Council warns residents about increased bailiff fees
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
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Cardiff Council has warned its residents that they face increased bailiff fees if they fail to clear their debts.
People who are having difficulty paying their council tax, business rates or parking fines have been urged to contact the council or risk incurring the new fees by 'enforcement agents'.
From next week, new government legislation will mean that if someone has to be sent a letter from an enforcement agent in relation to the recovery of a debt, a £75 charge will automatically be incurred.
If there is no response to the letter and a bailiff has to be sent to an address to try to recover the money, a further charge of £235 will be incurred.
Cardiff Council says that it only uses bailiffs as a last resort when other avenues of getting people to pay their debts have been exhausted.
Cllr Graham Hinchey, cabinet member for finance, said: “The bottom line is that these changes are being brought in by the UK government and we have to comply with the new charges.
“As a result we want to work with people to enable them to pay the money they owe to the council so if anyone is having difficulty in making payments for council tax, business rates of parking fines, we would ask them to get in touch with us as soon as possible so we can help them avoid their debt escalating.
“We appreciate that due to the tough financial climate it is difficult for many people today, which is why we have schemes which can help to spread the payments.
“But we do need to recover this money as last year alone, for council tax, more than £2m was recovered in this way and this amount of money has a huge impact on our ability to continue delivering council services.”