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Council to write off debts of £470,000

Irrecoverable debts of more than £470,000 look set to be written off by Wyre Council.

The authority says that while it aims for 100 per cent recovery of all debts, for a variety of reasons it recognises that a small percentage will not be recovered.
The debt consists largely of unpaid council tax or business rates , housing benefit overpayments and unrefundable credits.
Wyre Council’s resources portfolio holder, Coun Alan Vincent, is due to write off the sums this week having formally considered the latest report by Wyre’s corporate director.
The overall total includes a sum of £186, 967, the single largest sum which is owed, as well as £177,236 for the business rates.
Overpaid housing benefit accounts for £54,424 , with unrefundable credits totalling £44,374.61 and an additional £5,296 for “small balance council tax adjustments”.
The report states: “The debts are at a stage where further recovery action is not possible, either because of the age of the debt or the details available are insufficient to continue recovery action, such as absconding debtors with no forwarding address.
“In other cases the debt is negligible and it is uneconomic for the council to continue recovery, or it is considered that all avenues of recovery have
been exhausted.”
The council does make an effort to track down those who take off from their addresses without paying off the money they owe.
The report added: “In the case of absconding debtors, local taxation staff utilise the services of an online tracing facility that will cross-check data with a number of national sources including registers of electors and recognised agencies.”
In the case of insolvency debt, an appropriate claim has been registered with the official receiver, and if a dividend is eventually received then this will be offset against the amount written off.
The council says each figure amounts to just a small percentage of the outstanding debt for 2019/20.
 

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