Published On: Mon, Jun 8th, 2020

Council tax debts: Bailiffs will soon start their visits again – are you ready for them? | Personal Finance | Finance

Council tax is paid by most people in the UK but it’s possible that some people may be behind with their payments as a result of coronavirus. To ease the burdens associated with these types of debts, CIVEA voluntarily suspended enforcement visits from bailiffs on March 23.

Despite the efforts made by CIVEA, some feel that the measures put in place do not go far enough.

Peter Tutton, the Head of Policy at StepChange Debt Charity, responded to the announcement: “While we welcome CIVEA’s pledge to treat those affected by COVID-19 with additional consideration, we cannot entrust the duty of care of financially vulnerable people to an unregulated industry whose collection practices have caused significant harm in the past.

“Any return to enforcement action, phased or otherwise, must be preceded by Government-led measures that protect those affected by COVID-19.

“This includes putting affordable repayment plans in place for council tax arrears before resorting to enforcement action, and taking into account vulnerability and financial circumstances before acting.

“Alongside temporary measures to help those affected by the pandemic, the Government must finally act to regulate the bailiff industry and bring the sector up to the standards of consumer protection common elsewhere in debt recovery.

“With millions of people struggling with COVID-19 related debts, it is unfair and unsafe for the government to restart enforcement without these safeguards.”

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