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Council Tax Dodger's Home Sold to Pay £13k Bill

 

Thursday 6th January 2011

 

 

A Bedford resident is counting the cost of trying to dodge paying Council Tax after his home was sold to pay the bill.

 

The Bedford man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, ran up a £13,000 Council Tax bill between April 2002 and June 2010.  When he refused to pay despite court orders and visits from bailiffs the Council took the decision to apply for a charging order against his home. 

 

The order granted by the County Court in April 2008 prevented the property from being sold unless the debt was paid.  Payment continued to be withheld and eventually the Council took the step of asking the Court to force the sale of the property to raise the money to pay the bill.

 

The property, a one bedroom flat, was sold through a local estate agent for £75,000.  The proceeds were used to settle the Council Tax bill of £13,754.88 and legal costs of £7,504.65.

 

Michael Headley, Finance Portfolio Holder, said: “Council Tax helps to fund vital Council services. It is unacceptable for those who pay their bills each month to have to pay more because others try to dodge paying. This case highlights the very serious consequences of failing to pay and shows that the council will not shy away from taking firm action against those who try to evade payment.

 

“Those people trying to dodge payment should realise that they face the prospect of seeing their home sold, being declared bankrupt or even being sent to prison.

 

“Whilst we will be tough on those deliberately not paying we do recognise that sometimes people find themselves in genuine financial difficulty.  My message to anyone who is genuinely struggling to pay is to contact the Council immediately.  Free and independent money management advice is available from advice agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.”

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