People are often scared because they don’t know how to deal with bailiffs. Thanks to rumours, gossip and online forums there are now so many different accounts of what bailiffs can and cannot do that the line seems blurred when it comes to how much authority they actually have.
This misinformation is actually helping the bailiffs to do their job. They are able to gain entry to people’s houses when they shouldn’t purely through using fear tactics and using people’s own misinformed knowledge against them. Bailiffs have codes of conduct that they must adhere to and are bound by the same laws that you and I must obey, but they seem to thrive on pushing these boundaries.
It’s important to know that a bailiff does not have the right to enter your home unless they are collecting certain debts, and even then they must have a court-appointed warrant or a writ to proceed. Bailiffs CAN enter if they are collecting;
Unpaid magistrates courts fines. For example, if you were given a fine for not paying your TV license and did not pay it, they can enter the property to reclaim this.
HM Revenue and Customs debts such as unpaid Income Tax
Dealing with Bailiffs Council Tax
Council tax arrears is the number one reason for using bailiffs. Council budgets are so tight that they simply can’t afford to let people off with not paying, even if the person themselves are struggling. They send in bailiffs to recoup this money because it is desperately needed to pay for things such as the emergency services, maintenance and refuse collection.
Regardless of how important that money is to the local
it does not change the rules that are in place or the authority that the bailiff has. They can only enter your property having followed their guidelines to the letter, and only then assuming that they have the relevant legal paperwork. They are not like the Police and can force entry whenever they like. If they don’t follow the rules they could get ‘struck off’ and lose their ability to work as a bailiff. Keep things simple; speak to them over the phone, communicate by letter or talk through a locked door. Keeping them at arm’s length is your right so use it to your advantage.
Dealing with a Bailiff
Dealing with a bailiff can be unpleasant and emotions can be highly charged, but they must maintain a professional attitude throughout. Unless they have special clearance by the courts to enter your property, everything can be sorted out without ever having to see them face to face.
If they do have the right to enter your property there are still a number of rules that they must obey;
It must be between6amand9pm
It must be between Monday and Saturday
There are also additional rules that apply in these other areas;
If you are seriously ill, disabled or mentally ill they cannot enter unless there is someone in the property with you
If there are children in the property or if you are pregnant
If you cannot understand English
If you are under 18 or over 65
If your current situation is stressful due to unforeseen circumstances such as bereavement
Your Bailiff Rights and Guidance
Knowing how to deal with bailiffs depends a lot on knowing your bailiff rights. Although every situation is different there are a lot of laws and rules in place to serve them all. If you are having problems with bailiffs and are not sure where to turn to next we can help you. We can inform you of your bailiff rights and offer guidance on how to proceed, all the while making sure that boundaries are not overstepped and the issue is resolved peacefully. Get in touch by completing the contact us form and we will be glad to help in any way that we can.
*Up to 85% of debt can be written off in some individual cases. Depending on your own situation, the amount which can be written off will vary from person to person. Realistic levels of debt to be written off are between 20% and 85%, however this depends on your current credit policy, income and personal assets.
Your information will be passed to a third party organisation working on a model of none advice. These advisors will be able to talk through IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) opportunities with people within England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Help can only be offered following a thorough fact-finding process. When an individual meets the required criteria for an IVA, advice can then be provided.
Help and advice given will be through registered insolvency practitioners with all necessary expertise. Debt Advisory Service, along with any third-party organisations, will not give advice with regards to Debt Management Plans (DMPs). Professional debt counselling and credit services are available free of charge from specialist Money Advice Services.
If Debt Management is the option you want to proceed with, All advice will be provided by the Debt Management company.