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 called diligence.
Council tax and domestic water charges ​Deductions from some benefits, deductions from your wages (if you are employed), freezing your bank accounts, trying to take goods from inside or outside your home, or bankruptcy.
Gas or electricity to your home ​Cut off your supply.
​Court fines ​Deductions from some benefits, deductions from your wages (if you are employed), freezing your bank accounts, supervised attendance order, your vehicles could be taken, or you could be sent to prison.
​Child maintenance
This will depend on whether you pay maintenance through the court or, through the Child Support Agency (CSA) or the Child Maintenance Service (CMS). In some cases, you could have your passport, ID card or driving licence taken away or, if you deliberately refuse to pay, risk going 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.
​Hire purchase or conditional sale (for household items) ​Repossess the goods or a court order to make you hand them back.
​TV licence ​Court fine (see court fines above for information about what this can mean).