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					How to use this leaflet                          Debt advice from the Council                   Council Tax debt

This leaflet will give you information on how    The Council can discuss the debts that are     If you fall behind with your Council Tax
                                                 owed to them, for example:                     payments you will be sent several letters to
to:
                                                                                                remind you of the position and the action
•   Help yourself if you are unable to pay       •   Council Tax                                that may be taken to recover the sums
    your debts                                                                                  outstanding.
                                                 •   Rent
•   Get free money advice services                                                              You will be sent a reminder letter followed
                                                 •   Invoices                                   by a final notice and will be encouraged to
It is designed to help you work out what                                                        contact the Council to seek advice.
                                                 You will be given advice on how to keep
you can do about your debts, what options        your current payments up to date and how
you have and where you can go to seek                                                           If the debt remains outstanding, and there
                                                 to repay any arrears that are due.             is no repayment arrangement in place, the
advice.
                                                                                                Council will apply to the Sheriff Court for a
                                                 It is important to remember that the
The leaflet deals mainly with debts that you                                                    Summary Warrant, which includes a
                                                 Council do not employ any trained money
may owe to the Council. However, debt can                                                       surcharge of 10%, on top of the amount
                                                 advisers who can deal with any other debts
only be tackled if all of your debts are taken                                                  outstanding, and may result in the debt
                                                 that you may be due.
into account and appropriate repayment                                                          being passed onto the Sheriff Officers for
plans put in place.                              The Council does, however, have an             collection.
                                                 arrangement with the Orkney Citizens
                                                                                                This could lead to your bank or building
                                                 Advice Bureau, who provide free,
                                                                                                society accounts being arrested, your
                                                 independent, impartial and confidential
Why should you seek help?                        advice.
                                                                                                wages or salary being arrested or articles of
                                                                                                value being attached and sold.
It is important to understand the reasons
why you are in debt and to understand how
to help yourself, or how to get the help of a    Debt Advice from the Orkney
money advisor to work through your debt                                                         Council Rents
                                                 Citizens Advice Bureau
problems with you.
                                                                                                If you fall behind with your Rent payments
                                                 Money advisers are employed by the
It is always better to deal with your debt                                                      you will be sent a reminder and given the
                                                 Citizens Advice Bureau to provide free,
problems at an early stage, as the longer                                                       opportunity to contact the Council to make
                                                 independent, impartial and confidential debt
you wait the worse things will become. It                                                       payment or to seek advice.
                                                 advice.
is, however, never too late to seek advice.
                                                                                                Further non-payment will result in more
                                                 They may be able to assist you in some way
If you do not deal with the debts that you                                                      reminder letters and the possible issue of a
                                                 to improve your situation and to reach
are owe you may find that legal action is                                                       notice of proceedings for recovery of the
                                                 suitable repayment plans with those that
taken against you to recover any unpaid                                                         property if no repayment plan is agreed or
                                                 you owe debt to.
sums. You may then find that it is too late                                                     is not adhered to.
to take control of your finances.                They will look at all your debts and provide
                                                                                                Eviction will always be an action of last
                                                 you with advice to meet your particular
Take action now to deal with your                                                               resort and all other remedies will be
                                                 circumstances.
debts and seek advice.                                                                          considered prior to eviction.
Council Invoices                                How do you contact the Council?

If you are sent an invoice and fail to make     For advice on making payments or making
payment you will be sent several reminders      an arrangement to repay debt over a period
to encourage payment and to seek advice.        of time you should contact the following:

If the debt remains outstanding, and there      •   Council Tax: Tel: 01856 873535 Ext
is no repayment arrangement in place, the           2133, direct dial 01856 886322, email:
Council may pass the debt onto the Sheriff          revenues@orkney.gov.uk
Officers for collection. This could result in
Court action being taken to recover the         •   Council House/Garage Rents: Tel 01856
sums outstanding and lead to your bank or           873535 Ext 2115, direct dial 01856
building society accounts being arrested,           886311, email: benefits@orkney.gov.uk
your wages or salary being arrested or
articles of value being attached and sold.      •   Invoices: Tel: 01856 873535 Ext 2125,
                                                    direct dial 01856 886459, email
                                                    revenues@orkney.gov.uk

                                                Alternatively, write to the Revenues
                                                                                                   Dealing with Debt
Will the Council write-off your
                                                Section, Orkney Islands Council, Council
debts?
                                                Offices, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY.
The Council does not write-off debts that       www.orkney.gov.uk
can and should be collected. If you owe                                                        Are you in debt to the Council?
                                                Open 9.00am to 5.00pm Mon to Fri
money to the Council and ignore the
                                                                                               You may owe money to the Council for:
situation, or fail to seek advice, you will
continue to be pursued until the debt has                                                      •   Council Tax
been repaid in full. Your debt will not go      How do you contact the Orkney
away.                                                                                          •   Rent
                                                Citizens Advice Bureau?

                                                Money advisers are employed by the             •   Invoices
                                                Citizens Advice Bureau to provide free,
What will happen if you take no                 independent, impartial and confidential debt
action to repay your debts?                     advice.
                                                                                               Are you in debt to others?
As already mentioned in this leaflet you        Orkney Citizens Advice Bureau, Anchor
may end up with Court action being taken                                                       You may owe money to others for:
                                                Buildings, Bridge Street, Kirkwall, Orkney,
against you to recover sums outstanding.        KW15 1HR. Tel: 01856 875841
This can involve bank/building society                                                         •   Bank Loans/Overdrafts
accounts being arrested, wages being            Open 10.00am to 12.30pm & 1.30pm to            •   Credit Cards
arrested or articles of value being attached    3.00pm Mon to Fri. (Thursday,
and sold. It may in some instances result       appointments only)                             •   Catalogues
in the loss of your home and even
sequestration and bankruptcy.                                                                  •   Mortgage Arrears
Taking no action is not an option.              Last Updated September 2005