Council Tax - Order for Sale case study

  • J&P Credit Solutions instructed by a Local Authority to seek recovery of council tax debt of approximately £17k.
  • The Council had previously secured the debt against the debtor’s property in 3 separate charging orders. The debtor had never engaged with the council. The debt had accrued over a number of years.
  • The property was rented out and the debtor owned a separate property where he resided.
  • We sent an initial letter of claim to the debtor warning of our client’s intention to enforce the charging orders by seeking an order for sale. Consistent with his previous non engagement he failed to respond.
  • We proceeded to investigate the property including obtaining a valuation which confirmed the property was worth approximately £750,000. The property was subject to one other charge in addition to our client’s charging orders. We established there was plenty of equity in the Property. We also established the debtor was not vulnerable and there were no other reason why action should not proceed.
  • Proceedings were issued seeking an order for sale.
  • The debtor’s family opposed the application on the debtor’s behalf arguing that although the debtor owned the property he did not have the means to pay the debt due.
  • During the course of the proceedings, notwithstanding the defence raised, we received interim payments totalling around £4,000.
  • The case proceeded to a final hearing and we were successful. As is usual the court granted the order for sale subject to the debtor being provided a final 28 days to pay the sums owed.
  • The debtor paid within the 28-day period the full debt owed, associated costs and interest: a sum totalling £26,000.
  • The case was an example where substantial sums were recovered. The family had no intention of selling the Property in the short or long term. The debtor had no intention to pay his council tax liability, notwithstanding the fact he was deriving a rental income from the property.  The debtor had no real defence to the action and we were successful in recovering the full debt costs and interest meaning that not only was the debt recovered releasing the long standing security, but the whole process was cost neutral for the client.

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