A seven per cent rise in parking fine debts being passed on to debt collectors has driven a rise in the amount of debt councils are sending to bailiffs.
The Money Advice Trust’s Stop the Knock research found that local authorities passed on 2.6 million debts in 2018/19, with council tax arrears accounting for 1.4 million, virtually level with the previous two years.
But parking fines shot up to 1.1 million debts in that time, according to freedom of information requests sent by the charity behind the National Debtline.
Just over half of councils use fewer bailiffs, but the charity did note an improvement with debt collection practices across the board. If you’re in England and Wales and you want to see how your local authority stacks up then check out the Money Advice Trust’s interactive map.
— Money Advice Trust (@Money_Advice) September 12, 2019
However, three in 10 National Debtline callers were in council tax arrears – up from just 15 per cent in 2008 – while 83 per cent of those who have been contacted by bailiffs reported a negative impact on their well-being.