Priority & Non-Priority Debts

Priority & Non Priority Payments
When looking at the payments we all make every week or month, they can usually be split in to 2 categories; priority and non priority payments. These payments are split based on the consequences of them not being paid. Below is further information on these payments and the implications of them not being paid.
Priority Payments
Rent/ Service Charges
If you do not pay your rent/service charge, and do not come to an arrangement to bring your account up to date, it is possible that we may take action to evict you from your property. However, this action is usually only taken as a last resort.
If you find that you are unable to pay your rent/service charge you should contact your local housing office as soon as you are having money problems and are finding it hard to pay your rent/service charge.
They will help you come to an agreement to pay off the money you owe at a reasonable rate.
Mortgage
If you are unable to maintain your mortgage payment, your lender may take action to take possession of your property. Your lender is not allowed to take possession of your property without first obtaining a court order from the County Court.
Council Tax
If you do not pay your council tax your local authority will send you a reminder asking you to bring your account up to date. If you do not bring your account up to date or miss further payments, your local authority may apply to the magistrates’ court for a liability order for the full amount of council tax outstanding.
Once a liability order has been issued the council may take action to enforce the order, this could include the following:
Instructing Bailiffs – Bailiffs will visit your property to try to seize goods that you own that could be sold to repay what you owe. They may also try to come to an arrangement to repay what is outstanding.
Magistrates’ Court Fines
Non payment can lead to bailiffs being instructed, money being deducted from your income or imprisonment.
TV Licence
If you watch TV, it is a criminal offence to watch without a licence. You may receive a magistrates' court fine for non payment or in extreme cases you could receive a prison sentence. If you are aged 75 or over you may be able to apply for a free television licence. If you are blind or severely visually impaired you may qualify for a 50% reduction in the licence fee. In both cases you will need to contact the Television Licensing Authority for more information.
Non-Priority Payments
Gas & Electricity
If you do not pay for your gas or electricity, your supplier may disconnect your supply or fit a pre payment meter. If you do not make a suitable arrangement to pay your arrears they could apply for a County Court Judgement against you.
Water/Sewerage Charges
Your water provider is not allowed to disconnect your supply they could, however, take you to court for non-payment and apply for a County Court Judgement against you.
Credit Cards/Store Cards/ Catalogues
If you owe money to any of the above and do not come to an arrangement to pay, they could apply for a County Court Judgement against you.
Payday Lenders/Doorstep Lenders
As above, they could apply for apply for a County Court Judgement against you if you do not arrange to pay what you owe.
Brighthouse/Perfect Home
If you stop making payments, they could seize the goods that you should be paying for or as above they could apply for a County Court Judgement against you.
Loan Sharks
Have no power to make you pay them, they are not allowed to take your possessions and cannot evict you from your home, they cannot even take you to court to get their money back as they shouldn’t have “loaned” it to you. If you are concerned about Loan Sharks please contact the Illegal Money Lending Team or the Police.