A council could be forced to pay out more than £100,000 – for pursuing a bankruptcy order against a elderly Notts man who owed just £1,900 in council tax.Not just any elderly man, either – according to his defence, he’s a paranoid schizophrenic who wasn’t granted proper representation.
Nottingham County Court heard that the bill for court and bankruptcy trustee fees currently stood at £68,692./facepalm
District Judge George is yet to decide whether this bill will fall at the feet of the council – which has already spent more than £40,000 defending its position – or be forced upon Mr Evans, which, his lawyers say, would leave him destitute.So, in other words, whichever way it falls, the taxpayer ultimately picks up the tab?
If Mr Evans was forced to pay, he would be made homeless and the council would have to rehouse him.Yup, like I figured…
…Adam Chambers, for the council, rejected the idea that council officers should have to take a person's mental health into account when pursuing bankruptcy claims.
He said: "A lack of capacity is not something that the council should have to take under its wing and be on the lookout for all the time. To do so would be an extraordinary step, and incur even greater expense.People take these sorts of decisions all the time, Adam; ‘Is the return worth it? Will I be out of pocket as a result?’
With few exceptions, of course, they are taking these decisions because they are gambling with their own money. That’s not a question councils ever need to trouble themselves with, is it?
District Judge George said: "It is a fact that somebody will have to pay for this…"Yes, indeed. I know who, as well. The same ones who always do, no matter what…