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Freedom of Information Request

Council Tax Arrears - Research Project between PayPlan & the Institute of Money Advisers.

Received: 21 August 2019

It is a follow-up to a report that we published in 2017.
The follow-up report will have three broad objectives:
i) To give debt advisers accurate and up to date information about imprisonment for council tax debt to help them advise their clients.
ii) To help PayPlan and the IMA develop a constructive dialogue with policy makers about our objective of ending imprisonment for civil debts and to reduce litigation in debt collection.
iii) To develop constructive proposals for the government, the court system and for local authorities on collecting council tax arrears.
We are asking for information for the period 01/4/18 to 31/3/19 (18/19).
1. How many liability order proceedings for non-payment of council tax were commenced in 18/19?
2. What was the mean average value of council tax owed for the proceedings commenced as identified in question 1?
3. In 18/19 against how many people did the local authority commence committal proceedings with regard to unpaid council tax?
4. In 18/19 against how many people did the local authority seek attachment of earnings orders to collect unpaid council tax?
5. In how many cases were these attachment orders successfully made?
6. In 18/19 against how many people did the local authority seek to collect payments directly from welfare benefits paid by the DWP with regard to unpaid council tax?
7. In how many cases were these requests for deductions from benefits successfully made?
8. In 18/19 how many people did the local authority commence proceedings to make someone bankrupt due to council tax arrears?
9. What was the mean average level of council tax debt for all the people against whom these bankruptcy proceedings were successful?
10. In how many cases was the bankruptcy successfully made?
11. What were the total additional charges added to the debt as a result of these successful bankruptcy proceedings including fees charged by the Insolvency Service and Insolvency Practitioners?
12. In 18/19 how many times did the council instruct a bailiff to collect council tax arrears subject to a liability order?
13. What was the mean average level of the debts that led to these instructions to bailiffs?
14. What was the outcome of the council tax committal proceedings identified in question 3?
15. How many people were committed to prison for non-payment of council tax in 18/19?
16. What was the overall total number of days served in prison by all of the people committed to prison for non-payment of council tax owed to the local authority in 18/19?
17. How many people were subject to a suspended committal order due to non-payment of council tax in 18/19?
18. How many people subject to a suspended committal order in 18/19 were subsequently committed to prison because they did not comply with the terms of the suspended order?
19. How many people subject to a suspended committal order before 18/19 for non-payment of council tax were committed to prison in 18/19 because they did not comply with the terms of the suspended order?
20. In how many cases did the people subject to a committal order in 18/19 clear the debt and avoid imprisonment?
21. In how many cases did the people subject to a committal order in 18/19 and imprisoned subsequently clear the debt and so reduced their prison term?
22. In how many cases did people subject to a suspended committal order in 18/19 maintain the required payments for the duration of the order or to date?
23. What was the total amount of council tax arrears owed by people subject to council tax committal proceedings in 18/19 when the proceedings commenced?
24. Total amount of council tax arrears remitted by the local authority in 18/19 under section 13A of the local government act?
25. Total amount of council tax arrears remitted by the magistrates

Outcome / Documents

  • FOI_5567913.docx - application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document - Download
  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download

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