Council pursues hundreds through court orders to collect unpaid tax in Yarmouth

Hundreds of orders were granted by magistrates last week to collect unpaid council tax. Picture: Jam

Hundreds of orders were granted by magistrates last week to collect unpaid council tax. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Hundreds of people across Great Yarmouth are being pursued for not paying their council tax.

Last Tuesday Great Yarmouth Borough Council brought cases against 705 defendants for not paying up.

Lawyers for the council asked magistrates to put liability orders in place to collect the money owed.

A spokesman for the borough council said: 'They are used as an absolute but necessary last resort to make sure that everyone who is required to pay does pay.

'The council prefers people to pay without the need of such legal recovery action, and encourages people who think they might struggle to pay to get in touch as soon as possible to discuss options.

'Court summonses are only dispatched after people who have failed to pay have been sent at least two letters requesting payment. There is also the option pay in smaller installments running until the end of March each year.'

On July 19, the council sought liability orders against 705 people, relating to unpaid council tax installments from current and previous financial years. 20 of those turned up at court and made payment arrangements with staff.

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A liability order gives the council the legal right to recover the debt through means such as attachment to earning or benefits.

However, even once an order has been granted, people have a final opportunity to pay what they owe voluntarily.

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