Step 3 Dealing with your priority debts

​The chart below tells you what might happen if you delay sorting out different priority household debts.

​Priority household debt Possible action against you​
Household mortgage or secured loans and overdrafts ​​Repossess your home.
Household rent Evict you from your home. Use of bailiffs. You may also still have to pay arrears, which could result in court action for a money judgment.
​Council tax ​Use bailiffs, deductions from your wages (if you are employed), deductions from some benefits, or you could be sent to prison.
Gas or electricity to your home ​Cut off your supply.
​Magistrates' court fines ​Use bailiffs, deductions from your wages (if you are employed), deductions from some benefits, a clamping order, enforcement through the County Court or the High Court, or you could be sent to prison.
​Child maintenance
This will depend on whether you pay maintenance through the court, through the Child Support Agency (CSA) or the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). In some cases, you could have your driving licence taken away, or if you deliberately refuse to pay, you could be sent to prison.
​Benefit overpayments ​Deductions from most types of benefits, Universal Credit and, in some cases, deductions from your wages (if you are employed) and court action.
​Tax-credit overpayments ​Deductions from your ongoing tax credits, Universal Credit, or through your tax payments, or court action.
​Hire purchase or conditional sale (for household items) ​Repossess the goods or a court order to make you hand them back.
​TV licence ​Use bailiffs, deductions from your wages, deductions from some benefits, a clamping order, enforcement through the County Court or the High Court, or you could be sent to prison.