Nowadays, there is a majority of advisors across the globe who are often asked about bailiff help and advice. Some of the people don’t have the idea of what they do and don’t have the right to do. There is simply another stressful situation if you are facing a bailiff action. Here in this post, I am sure that you will completely get the information regarding what is a bailiff, what they can do and what your rights are related to them in an effortless manner.
First of all, let me tell you that bailiffs are known as the debt enforcement agents in Northern Ireland, England, and Wales. They are not in Scotland, as in Scotland Sheriff Officers are responsible for the recovery of debts on the behalf of creditors. Sheriff Officers certainly have a different kind of protocol as compared to Bailiffs, which is necessary for us to understand and keep in mind.
Bailiff or “Enforcement Agents” are the enforcers who work in order to recover debts from people on the behalf of their creditors. They recover the debt in the form of taking direct payments from the debtor or by seizing their possessions to sell in order to recover the debt. A bailiff can work for private companies, the self-employed and local council. Moreover, they are mostly called upon by the local council for the recovery of public debt that includes unpaid VAT, court fines and unpaid income tax. They also can be sent for the recovery of the debts which are related to credit cards or personal loans but such cases are rare. They are completely different from the debt collectors who in reality have pretty fewer rights to recover debts. Like for instance, in order to recover debt, they don’t have the right to remove your belongings from the house or office but only can request you to pay the amount. In this regard, creditors use them as threat senders to their debtors. However, in reality, they are rarely sent due to their minimal power of recovery.
Can a Bailiff perform a forceful entry?
In most cases, the answer to this question is “No”. At the first visit of a Bailiff at your place, they only have the right to enter your property in a peaceful manner without making any attempt of forceful entry. In such kind of situations, you certainly can deny the entry of the bailiff at your place. Making a forceful entry through a locked door or unlocked window is completely not acceptable. Moreover, they don’t have the right to enter your property premises between the hours from 9 pm to 6 am or during public holidays. They also don’t have permission to enter your house if there are children less than sixteen years of age are present.
Though, there are some cases in which a bailiff can make a forceful entry at your home or office which are listed below:
• If they own a Magistrate Court Warrant for an unpaid fine amount
• If they have made a peaceful entry before at your premises
• Presence of warrant from Magistrate Court for the collection of VAT or income tax
• To make an effort for seizing items which are moved from the property into which they were allowed entry to a completely different location
• They don’t have the right to break doors to gain entry which in result they bring along locksmiths which they rarely do.
What they are allowed to take?
In case a bailiff enters your home or property, they are restricted to a certain list of items which they are allowed to take in order to recover or settle the debt amount or included in the list of controlled goods agreement. Controlled goods agreement is made between you and the bailiff that you will stay regular with your repayment plan. In case you are not able to stick to the repayment plan, bailiffs have the rights to seize just non-essential possessions which include:
• Games consoles
• Non-essential furniture items
• Automobiles (in positive cases)
The items which they cannot take in possession include:
• Washing machine
• Table and chairs
• Mobile phones or landline phone sets
How to Prevent Bailiffs Enter your Home?
The bailiffs coming to your home for debt collection is certainly a stressful situation and can also prove to be a frightening experience. So, in order to prevent them to coming at your home, it is necessary for you to have a strategy for dealing with them if you think that you might have a risk of them coming to your place. Instead of letting them enter your house, it is mostly recommended to speak to them through the door or call the creditor who has sent them to directly settle the payment plan. Make sure that all your doors and windows are locked so they cannot enter your house in a peaceful manner.
When a bailiff comes to your home, the first thing that you need to ask them is proof of identification. Moreover, also ask them for their contact details of the company who have sent them. They certainly don’t have the free legal advice Uk right to threaten you physically or intimidate you emotionally. If they do, you certainly have the right to call local authorities.