27 March 2023

Recovering debt for Kirklees Council

Alexandra Ottley Senior Associate

The subject of the provision of adult social care is currently very topical, as local authorities are coming under even more extreme financial pressures to maintain their high levels of service.

As you may expect there are times when the collection of the fees from the council’s customer can be challenging and sometimes emotive, particularly if the person has died.

We were recently contacted by Kirklees Council to assist them to recover an amount of just over £5,000 from the executors of a deceased estate. Despite several attempts by the council to engage with the executors to settle the outstanding bill, their efforts remained in vain.

The council contacted senior solicitor, Alexandra Ottley, seeking advice on the legal options available to collect the amount, which had been outstanding since 2021. Discussions took place on the possible outcomes and the likely cost to carry out the work on the council’s behalf.

Following receipt of instructions from the council to pursue payment of the debt, a formal demand was sent to the executors of the estate and payment in full was received less than four weeks from the initial contact to the firm.

Alexandra Ottley commented:

“I have assisted numerous local authorities to recover debts from deceased estates, including council tax and sundry debts and as you’d expect, some cases can be more complex than others. This particular one demonstrates that early engagement with a firm of knowledgeable solicitors and taking timely appropriate actions, can yield the right result(s), at little or no cost to our client.”

Elizabeth Naylor from Kirklees Council also commented:

“Thanks to the timely intervention of Wilkin Chapman, we were able to secure full payment of the outstanding amount whilst the estate was still being settled. I’m pretty sure that if we hadn’t taken such prompt action, we may not have been paid at all.”

Alexandra Ottley, Wilkin Chapman LLP
Need help?

Contact Alexandra to discuss this further.

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