Tuesday 27 June, 2017 LATEST NEWS
In 2013, Tamworth Regional Council changed its debt recovery process and engaged an external collection
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agency to recoup any outstanding debt over $500. The Final stages of key Tamworth road improvements in 2018
change saw Council meet the industry benchmark of
Council to support smart schools program
and the cost of debt recovery for Council reduced to
less than five per cent in outstanding annual charges zero, however, the litigation costs involved for
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ratepayers who ignore reminder notices increased.
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Council is now seeking community feedback on a
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revised Debt Recovery Policy that increases the debt recovery threshold to $1,000 and aims to give ratepayers a clear and transparent direction on how to avoid expensive litigation.
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Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said the costs can
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Debt Recovery Policy revised quickly add up for ratepayers who are behind in repayments, but there are ways to avoid litigation. “It can start to get quite expensive very quickly if you have an unpaid debt that makes it to the litigation phase. Court and agency fees start at around $350 and only go up from there. The revised Policy increases the threshold from $500 to $1,000 for ratepayers who have outstanding debts, but it also clearly outlines ways that ratepayers can avoid receiving a letter of demand, or further legal action for non-payment. “The revised Policy is aimed to make the process transparent for those ratepayers who may have fallen behind in payments for whatever reason. “In almost every case, ratepayers can simply contact Council to discuss their late repayments and agree on a payment plan to avoid litigation measures. This means the impact to the ratepayer is minimal and their outstanding costs are not compounded by legal fees.” The revised Debt Recovery Policy aims to provide ratepayers with a clear and transparent direction on how to avoid litigation, set reasonable time and amount limits for commencing litigation, and minimise costs that cannot be on charged to payment defaulters. The revised Policy will set the limit to when recovery action commences to $1,000 (regardless of the number of unpaid notices) or $500 if at least two consecutive instalments or notices are unpaid. Residents can review the draft policy by visiting Council’s website, and provide feedback by calling Council on 6767 5555, emailing [email protected]
or writing to PO Box 555 Tamworth.