Some debts are more urgent than others,
because they involve different risks. Various types of creditor
have different rights under the law, so they can use different
ways of getting their money back. If you don't act quickly some
take away your home (repossession).
cut off your gas or electricity (disconnection).
Note that your water company cannot disconnect your water supply.
send the bailiffs to take furniture from
your home (distraint).
ask the magistrates' court
to send you to prison.
Don't worry - you will always be given warning, and
provided you act quickly you should be able to stop these things happening.
The debts where these things could happen if you
delay too long are:
These are all priority debts. It is important to
use the balance of your weekly budget to make agreements to settle
these debts first.
Compare the list above with the list of creditors
you made. Are any of your debts priority debts? Which ones?
Creditors can take action on some priority debts
without going to court first. For example, gas and electricity can disconnect
you, and the HM Revenue & Customs can send bailiffs to recover unpaid VAT
and income tax without a getting a court order first.
Your other priority creditors can take action against
you only after court action.
The next sections will help you think about the
commonest forms of priority debt (and perhaps the most urgent):