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Glasgow City Council

Corporate Debt Policy

Introduction

In order to help the council deliver a range of services, we rely on income from a variety of sources to fund this. This means that the Council has a duty to all of its citizens to collect sums that are not paid and to ensure that appropriate collection methods are in place in order to assist with this collection. All billing, collection and recovery activity undertaken is conducted under the Council's debt policy. This is a brief guide to the debt policy and its aims - should you wish to view the entire policy, please click pdf icon here [189kb].

Aims of the Policy

The main aims of the corporate Debt Policy are to:

  • Ensure that there is a consistent corporate approach to dealing with debt and the recovery of arrears
  • Try to stop arrears from arising
  • Break the cycle of debt
  • Ensure that all debts owed to the council are covered
  • Ensure that citizens with financial difficulties are provided with assistance
  • Consider individual circumstances when taking recovery action

Delivery of the Policy

The Council will undertake several actions in order to achieve the aims of the debt management policy. These include ensuring that:

  • Where an application for a reduction, relief or discount is made, that these are assessed promptly and efficiently
  • All bills and reminders are issued promptly and accurately
  • Where appropriate, citizens with debts are referred onto money advisors who may be able to assist in implementing a suitable repayment scheme
  • All reasonable payment proposals are considered such as allowing Council Tax to be repaid over 12 months of the year
  • The cycle of debt is broken by prioritising payment towards the current year or most recent debts first. Flexible payment methods such as direct debit and online payments are available

Actions to recover monies

The Council bills and collects a range of charges such as:

  • Council Tax
  • Non-Domestic Rates
  • Charges for statutory services provided by the Council
  • Charges for non-statutory services provided by the council
  • Fines and penalties
  • Housing Benefit overpayments

In all cases, where invoices are issued, billing and collection activity will take place in a prompt and efficient manner in order to maximise recovery opportunities. Where an invoice has not been paid and an alternate payment arrangement has not been made, all available recovery options afforded by the legislation will be considered although assessment of individual circumstances will be made prior to action being taken. The recovery options which may be taken include but are not limited to:

  • Obtaining a Summary Warrant or decree to facilitate recovery action
  • Passing the debt to one of the Council's Debt Management Partners for recovery
  • Attachment of earnings
  • Arrestment of bank accounts
  • Petitioning the court for sequestration (personal bankruptcy) where apparent insolvency is demonstrated. Sequestration will only be considered where other actions are not appropriate and here has been no engagement with the council to address the debt

Where there is Council Tax debt and the individual is in receipt of maximum Council Tax Reduction, we may consider making deductions through Water Direct. This allows the council to make direct deductions from state benefits in order to pay Water and Waste Water charges.

For debts due for Non-Domestic Rates, the Council reserves the right to publicise the details of businesses operating in Glasgow that fail to pay their Rates liability despite recovery action by the Council and repeated requests for payment. Where this is the case, the names of any sole traders will be removed from any details provided.

In order to ensure that this policy remains appropriate, it will be kept under review and formally updated every 5 years.

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