Laura Sharman 26 July 2018

MPs accuse councils of ‘overzealous’ debt collection

The overzealous and uncompromising collection of debt by local councils is driving vulnerable people into further financial difficulty, MPs have warned today.

In a new report, the Treasury Committee said debt collection practices by local government are one of the ‘worst in class’. It warns debts such as council tax arrears are often pursued over-zealously and routinely passed to bailiffs.

The report said: 'Arrears to local authorities are growing. These debts are often pursued over-zealously, and with routine recourse to bailiffs. In addition to local government, the Committee has heard reports that central government can take an uncompromising approach to debt collection.

'The public sector should be leading by example in their treatment of the most financially vulnerable; but the current approach risks driving them into further difficulty.'

The report calls for local government debt collection practices to reflect industry best practice.

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