Priority Debts must always be maintained

Priority debts must be prioritise and paid within the due dates to avoid legal action

Priority debts must be prioritise and paid within the due dates to avoid legal action. It is important that you pay off the priority debts first, before you pay your unsecured debt. The law gives your creditors powers to recover their outstanding priority debts.

Mortgages and secured loans - You must keep up with your mortgage and loan payments secured against your house. The lender can take legal action to repossess and evict you from your home.

Rent - Failure to keep up with your rent means that your landlord can evict you from the rented property and you will still owe the rent arrears.

Council Tax - Council Tax must be maintained and paid within the due dates. Read more>>>

TV Licence - There is a fine of up to £1,000 plus legal costs. In Guernsey the maximum fine is £2,000 and in Jersey is £500. You may face imprisonment if you watch television without a TV licence. You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it's being broadcast. This includes the use of computer, laptop, mobile phone or DVD/video recorder. It costs £145.50 for colour and £49.00 for a black and white TV Licence. When you reach the age of 75, you may apply for a free over 75 TV Licence. This licence is sent every three years, provided TV Licensing has your National Insurance number.

Income Tax, National Insurance and VAT - It's important to pay tax. Evading payment could lead to you being made bankrupt. Bailiffs could be sent to your home. Serious fraud could result in criminal proceedings.

Utility bills - Gas, electricity, water and phone can be disconnected if you do not pay your bills. Read more>>>

Tax credits overpayments - Overpaid Tax Credit needs to be paid back to Tax Credit Office. However if you are not able to meet priority debts, please call the Tax Credit Office to discuss your situation and to make arrangement to pay back the money.

Hire purchase (HP) debt - The goods are not yours until you have paid for the item in full. If you do not keep up with the repayment then these items could be repossessed.

Maintenance Arrears - If you are in arrears with your maintenance payments you could face prison. The court could decide to insist that bailiffs go to your home in order to pay off these arrears or the debt can be added onto your wage or benefits.

Magistrates Court Fines - Failure to pay the court fines could lead to bailiff being sent to your home. Your goods would be sold to pay what you owe or the debt can be deducted from your wage or benefits. If you still owe money after this, it's possible you might be sent to prison.

Car Insurance and MOT - Driving without insurance is against the law and driving a vehicle that has not successfully passed an MOT test can land you a fine.

Road Tax - It is an offence to drive a vehicle without road tax.

Insurance Policies - You should always consider insuring your home have a Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) could protect you from your lenders and help you to pay your mortgage if you are made redundant or cannot work because of illness etc.

Business Rates - A court could use bailiffs to come into your home and take your goods away if Business Rates are not paid. Your goods would be sold to pay what you owe. If you still owe money after this, it's possible you might be sent to prison.

If you find that you are struggling to manage your outgoings and cannot afford to make payments, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible. is not authorised to give advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The general information and material provided and published on this website is for interest, understanding and for common knowledge purpose only. The details provided should not be taken as any kind of advice and cannot and should not be used to solve any kind of financial problems. You must take proper advice from authorised firm or financial advisor. We do not recommend or endorse any kind investment, advisor, product or services. We do not offer or imply any kind of advice, financial or legal. It is your responsibility to take appropriate action suitable to your needs.