Mum ‘gobsmacked’ to receive court summons after paying council tax a day early

A mum was stunned when she received a court summons after paying her tax a day early.

Tracie Stringer was 'gobsmacked' when she received a court summons on Friday, November 6, advising her that she owed almost £800 in council tax arrears.

Tracie, who is a full-time carer for her daughter, says she knew she couldn't be in arrears, as she pays her council tax 'religiously' every week, Lincolnshire Live reports.

She contacted East Lindsey District Council and after spending hours on the phone, she finally got through to the council.

They eventually told her that she wasn't in arrears and had received the summons due to an error in the system because she had paid her tax a day early.

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Trace, who lives in Hogsthorpe near Skegness, said: "It was absolutely crazy. I spent the whole day on Friday trying to get through and couldn't.

"I then got back in touch on Monday and finally got through after two hours.

"After looking at our account, the gentleman on the phone eventually told us we didn't have any arrears on our account.

"He told me that because I had my pay date set up for every Friday, but I had occasionally paid them early on a Thursday or a Wednesday, the system didn't like it and that's why I had received the summons.

"As it's been a tough year, I'd been paying it as soon as I had the funds to make sure it was paid, so I was just shocked that I had received this summons."

Tracie says she worries it is causing unnecessary stress in what has already been a tough year.

She said: "This year has been all over the place and knowing what day it is can be a struggle in itself.

"But it must have seriously offended their system to warrant being taken to court, especially during the pandemic when everyone is struggling."

A spokesperson for East Lindsey District Council said: "Whilst we aren't able to go into specifics on individuals accounts, customers should pay in accordance with the instalment amounts and dates shown on their council tax bill.

"When a summons is issued, the full year's council tax becomes due as the right to instalments is lost, and the outstanding/remaining balance will show.

"If people are struggling, they should get in touch with the council tax team as soon as possible to agree a payment profile that better suits their circumstances."

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