with the response from the Bailiff they are asked to put the Complaint in writing to the Council specifying the reason why they are not satisfied. The complaint is then dealt with under the Council normal procedures.
3.   Does your equality strategy cover debt collection Yes
4.   If no payment arrangement is made how long after sending the final reminder do you usually issue a liability order?    Minimum of 8 weeks
5.   How much do you usually charge for a liability order? No charge
6.   If no payment arrangement is made how long do you usually leave after issuing a liability order before passing the case to the bailiff? Minimum of 2 weeks
7.   Which bailiff firms do you use, and when were their contracts awarded? 
     Rossendales  pre 2010, Equita Feb 2010, Ross & Roberts May 2012
8.   Could you also please provide for the financial years 2010/11, 2011/12 and 2012/13 the following information:
a.   Number of accounts issued with final late payment reminders for
i.      unpaid council tax 
2010/11   5071
2011/12   6247
2012/13   4623
ii.      unpaid parking penalties
N/A Parking Penalties are administered by Leicestershire County Council
iii.      any other debts
NNDR summonses issued:
2010/11 415
2011/12 474
2012/13 433
b.      Number of liability orders issued for unpaid council tax
2010/11   4579
2011/12   4180
2012/13   4028
c.      Number of cases passed to bailiffs for:
i.      unpaid council tax  - total  7435 (external bailiffs)
ii.      unpaid parking penalties N/A
iii.      any other debts
Sundry debts total 64
NNDR cases referred to CBC bailiff
2010/11 155 
2011/12 144 

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