Pendle residents owe £2.9m. in unpaid Council Tax

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New official figures have revealed that Pendle residents owe £4.9m. in unpaid Council Tax, leading a national debt charity to warn people in the area to seek free advice if they are struggling to keep up with their council payments.

National Debtline, the free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, highlighted the figure, which was included in an official submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government, as evidence that too few residents who are struggling to keep up with Council Tax bills are receiving the free debt advice they need. Residents in the Pendle area owed £4,942,000 in unpaid Council Tax bills at March 31st – equivalent to an average of £124 per dwelling. It is up from £4,482,000 the previous year.

I would urge anyone here who is struggling to make their Tax payments to contact National Debtline as soon as possible

Joanna Elson, Money Advice Trust

A total of 146 calls for help with debt were made from the Pendle area to National Debtline last year, with residents receiving free advice on how to resolve their financial difficulties. The charity, which also offers free online advice at www.nationaldebtline.org says Council Tax is now the fastest growing type of problem debt it is helping clients to resolve – with 24% of all callers now in arrears, up from 14% in 2007.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with Council Tax arrears – but the fact that Pendle residents owe £4.9 million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone. Free debt advice services such as National Debtline are here to help.

“I would urge anyone here who is struggling to make their Tax payments to contact National Debtline as soon as possible.” It offers free, independent and confidential advice 24 hours a day online: www.nationaldebtline.org and on 0808 808 4000 Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm, Saturday, 9-30am to 1pm.