What if I don't pay my bill?
If you're not able 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 arrange a payment plan so that your bill is more manageable for you, however we can’t reduce the amount you’ll have to pay.
When you don't pay your bill or follow your payment plan, we’ll try to contact you by phone or letter and give you seven days’ notice to make payment.
If you then don't contact us or make the required payments for your plan, we may have to take one of the following actions:
- 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)
If we have to ask a court for judgment, once the judgment is entered we can make applications through the court to recover the balance owed together with interest and court costs. 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 remortgage or sell.
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.
Please do not ignore it. Read it carefully and follow the instructions inside the pack. If you are not sure about anything, you should seek independent legal advice. You have 14 days to respond to the claim before we can request a judgment in default.
We recommend contacting one of the following organisations or seeking your own legal advice:
- Citizens' Advice Bureau - can help with money and housing problems
- Step Change Debt Charity - offers assistance in resolving multiple debts
- Law Centres - Law Centres are independent, and employ lawyers and specialist advisers to assist and represent clients in court
- Her Majesty's Court Service - the official website detailing all Courts within England and Wales.
The first thing to do is acknowledge the claim, which 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 in order to do this.
You can admit the claim in full or partially. If you admit the claim in full you will need to make full payment or make an offer to pay via instalments. You need to complete the ‘admission form’ to do this. If you think only some of the debt is payable, you need to complete both the ‘admission form’ and the ‘defence and counterclaim form’.
If you don’t believe you owe the debt, you need to complete and return the ‘defence and counterclaim form’. The claim will then proceed as a defended claim and you will have the opportunity to attend a hearing where a judge will decide the outcome of the claim.