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.