- Bailiffs are an action taken by creditors (those who are owed money) who are trying to get payment from the debtor (those who owe money)
- The rules on bailiffs are complicated and their powers will vary according to what type of creditor has instructed them
- Ignoring warning letters regarding bailiff action could make your situation worse
Why are bailiffs used?
If you owe money to creditors, then instructing bailiffs is one action these creditors can take to try and retrieve some of these funds by taking your things away and selling them.
There are certain rules for bailiffs to follow, and these rules differ depending on what the debt is for and the type of bailiff involved.
There are 4 types of bailiffs:
- Private bailiff
- County Court bailiff
- High Court enforcement officer
- Magistrates’ Court bailiff
You do not have to open your door or let bailiffs inside your home. You should not feel threatened in anyway as bailiffs are not usually allowed to force their way into your home. However if you do not let them in then one of the following may occur:,/p>
- They could charge you more fees
- You could end up owing more money
- They could take things from outside your home such as your car
Remember that a Bailiff’s role is take goods that can be sold to the value of the amount that is owed to a creditor or to take payment on the day. An arrangement to pay will sometimes be accepted also.
The use of Bailiff by a creditor will increase the amount owed by the costs of the bailiff.
What actions can bailiffs take?
If you have been sent reminders and warning letters explaining that bailiff action will be taken and you ignore them, then bailiffs will turn up requesting you let them inside your property or work premise.
Once inside they will then typically take items that they can then sell in order to retrieve as much of their unpaid debt as possible.
If you do not let them in to take the items, they may take some items from outside such as cars etc.
A Bailiff will, more often than not, take a list of goods and property in the premises that they visit. Confirmation by signature that the goods will be held on behalf of the bailiff may prevent the items being removed immediately. Payment of the outstanding amount or settlement with a payment arrangement will prevent the items being removed by the Bailiff at a later date.
How FA Simms & Partners can help
If you have received letters stating that bailiff action will be taken do not ignore them. Try to contact the creditor who is threatening yourself with Bailiff action and see if you can agree a payment plan in order to re-pay the debt.
It can be a distressing time when bailiff action is threatened so it might just help you to discuss your situation with an Insolvency Practitioner so you are more prepared and knowledgeable on what bailiffs can and can’t do if they do turn up at your door or the premises of your company. We can talk you through the standard process they will take so you can prepare for their arrival.