Bailiff Advice Online

If you have been struggling to maintain your debts and the arrears on repayments have been mounting up, your creditors can take a number of actions. Understanding what can happen in this situation is important as it may lead to a court order and bailiffs being summoned. Here at Debt Consolidation Loans, we want to help customers stay informed with our bailiff advice online, and here you will find out more about bailiffs, what they can do and what they can’t in terms of collecting money you may owe.

For many people, maintaining their debt repayments is never an issue and most will avoid ever reaching legal action. However, if you have bad credit or a change of circumstance and fall into financial difficulties, your situation can change quickly. This is why it is important to speak to your creditors if you find yourself in this situation. If ignored and repayments not maintained, the credit agreement can default, and this is when a creditor can decide to take further action.

A bank worker explains to a young couple about Barclays bank debt consolidation loans

Why debt consolidation?

  • Improve your monthly budget
    A debt consolidation loan will enable you to group all your existing borrowing and the monthly repayments are easier to manage.
  • Reduced overall repayments
    A debt consolidation loan could even save you money each month if the interest rate is less than the combined total interest of the previous loans.
  • Improved credit rating
    The simplicity of repaying a debt consolidation loan means that you are more likely to repay the debt on time every month. This will prove you to be a responsible borrower, which will have a positive effect on your credit score.

 

What is a Bailiff?

A bailiff, or enforcement agent, is a court-appointed officer who has the legal power to collect a debt. They are usually only involved after a creditor has taken an individual to court and there has been a failure to agree a repayment plan or all correspondence in writing has been ignored. Before a bailiff will visit your home, a notice of enforcement letter will be sent advising of this action, usually providing 7 days’ notice. After this period, if the debt still remains or no agreement is in place, they will visit.

Are Debt Collectors Bailiffs?

Bailiffs and debt collectors are different even though they may provide a similar service for creditors. The main difference is a debt collector doesn’t have any legal powers to collect on a debt, but a bailiff does. A debt collector does not have the right to visit your home and take goods to sell and can only ask for payment to be made. Debt collectors can work on behalf of debt collection agencies as well as a creditor, but bailiffs will also work for the council and can collect on County Court Judgements (CCJs), parking fines and other council related arrears.

What Legal Rights do Bailiffs Have?

Bailiffs have the right to do a few things when they visit and may have variations in their title, for example, certificated enforcement agents or high court enforcement officers. If you pay the full debt outstanding in the notice of enforcement or agree to a suitable payment plan, bailiffs can be stopped from visiting. This has to be within the notice period stated. When they do arrive, they can only visit between 6 am and 9 pm and can only enter your premises with your permission. However, any goods of value outside of your property, such as a vehicle, could be taken if you do not let a bailiff in or agree to pay them.

Why debt consolidation?

  • Improve your monthly budget
    A debt consolidation loan will enable you to group all your existing borrowing and the monthly repayments are easier to manage.
  • Reduced overall repayments
    A debt consolidation loan could even save you money each month if the interest rate is less than the combined total interest of the previous loans.
  • Improved credit rating
    The simplicity of repaying a debt consolidation loan means that you are more likely to repay the debt on time every month. This will prove you to be a responsible borrower, which will have a positive effect on your credit score.

 

Can Bailiffs Force Entry?

Bailiffs cannot force entry into your property, however, they can enter through any unlocked doors. If the property only has children under 16 or any vulnerable people present when they visit, bailiffs also cannot enter. There are certain circumstances that a bailiff can force entry, and this is if they are collecting any criminal fines, income tax or have been summoned by HM Revenue & Customs.

If they do enter your home either through an unlocked door or you have agreed to let them in, they cannot force past you to enter. Once they are inside your home, they will list items that can be used to pay off the outstanding debt. These will usually be sold at auction at a later date. They cannot take any items that you need such as clothing or any goods such as a fridge or cooker. They also cannot take any work tools or equipment that are worth less than £1350, and cannot take property that is not yours, e.g. your partner’s items.

You should always make sure any visiting bailiffs have identified themselves first before entry by asking to see ID and which company they are from. They should have a certificate with them proving the reason for their visit.

Who Regulates Bailiffs in the UK?

Bailiffs should follow a code of conduct when visiting or entering your property. If they do not, then you can contact the bailiff’s employer and also the creditor. If you need to, you can escalate any complaint to the Civil Enforcement Association or the High Court Enforcement Officer’s Association via email or phone. You can also contact the relevant ombudsman depending on the debt being collected, for example, your local government and social care ombudsman.

Do Bailiffs Have to Accept an Offer of Payment?

Bailiffs will speak to you when visiting about settling the full outstanding debt whether it’s for a credit card, loan or other borrowing. You do not have to let them in, however, they may clamp your car, for example, if this is parked outside on your drive, and will release this once the debt is paid or a repayment plan is agreed upon. This is called a ‘controlled goods agreement’. If this is then not maintained, then they could remove other identified belongings. The bailiff should listen to what you have to say and your offer to repay, so ensure your offer is affordable.

Can a Debt Management Plan Stop Bailiffs?

Yes, if you can agree to a suitable debt management plan either before leading to court action or once before the bailiffs visit, this will avoid them arriving at your property. Here at Debt Consolidation Loans, we help those who have multiple creditors consolidate what they owe into one repayment, making repaying a large amount of debt much simpler if approved. We can’t guarantee no credit check, but we will focus on what you can afford to repay rather than your financial history when making a decision to approve.

If you want to find out more about a debt consolidation loan and whether you may be a suitable applicant, please contact us.