The hearing will still go ahead even if you don’t attend, so it is important to be there if you wish to raise any objection to the Council’s application. If you are going to attend please advise the Council beforehand.
The court is not able to consider your ability to pay and if you wish to make an arrangement to pay you will need to contact the Council before the hearing. If you pay in full (including the costs) the hearing will not proceed.
A liability order enables the Council to recover the outstanding debt by various methods:
- A suitable payment arrangement
- Attachment of earnings
- Deductions from certain types of benefit
- Enforcement agents (with a view to removing goods)
- Commencement of bankruptcy or liquidation
- Committal proceedings
Please note that if your case is referred to enforcement agents the following fees may be incurred:
Enforcement agent fees (PDF)
You will need to attend the hearing in order to dispute liability, unless your dispute is resolved to your satisfaction beforehand.
You may also wish to seek advice from a solicitor as only certain matters can be classed as a valid dispute against the application of a liability order.
If you accept liability but are unable to pay the arrears before the hearing, you do not need to attend court unless you wish to do so.
However you should contact the Council to agree payment terms. If you do not get in touch, once a liability order has been granted, the Council may take further action without prior notice.
If you accept liability for the outstanding amount, plus any prior arrears, but are unable to pay in full, the Council will accept an arrangement from you to clear them. Please get in touch to agree terms.