The Customer Services and IT section will deal with the recovery of debt in a fair, equal and objective way in order to maximise recovery for the community whilst being sympathetic to the needs and circumstances of individual debtors. Course of Action In this regard we will - Encourage all debtors to pay promptly and regularly and thereby discourage non-payment. Encourage all debtors to tell the Council as soon as they realise they may have a problem in paying on time. Have regard to the ability to pay. Ensure that services work closely together and share relevant information with a view to maximising collection levels. Where appropriate provide information, advice and assistance to debtors on available reductions and benefits helping to maximise income and reduce the debt. Promote the availability of specialist independent money advice and welfare benefits advice provided by the Council and also by the Citizens Advice Bureau and other voluntary organisations. Treat all debtors as individuals and consider wherever possible personal and financial circumstances when taking action for recovery. Attempt to reach mutually acceptable payment arrangements at all stages of recovery recognising that where this cannot be achieved recovery action will be progressed using all available and appropriate legal powers. Debt Management Teams We have dedicated teams of staff who deal with debtors trying to engage them and agree suitable repayment plans to clear their debts as well as maintaining any ongoing liability:- Council Tax DebtDebt Management Team, Tel: 01382 431201 Housing Benefit OverpaymentsOverpayments Team, Tel: 01382 431202 Non Domestic RatesNon Domestic Rates Team, Tel: 01382 431203 Sales LedgerSales Ledger Team, Tel: 01382 433066 You can contact us by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, please enter the team name in the email Subject Header. These teams have been specially trained on all aspects of debt collection and recovery and will endeavour to help debtors where possible. Please telephone the numbers above if you are in debt and/or are struggling to maintain your payments to allow us to help rather than instigate proceedings that could be costly. Where no agreement to pay can be reached these teams will take legal steps to recover the debts owed by whatever means they think is most effective.