From 1 June 2016, Croydon Enforcement Agent Service will collect outstanding council tax and business rates liability orders obtained against individuals and companies on behalf of Croydon Council.
If your debt has been passed to the Croydon Enforcement Agent Service, a notice of enforcement will be issued for each liability order obtained against you. You will incur a £75 statutory fee for each liability order which will be added to the balance the service has been instructed to collect. This is known as the compliance fee. At this stage you are encouraged to pay the total sum due in full. If you cannot do this you should call the team on 020 8726 7000 option 3.
If you fail to repay the balance in full or contact the service to agree an acceptable repayment plan, an enforcement agent will be instructed to visit in order to "take control of goods". When the visit takes place there is a further fixed fee of £235 added to your balance plus 7.5% for any balance due above £1,500. This visit will also take place if you defaulted on an arrangement given during the compliance stage.
The agent will ask for full payment. However, if you cannot do this, they will normally make a repayment arrangement with you. The agent may enter into a controlled goods agreement where the agent lists your possessions that are equal to the value of your debt. You cannot dispose of or sell any possessions that are subject to a controlled goods agreement without the enforcement agent's permission.
If you do not sign the controlled goods agreement the enforcement agent can take your goods whilst at your property. If a removal of goods process starts, you will incur additional costs of £110 plus 7.5% for any balance due above £1,500. Further costs such as storage and auction fees may also be charged.
Obstructing an enforcement agent or interfering with controlled goods is an offence for which you can be arrested.
Paying the enforcement agent:
There are a number of ways to pay your balance. For each you will need to quote the unique enforcement agent reference number found on any letters received from the service which start with "34/".
- Online by debit or credit card select "Croydon Enforcement Agent Service"
- The 24 hour automated telephone line 0345 300 0614, select the option for Croydon Enforcement Agent Service
- Electronic transfers made to Croydon Council via account 01000624, sort code 57-10-70
- Personal cheques, building society cheques, bankers drafts or postal orders made payable to Croydon Council.
I am struggling to pay:
Do not ignore these notices as the debt will not go away and the council will seek all avenues to recover the money owed. You should call the Croydon Enforcement Agent Service on 020 8726 7000 option 3 to speak to an advisor who may be able to assist.
There will be numerous free organisations listed on any paperwork you have received from the service that can assist you with any financial difficulties you are facing. You can also get free, confidential and neutral advice from Citizens Advice Bureau and National Debtline amongst others.
What will happen if I refuse to pay or the enforcement agent is unable to contact me to resolve this issue:
If the Croydon Enforcement Agent Service is unable to collect the debt it will be referred back to the council tax or business rates service to take follow up action. This could include, and are not exclusive to:
- applying to the court for committal action which could result in a prison sentence of up to three months
- direct deduction from your salary if you are employed and they are able to identify your employer details
- direct deduction from benefit entitlement if you are on an applicable benefit
- bankruptcy (individual) or winding up (company) proceedings.
Key contact information for the service:
By phone 8am until 6pm Monday to Friday on 020 8726 7000 option 3 for Croydon Enforcement Agent Service
By email at CROYEA@Croydon.gov.uk