Court action

 

What will happen if your debt is registered with the county court.

The result of a county court judgment being served upon you can include seizure and sale of property by bailiffs, or requiring your employer to make deductions your wages in order to pay back your debt to the council.

A county court judgment can affect your credit rating in the future, and will be kept on record in the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines for six whole years if you fail to pay the outstanding sum within thirty days of the judgment being made.

You will incur additional Court Costs and possibly Solicitor’s fees which will increase the amount of the debt you owe. 

Further costs will be incurred should the Council have to take any additional action following the judgment, such as bailiffs or Attachment Of Earnings.

Court fees may vary depending on the action taken and, in some cases, the value of the debt to be recovered.

You can avoid further action and costs by contacting the Accounts Receivable section on 01723 232399 as soon as you receive an invoice to discuss your options.

Bailiffs

Scarborough Council can ask the court to use bailiffs to collect the money, who will then ask for payment in full within 7 days.

If the debt isn’t paid, the bailiff will visit your home or business, to see if anything could be sold to pay the debt.

Attachment of earnings

The Council can ask the court to send an order to your employer, to take money from your wages to pay the debt.

This action can be taken even if we do not know who your current employer is.

Third Party Debt Order

The court can freeze money in your bank or building society account (or in a business account).

The court will decide if money from the account can be used to pay the debt.

Charging Order

The Council can ask the court to place a charge on your land or property.

If the land or property is sold, this charge must be paid before you get your money from the sale.

Order to Obtain Information

An order is made for you, as the judgment debtor, to attend the court to be questioned, on oath, by a court officer or a judge about their:

  • Employment status, details of employer and wages or salary
  • Dependants and outgoings paid from income
  • Any additional income
  • Any property owned (house, car, caravan, etc.), which may have a saleable value
  • Any bank or building society accounts and the balances in them
  • Any other relevant questions you want answered

If you either refuse to take the oath or answer questions, or don’t attend the questioning, the Judge will order the issue of a suspended committal order. 

If you again fail to attend on the new date given in the suspended committal order, then a warrant of arrest will be issued and passed to a county court bailiff.

Once arrested, you will go before a judge to be questioned.  If you answer the questions then, the judge will normally discharge the suspended committal order.  If you still don’t comply, then you may be sent to prison for the time specified in the suspended committal order.