If you miss a payment, the council will take action to recover the outstanding money which may mean extra costs and charges added to your bill.

If you cannot pay your instalment by the due date shown on your bill or if you are having difficulty paying, do not wait, please contact us on 0191 561 4388 to make a payment arrangement.

There are a few steps to the recovery process:

First Reminder

If you miss a payment, the council will send you a reminder.  It will ask you to bring your account up to date within seven days.

If you do not pay the amount shown on your reminder within seven days, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and you will receive a summons.

Second Reminder

If you pay after a first reminder but then miss another payment, the council will send you a second reminder.  It will ask you to bring your payments up to date within seven days.

If you do not pay the amount shown on your second reminder within seven days, you will lose your right to pay by instalments and you will receive a summons.

If you pay a second reminder but then fail to pay a future instalment on time, you will not be sent a further reminder and you will receive a summons.

Final Notice

If you receive a final notice and do not pay the outstanding balance in full within seven days you will receive a summons.

If you receive a reminder or final notice and are unable to pay the balance requested, please contact the Council Tax section without delay as we may be able to offer you a payment arrangement by Direct Debit.

Summons

If you do not pay the outstanding balance on a reminder or final notice, the council will send you a summons to appear before the Magistrates' Court.

You must act now - A payment of the full amount shown on the summons, including the costs, must be received by Sunderland City Council the day before the court hearing to avoid the matter proceeding to court.  Please note it may take three working days for a debit or credit card payment to reach your account

The council will give you at least 14 days' notice of the court hearing.  The date of the hearing will be shown on the summons. You do not have to appear at the Magistrates' Court but proceedings will continue against you as if you had appeared.

If you cannot pay the full amount outstanding plus the summons costs but you contact the council and agree a payment arrangement, an application will still be made at court for a liability order plus additional costs.  If a liability order is granted further recovery action will be held whilst payments are made as agreed.

Help and Advice

Remember paying by Direct Debit ensures all your payments are made on time.

If you are having problems paying your Council Tax or struggling with debt, you can access free, confidential and independent advice from a number of advice providers in Sunderland.

Make a payment

Find out the next stages of the recovery process.

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