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Tuesday, 17 August 2010 19:44

Do I Still Owe Council Tax After Bankruptcy?

Written by  Jon
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Question: I was declared bankrupt in June 2006. I was advised by my insolvency agency to move into rented accommodation immediately. My house was finally repossessed some 12 months after I was officially declared bankrupt, but I have now (4 years later) received a bill from my council requesting council tax payments on the property from the period that I was declared bankrupt up until the time it was officially repossessed.

I was declared bankrupt in June 2006. I was advised by my insolvency agency to move into rented accommodation immediately. My house was finally repossessed some 12 months after I was officially declared bankrupt, but I have now (4 years later) received a bill from my council requesting council tax payments on the property from the period that I was declared bankrupt up until the time it was officially repossessed. I assumed that my debts would be cleared having been declared bankrupt and that the insolvency agency would take care of any knock-on financial implications. Is this not the case?

I have also come across Class Q council tax exemption which appears to be related to properties that are in the process of being repossessed but I don't fully understand the criteria or indeed whether I would be liable for Class Q exemption. Your assissstance would be much appreciated.

Answer: You ask a great question and one that I can only look at from a technical/logical aspect:

In bankruptcy you can discharge previous years council taxes, but not the current year; so the current year that you were made bankrupt, technically you would owe those council taxes for that period.

However, once you vacated the property did you advise the council that you were moving and no longer responsible for the taxes? If you advised the mortgage company and handed back the keys, you no longer had possession of the property, but in the eyes of the council, you were still there and responsible for the taxes.

You can contact the council or your local CAB, for more information on any exemptions, but it may come down to if you advised the council at that time or not.

My speculation is going to be that if the council were not made aware or any exemptions were not exercised at the time, you could be liable for the taxes.

Let me know what the eventual outcome is.


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