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Research by the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, shows that local authorities in England and Wales referred 2.6 million debts to bailiffs in 2018/19.

Use the map to select your local authority. If you are a councillor or council officer, read our six steps for improving debt collection practices and let us know if you are interested in finding out more.

If you need help with debt, seek free advice from National Debtline or Business Debtline.

Get the data Read our 2019 report Six steps for local authorities


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  • Bailiff Use

    Local authority bailiff use rose 7% between 2016/17 and 2018/19 - driven by a surge in bailiff referrals for parking debts.

    • decreased since 2016/17
    • no comparison available
    • increased since 2016/17
  • Signposting

    99% of councils signpost residents in financial difficulty to free debt advice

    • Signposts residents to free debt advice
  • SFS or CFS

    23% of local authorities told us they had adopted the Standard Financial Statement (or Common Financial Statement)

    • Has adopted the Standard (or Common) Financial Statement
    • Considering adopting
  • Vulnerability Policy

    59% of local authorities have a formal policy in place for dealing with residents in vulnerable circumstances

    • Has a formal vulnerability policy in place
    • Considering adopting
  • Exempt CTS

    30 local authorities in England told us they have a policy of exempting recipients of Council Tax Support from bailiff action

    • Has a policy of exempting Council Tax Support recipients from bailiff action
  • Council Tax Protocol

    64 councils in England told us they have adopted the Citizens Advice/LGA Council Tax Protocol, with a further 23 considering this

    • Has adopted the Citizens Advice/LGA Council Tax Protocol
    • Considering adopting

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