Many people will find their finances have been negatively affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and are now struggling to cover their bills and debt payments.
Magistrate or sheriff court fines are a priority debt and the consequences of non-payment can be serious. This means you must pay them before unsecured debts, such as loans and credit cards.
Courts have a lot of powers to collect money owed. And in the most extreme cases, you might go to prison for non-payment.
If you can’t afford your payments because of coronavirus, phone or write to the fines officer at the court and ask them if there is any help available. They can help you.
Help you might receive can include:
- an adjustment to how much you have to pay
- an adjustment to your payment dates.
You’ll find the court’s contact details on the letter.
But you mustn’t ignore a court fine – even if coronavirus has affected you financially.
If your circumstances change, it’s always best to try and get the court order changed rather than falling behind with the payments. If you do nothing, your creditor can take a more serious action.