Sunday 16th June 2019
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Debt help and advice

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Meet the buyer

If you get behind with your rent payments you need to contact us as soon as possible. If you do this we can offer you early help and advice that can prevent you being taken to court.

Do not ignore your financial problems. They will not go away and will get worse if not dealt with.

Have problems making ends meet?

Most people borrow money from time to time, but the less income you have the more difficult it is to repay it. If you are juggling several debts you could choose to pay the most immediate debt without thinking about the consequences of not paying other more important debts.

Priority and non priority debts

You may hear rent and service charges described as a ‘priority debt’. This is because, if you do not pay, you will end up losing your home. Credit card companies, banks and other lenders can only get County Court Judgements against you. We can do this and also take your home!
 
We also have powers to imprison people who do not pay their Council tax, so this too is considered a priority debt. Bank loans, Credit cards, Hire Purchase agreements and catalogue debts are considered non priority debts.

What to do if you are falling behind with your rent or service charges

Our policy is to help you to be able to stay in your home, and if making payments is a problem you need to work with us to resolve things. If you are in arrears with your rent or service charges get in touch with us straight away on 01582 546620. We will:
  • discuss whether you are entitled to benefits
  • help you with claims
  • refer you to a money advisor if you think that might help
  • discuss the best way for you to pay your rent or service charge
  • make an agreement for you to pay the arrears in instalments

If you are receiving care and support from adult social care, you could also talk to your social worker. The charity Penrose offers housing related support to vulnerable adults if you need some help with any of the following:

  • understanding the information regarding your arrears
  • how to pay your rent
  • if you would like to speak to someone independent

 You can get in touch with them on 01582 343230 or via [email protected].

Legal action for rent arrears

If you continue to own rent we will serve a notice warning of legal action. If the arrears persist we can take you to court and ask the court to evict you. We will also ask for a County Court Judgement which will affect your credit rating.

Legal action for service charge arrears

If you do not pay your service charge we can take action against you and if you still do not pay us we can apply for a Forfeiture Order to repossess your home.

Other agencies that can help if you’re in debt

Luton Citizen’s Advice Bureau
24-26 King Street, Luton, LU1 2DP
Tel: 0844 245 1285
www.lutoncab.org.uk/

StepChange Debt Charity
Tel: 0800 138 111
www.stepchange.org

Choose
www.choose.net

National Debtline
Tel: 0808 808 4000
www.nationaldebtline.co.uk

Turn2us
Tel: 0808 802 2000
www.turn2us.org.uk

Consumer Affairs - pay day loans advice
Tel: 020 3734 9464
www.consumerfinance.gov/askcfpb/search/?selected_facets=category_exact:payday-loans

Claiming welfare benefits

Department of Work and Pensions for claiming Income Support, pension credits, incapacity benefits.
Cheviot House, Guildford St, Luton.
Tel: 0845 606 0265
www.dwp.gov.uk

Tax Credit helplines for claiming working or child tax credit
Tel: 0845 300 3900
www.gov.uk/browse/benefits

Job Centre plus for claiming Job Seekers Allowance
Cheviot House, Guildford St, Luton
Tel: 0845 60 60 234
www.jobcentreplus.gov.uk

LBC housing and council tax benefits
Town Hall, Luton. LU1 2BQ
Tel: 0300 790 0340
www.luton.gov.uk/Benefits

Luton Law Centre for advice on your legal rights
Cresta House, Alma St, Luton
Tel: 01582 48 10 00
www.lawcentres.org.uk

Luton County Court for advice on your legal rights
Cresta House, Alma St, Luton.
Tel: 0844 892 0550

Housing Solutions Team for advice if you are threatened with homelessness
Town Hall, Luton
Tel: 01582 54 66 30
[email protected]

 

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 Contact information

 
Customer service centre
Luton Borough Council, Town Hall, Luton, LU1 2BQ
Tel: 01582 546620
 

 Related links

 
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