Bailiffs have been called to claw back thousands of unpaid debts to Leeds City Council.
Figures show the authority has referred over 75,000 debts to bailiffs over the last two financial years.
The authority has passed on 18,720 referrals to bailiffs to claw back unpaid council tax between April 2012 and February this year.
During that time they were also trying to recover 7,708 unpaid parking penalties and 4,657 housing benefit overpayments.
Figures from the Money Advice Trust reveal 1.8 million referrals were made to bailiffs by local authorities across England and Wales in the last 12 months.
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Trust, is calling on the council to be more responsible in managing debt collection.
She said:“These figures make clear that something has to change.
“It is not economically or socially responsible for local authorities to continue to use bailiffs so frequently.
“Our experience through National Debtline shows us first-hand how bailiffs can deepen debt problems, rather than solve them.
“Local authorities seem to be assuming that anyone not paying debts is a ‘won’t pay’, rather than a ‘can’t pay’.”
Last month the YEP exclusively revealed that the council was forced to send bailiffs out 21,060 times to collect council tax debts over the last financial year.
Figures revealed the city’s outstanding unpaid council tax bill is almost £19m – a sum that has accumulated over the last four years.
A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said the number of referrals to bailiffs for collection of unpaid council tax has fallen over the last three years.
She added: “We strongly reject any claim that in Leeds we overuse bailiffs to reclaim monies owed to the city.
“We do have a duty where possible to recover such monies but we would stress the use of bailiffs is very much a last resort.
“Significant additional resources have been allocated to ensure we differentiate between those who can’t pay and those who won’t pay, and while it is only right we pursue those who won’t pay, for those who can’t or have fallen into financial difficulties we are doing more than ever to assist and advise them.”