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Court Hearings and Liability Orders

Any court hearing will take place, whether or not you attend. 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 us beforehand.

The court is not able to consider your ability to pay. 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 court hearing will not proceed.

Liability order

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 there will be fixed and certain percentage fees you will also need to pay. Download the document below for more information.

Disputing Liability

You will need to attend the hearing in order to dispute liability unless your dispute is resolved 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.

Accepting Liability

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.

You should contact the Council to agree on 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.

Payment proposals

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 on terms.

Last updated 29 October 2019
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