Have Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council been chasing you for debts? Whether you owe unpaid council tax, a parking fine, or housing benefit overpayments, being chased for money by the council can be extremely stressful. If you’re currently trying to figure out how to deal with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council debt, this guide will give you everything you need to know.
From knowing your rights and how to deal with the debt collection letters, to finding the best debt management option for your circumstances, you’ll feel much more in control of your situation by the end of this guide.
What is Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Debt?
Debt owed to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council includes housing benefit overpayments, unpaid council tax arrears, and former tenant arrears.
If you owe any of the above to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, they will be getting in touch to recover the debt owed.
What Happens if I Ignore Letters about Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council debt?
It is extremely important that you don’t ignore letters or phone calls from the council attempting to recover unpaid debt.
In the case of council debt arrears, this is classed as a ‘priority debt’ and needs to be taken care of before other debts.
But whatever the debt may be, it’s best to open up a dialogue with the council to avoid further action being taken against you.
If you believe you don’t owe the debt, we’ll cover the steps you can take later in the guide.
What Action will Merthyr Tydfil Council Take if I Don’t Pay?
If you owe money to the Merthyr Tydfil council, there are a few steps they will take in attempts to recover the debt:
1. Initial letter requesting payment
You’ll receive an initial letter outlining how much you owe, what for, and the date payments were missed (if applicable). This will also give payment methods and a timeframe for payments to be made.
If you are unable to pay the debt, there should also be a number for you to call to make other arrangements. Before you call this number, make sure to read the advice given in this guide.
2. Send a final notice
You’ll usually be given 1 to 2 weeks to make payments after receiving the first letter. If no payment is made, you’ll receive a final notice.
This will give you a final 7 days to make a payment before further action is taken.
3. Apply for a liability order
If no payment is made in the final notice period, the council may apply for a liability order from the courts. This means they can get a warrant to have bailiffs sent to your home to seize your property.
Bailiffs can enter your home to either recover the debt in full or they can take valuables they believe will cover the cost of the debt.
Can Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Repossess My House or Take My Belongings?
If a liability order is granted, the council can send bailiffs to your home to seize assets valuing the debt.
However, you will be given notice that bailiffs are being sent to your home (usually two weeks).
If bailiffs do visit your property, always ask to see the warrant and their identification.
It is highly unlikely that your home will be repossessed. It’s more likely that the debt owed will be taken as a monthly fee, deducted from your wages, or seized in the form of personal belongings.
Will I Go to Prison if I Don’t Pay My Council Tax?
It is extremely unlikely you will go to prison over unpaid council tax. Short prison sentences are used, but only for individuals unlawfully avoiding their tax payments for an extended period of time.
If you’ve fallen behind on your council tax payments because of financial hardship, you will not be threatened with a prison sentence. Instead, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council should give you options to help manage your debt.
If they’re no help, we’ve got plenty of options later in the guide.
How to Contact Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council
Post: Civic Centre, Castle St, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 8AN
Phone: 01685 725000
How Should I Respond to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council?
As soon as you receive a letter regarding Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council debt, here is what you should do:
1. Ask for proof of the debt
Are you unsure about the debt in question? For example, a parking fine you don’t remember or unpaid council tax from a previous property that you dispute.
If this is the case, you should write to the council and ask for proof of the debt in question. Never feel like you need to make payments without being certain of the claim.
The council should respond with evidence of missed payments, proof of your car being parked illegally, etc.
2. Look into your options
While you’re waiting for a response, make sure to look into your debt management options. If you’re struggling with multiple debts and you simply couldn’t afford to pay the council what they claim, there are several options available.
If you’re confused about what to do, you can seek advice from an independent charity such as StepChange.
Can I Write Off My Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Debt?
Although it doesn’t totally wipe out your debt, an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) bundles up all of your debts with different lenders and consolidates them into a monthly payment.
After a set period of payments (assuming you don’t miss a payment), the remaining debt is then written off and forgiven.
This is the best way to “write off” your debt, but not everyone qualifies for this scheme.
A Debt Management Plan
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council should be willing to set up a debt management plan for you. If you can’t afford to pay the outstanding debt upfront, ask for affordable weekly or monthly payments to help spread the cost out.
If you go down this route, make sure you do a financial snapshot first to be certain that you can afford the monthly repayments.
A Debt Relief Order
If you qualify for a DRO, lenders won’t be able to chase you for debt for 12 months. As well as this, all interest rates will be frozen so you’re not left with even more debt after the year is up.
This is a good option if you need just a little bit of time to find a new job or get enough money together to pay down some of your debts.
This isn’t an option that should be taken lightly, but if you have more than £5000 in debt and are struggling to pay your bills each month, this is a final resort to hit reset on your finances.
Council Debt Write-Off
In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to contact your council and ask them to write off your debt. This is usually only granted in rare cases such as someone suffering from a terminal illness.
The Bottom Line of Managing your Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Debt
When you owe money to your local council, it’s easy to feel trapped into making payments you simply can’t afford. Many councils have been guilty of intimidating those who are in debt and not making their debt management options clear.
If you do owe debt to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, you have options available. Make sure to take your time and figure out a debt management plan that works for you.
See if you qualify to write off your debt using our Debt Write Off Calculator now.