West Lindsey: District Council use bailiffs to help collect unpaid debts

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West Lindsey District Council instructed bailiffs 1,300 times to collect debts owed by individuals and businesses during 2014/15.

The 1,300 bailiff referrals made by West Lindsey District Council in 2014/15 represents an increase of four per cent on two years ago, when the council reported 1,249 referrals in the 2012 calendar year.

The research was conducted by the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline.

Last year National Debtline provided free, independent advice to 131 residents in the West Lindsey area, and says it wants to help many more who are struggling financially in the area.

West Lindsey District Council Chief Operating Officer, Mark Sturgess, said: “The council has a duty to the majority of residents and businesses that pay their council tax and business rates regularly and on time to pursue any debts owed. This is so we can continue to run an efficient and reliable level of service.

“Where individuals do have trouble paying their debts, we have systems in place that can help and would urge anyone who is having trouble making payments to get in touch to see what can be arranged.

“We may be able to reschedule payments or you may be entitled to help either by a reduction in the council tax or by Council Tax Support which could reduce the amount you have to pay if you are on a low income. If residents’ debts are significant, then there is help that can be arranged. We can refer you to the Citizens Advice Bureau, the National Debt Helpline or the Money Advice Service, who do excellent work in helping those struggling with debt and the stress it can cause.”