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If the debtor is a local authority councilor the local authority can make an order to make a 40% deduction from their member’s allowances.

Deduction from Income Support, JSA or Pension Credit

If a liability order has been obtained the local authority may apply for deductions from the debtor’s Income Support, JSA or Pension Credit.

The maximum weekly amount that can be deducted from IS, JSA or PC is £3.00 (£4.55 for a couple). If there are other deductions being made from the benefit the maximum weekly deduction for all debt repayment is £9.00 (3X£3.00).

Deductions cannot be made if:

There is not enough benefit in payment to allow a deduction to be made, in this case the amount payable after deductions is 10 pence per week.

If there are deductions for higher priority debts ie rent, fuel or water.

The maximum amount of deduction that can be made from Contributory JSA is one third of the weekly amount of JSA for a person of the debtor’s age.

Distress

“Distress” is the power that enables bailiffs to enter the debtor’s property to remove possessions to sell at auction to pay off the Council Tax debt and any charges incurred by levying the distress

If all amounts due are paid:

Distress can be prevented.

If distraint has been levied a sale of goods can be prevented.

Distress cannot be attempted unless:

A written notice has been sent to the debtor

The written notice MUST specify

o

The fact that a LIABILITY ORDER has been issued

o

The amount for which the LIABILITY ORDER was made for and the amount outstanding

o

A warning that unless the amount specified is paid within 14 days distress may be used

o

A warning that further costs may be incurred

o

A copy of the fees payable

o

The local authority’s address and telephone number.

Certain goods cannot be seized when distress is levied. These are:

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