Bailiff

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    BAILIFFS

    Note: Anyone who claims to be a bailiff under false pretense is committing fraud.

     

    Who are bailiffs:

    Bailiffs are agents instructed to retrieve debts on behalf of either a creditor or the Courts.

    ·         Bailiffs are people with legal powers to recover debts wherever possible. This could be at the debtors home, work, or place of business.

    ·         They can also work for private firms. In this instance, they are referred to as Enforcement Agents.

     

    What can they do to recover what is due:

    ·         Bailiffs can repossess belongings using any reasonable force if necessary, to remove goods to off-set a debt.

    ·         They can sell the repossessed goods to recover the full or partial amount of money owed by the debtor. The money gained by the sale will depend on how valuable or expensive the repossessed belongings are.

     

    (HCEO) High Court Enforcement Officer

    High Court Enforcement Officers are official law enforcers acting on behalf of the Court and work for the Ministry of Justice. They have the power to enforce orders on behalf of the High Court for the creditor.

     

     What can they enforce:

    ·         They enforce orders following an unpaid CCJ over £600,

    ·         Tax arrears owed to HMRC,

    ·         Criminal fines owed to HMRC,

    ·         Child maintenance,

    ·         Parking penalties,

    ·         Credit card debts and more...

     

    What can’t they do:

    ·         High Court Enforcement Officers cannot use intimidating, aggressive tactics or violence when collecting debts and must respect your confidentiality.

    ·         High Court Enforcement Officers cannot take any essential items which are crucial to work when recovering business debts.

    ·         High Court Enforcement Officers cannot take any assets on lease or hire purchase.

    ·         High Court Enforcement Officers cannot take items someone cannot live without. They can only take luxury goods when collecting belongings from individuals, they have to follow similar sets of guidelines for all cases.

     

    What to do when you receive a bailiff:

    ·         If you have a bailiff in front of you, this means that they have received an order to attend your property wherever you may be. They have the duty to oversee the collection of your debts. They are in your property because you have failed to respond to the notice they sent you.

    ·         You have seven days to react to the letter. if not they will be knocking at your door and will not depart until you settle the debt one way or another.

    ·         They will certainly add a fee to the debts you are already struggling to pay. So, the quicker you react to the notice the easier it will be for you.

     

    This is what to do if you are not sure:

    ·         Check the Enforcement Notice.

    ·         Make sure the enforcement of notice is valid.

    ·         The notice must have the right information.

    ·         You are liable to complain about incorrect information.

     

    How do you check for a valid notice? A valid notice should have:

    ·         Your correct name and address

    ·         The notice must include all details related to the debt you owe and most importantly the correct amount owed.

    ·         The notice must explain that you have seven days before the bailiffs may visit.

    ·         The notice must come from registered bailiffs instead of a debt collector.

    ·         The notice should be written in a legal style.

    ·         The notice must be sent by email, fax, post, etc. It must be fixed and visible to your door in the absence of a letterbox.

    ·         If you not sure of the validity of the notice, you can seek advice or assistance at your nearest legal advice center.

     

    How to negotiate with Bailiffs

     

    • It is common to see debtors struggle to pay the fine even when the bailiffs are in their property and lay out the facts, and powers they have to execute the notice. So, if you are unable to pay the entire debt, you can check with the bailiffs if there are other options based on your circumstances and budget to settle the matter.
    • Bear in mind that the bailiffs mean business and they also get paid a fee to execute the notice. It is in their best interests to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, and sometimes their caring instinct may have vanished for the day.
    • If you are lucky enough to succeed in talking to them to help you sort yourself out, then you are blessed. But to defuse the situation, you can pay a significant sum of your debt off in one go if you can afford to do so.
    • You can come with an arrangement to pay by installments if your circumstances allow you to do it and if you are eligible to do so.
    • In the case that the bailiffs refuse your offer, you must try to pay the debt. It will be beneficial to negotiate with your bailiffs. They can evaluate your interest in making payments. If bailiffs are already in your house, whatever your circumstances, try to pay what you can. Call friends and relatives for help. Doing so will save your home (if applicable) your belongings and extra fees.

    You may be in luck, not to have anything to pay to bailiffs.  But you will need a controlled goods agreement to handle this situation. It means that you are ready for a repayment plan and to pay some fees to the bailiffs.

     

    What happens if you are unable to pay the remaining debt after paying an initial large sum to clear the debt?

     

    If you are unable to pay the remaining amount after paying a large part of your debt, you must call the bailiffs to explain your current situation and ask them if they can decrease your payments or renegotiate how to move forward. They will consider your offer because it will ultimately reduce your debt.

     

    Important

    ·         You must safely keep the contact details of bailiffs. It is usually mentioned on the letter you have received from them about the debt. They also provide payment facilities such as cheque or bank cards.

    ·         You can if applicable pay in installments.

    ·         Make sure that when making an offer to pay by installments, you need to be able to satisfy your basic living needs such as food, a roof over your head, electricity, gas, council tax and other essential and vital every day necessities.

    ·         The bailiffs must provide you with a payment receipt. It is essential to maintain the proof of your payments.

    ·         There is no compulsory sum of money set by law, that you should give as a minimum, but you should seek advice so that your advisor can draw up a budget for you to follow and stick to to pay off your debt. If this means, no more luxuries so be it.

     

    Important

    ·         In contrast, Debt collectors do not have the right to enter premises, commercial or residential.

    ·         Debt collectors cannot force entry. This includes pushing past the door you open, breaking windows etc.

    ·         They must leave the property if you ask, if you choose not to open the door or let them in there is nothing, they can do about it.

    by: Tenancy Central uploaded Jul 9