My Account

What happens if you don't pay your bill

If you are unable to pay your bill, call us immediately on 03456 043 772 and we’ll see how we can help.

In many cases, we’ll be able to arrange a payment plan so that your bill is more manageable for you. However, we are unable to reduce the amount you will have to pay.

What actions we take if you do not pay your bill

If you do not pay your bill or do not follow your payment plan, we will try to contact you by phone or letter and give you seven days’ notice to make payment. How many bills you miss until we contact you is dependent on what type of account you have. 

We may have to take one of the following actions if you don’t contact us or make the required payments for your plan:

  • Send your account to a debt collection agency to collect any outstanding balance on our behalf
  • Issue a county court claim against you (any court costs incurred will be added to the outstanding balance on your account)
  • Ask the court to enter judgment against you (this can impact your ability to gain future loans and mortgages, so it’s really important to avoid this)

Debt relief orders and individual voluntary arrangement

A debt relief order is given when you don't have to make payments to wards most types of debt included in your debt relief orders and usually lasts a year unless your situation improves.

The official receiver will usually contact us to tell us about your debt relief order (DRO). However, if you receive a reminder from us, you should contact us with details of the DRO in case we haven't been notified yet. 

An individual voluntary arrangement is a legally binding agreement between yourself and your creditors to pay back your debts over a period of time.

Your appointed insolvency practitioner will usually contact us to tell us about your individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). However, if you receive a reminder from us, you should contact us with the details of the IVA in case we haven't been notified yet. 

Once we know about your DRO or IVA, we will provide you with a new account (if applicable), and write or call you to tell you.

If you receive a county court claim

If you as a customer do not pay your bill, after following a process where we have issued you reminders / letters and we have tried to contact yourself, we then take you to court if there’s been no response or payment.

Details are sent to the court, who issue a claim pack to the customer for the debt owed (plus additional costs and fees we incur).

The claim form sent to you will provide you with various options and what to do next including the below:

  • Acknowledge the claim - this will extend your response time from 14 days to 28 days
  • Admit you owe the debt
  • Contest the amount owed

Following the issue of the claim, we will then obtain a county court judgement against the customer. From that point we can then take enforcement measures in order to collect the debt.

If you’re employed this may involve your employer being asked to make deductions from your wages. 

For homeowners, we can ask for a charge to be registered against your property that would need to be paid before you could re-mortgage or sell.

Why we charge court fees and interest

We pay a fee to the court to issue the claim when we have not been able to come to a payment arrangement. This fee is added to the total debt outstanding as part of the claim. The amount of costs and fees we can charge is determined by the Lord Chancellor and not by Severn Trent Water Ltd.  

We are also permitted to add interest to a claim in accordance with Section 69 of the County Court Act 1984. This is applied from the date that the charges were due for payment up to the claim issue date. The claim issue date is the date when the court send the claim pack to the customer for the amount of money we claim you owe.

What you need to do with the claim pack

How to respond to the claim

Acknowledging the claim will extend the time you have to respond to 28 days instead of the standard 14 days. 

You need to complete the acknowledgment of service form and return it to the court.


We recommend contacting one of the following organisations or seeking your own legal advice:

Citizens advice bureau

Citizens Advice Bureau

can help with money and housing problems.

Step change debt charity

Step Change Debt Charity

for assistance in resolving multiple debts.

Law centres network

Law Centres

are independent, and employ lawyers and specialist advisers to assist and represent clients in court.

You can also find useful information on Her Majesty's Court Service website.