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Debt Collection

Dealing with Bailiffs

A bailiff – also known as an ‘enforcement agent‘ –  is someone who is instructed:

  • By a creditor to enforce a money debt or a fine; OR
  • By a creditor to repossess goods under hire purchase or a conditional sale agreement to enforce an injunction; OR
  • By a landlord to carry out an eviction.

They have the power to repossess your property, or take your possessions and sell them – giving the proceeds to your creditor to pay back what you owe them. The court will only send a bailiff if you fail to maintain payments towards a County Court Judgement (CCJ).

IMPORTANT - If you’ve got to the stage of bailiffs getting involved, things will only get worse if you ignore it.


A debt collector is NOT a bailiff

Some collection agencies may threaten to send someone to your home if you refuse to pay them the amounts they request. As a representative of a Debt Collection Agency, they have no powers at all.

You do not need to speak to them if you do not wish to. If you are in any doubt, contact us for clarification about a debt collector or bailiff’s powers.

If you have bailiffs or debt collectors contacting you call us for advice 01656 661426

When is a bailiff used?

Bailiffs can be instructed to seize goods from your home if you fail to pay your creditors, and the debt has been passed to the courts to enforce – for example, if a County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been granted. They can also be used to repossess your home or to enforce certain arrest warrants.

Before any action is taken, bailiffs receive instruction by a warrant which specifies how much is owed.

  • They can seize goods for:
  • Council Tax arrears
  • Child support arrears
  • County or High Court debts
  • National insurance
  • VAT and tax debts

Do bailiffs have the right for power of entry?

In general, you do not have to let bailiffs into your home or business, and they cannot enter your home between 9pm and 6am. They cannot use force to gain entry into a property on their first visit – they can only use “peaceable means”.

This means they can enter through a:

  • Door
  • Gate
  • Attached garage
  • Loading bay

However, they cannot get into your home via:

  • A window
  • Climbing over a wall or fence
  • Climbing a locked gate or barrier
  • Taking up floor boards

Find more information about bailiffs visit the website CAB - Bailiffs  or  Stepchange - Bailiffs


Creditors are the people you owe money to.

If you've stopped repaying your debts, a creditor may try to take you to court to order you to pay back the money you owe.

What your creditors can do?

Creditors can issue a default notice then pass your debt to a Debt Collection agent or sell the debt to a collection agent, but only once you have defaulted on your contractual payments. The Creditor or Collection Agent can go for county court action and may go for a Charging Order if you live in your own/mortgaged property.

Don't wait for things to get worse - contact us for free Sensible Debt Advice. 01656 661426

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