A carer was left stunned after receiving a court summons for council tax - despite paying her bills on time every week.
Tracie Stringer, from Hogsthorpe, Skegness, received a letter on Friday, November 6, stating that she owed East Lindsey District Council almost ￡800.
Tracie, who is a full-time carer for her daughter, said she was left "gobsmacked" as she pays her council tax "religiously" every week.
She contacted her local authority, and after several hours on the phone, was eventually told it was due to an "internal error".
A council officer confirmed 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.
Tracie, who live in Hogsthorpe near Skegness, told the Lincolnshire Live: "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 said she made the payment early to avoid any unnecessary stress.
She said: "This year has been all over the place and knowing what day it is can be a struggling 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."
Campaigners and charities have long been calling for the government to ban councils from taking legal action against those who cannot afford their council tax bills.
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Citizens Advice, which supports people in debt, said people with council tax debts have an average of just ￡7 left to live on at the end of each month.
Last year, the charity helped more than 83,000 people in England with council tax problems. In many cases, the local authority had passed the debt onto a bailiff.
Dame Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "Many people who need our help with council tax arrears have no more than a few pounds spare every month to repay their debts.
"An unexpected bill for thousands of pounds, accompanied by legal threats and bailiff action, is terrifying for the person concerned and ineffective for the council trying to recover the debt."
If you're struggling to cover your bills, support may be available.
This includes cold weather payments to help with energy, discretionary housing payments if you're on Universal Credit and don't have enough to pay your rent, WaterSure ?to cap your bills if you have a water meter and a reduction in your Council Tax.