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Council Tax Debt in Scotland

Council Tax arrears work in a slightly different way to most other debts. The normal sequence of events is as follows:-

1.    If you miss a payment you will be sent a reminder giving you 7 days to pay the arrears. The reminder will specify the amount of arrears and state that if you do not pay it in full you lose the right to pay your Council Tax over 10 months and become liable to pay for the whole year in full!;
2.    If you fail to pay the arrears then you will receive a final notice stating that you have 14 days to pay the balance of the Council Tax for the rest of the year. Some councils will accept payments in instalments so you should contact them first;
3.    Summary Warrant - If you fail to pay the balance of the Council Tax then the council can apply straight to court for a summary warrant. For the majority of debts the Pursuer would normally raise an action at court, serve the action on you and you are given the opportunity to dispute the amount sued for. Here are important points to note if you are served with a summary warrant:-

•    You do not have to be told that the council are applying for a Summary Warrant
•    It is granted automatically by the court;
•    If you think the amount sued for is incorrect you should contact the council and ask them to look at your account again.
•    Sheriff Officers will serve the Summary Warrant on you;
•    You then make payments to the Sheriff Officers rather than the council. Contact them to agree a payment arrangement;
•    The amount you are due to pay will increase by 10% as a penalty for non-payment;
•    If you do make arrangements to pay the arrears you will be served with  Charge for Payment by Sheriff Officers. If you fail to make payment with 14 days of being served with the Charge for Payment then Sheriff Officers can arrest your wages, freeze your bank accounts, take money from your bank accounts and remove items from your home to auction;
•    You can apply for time to pay and if accepted it prevents Sheriff Officers from taking the above action.

Please contact us if you are being pursued for this or any other debts.

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