Help, Bailiffs Are Knocking on My Door!
There are a few things in life that will make someone sit up and take notice, or in this instance, have your heart skip a beat, and Bailiffs knocking on your door is one of these.
Just to hear someone say Bailiffs can make some feel uncomfortable. And to have them actually at your doorstep, wishing to speak to you, is never a good feeling.
The fact is that Bailiffs are one of the many “collection tools” creditors and others you owe money to, use as a way to be paid what they are owed.
Sometimes just sending out collection notices in the post or via email, just doesn’t get the job done, but having a real, living and breathing person at the threshold of your home, demanding payment or they are going to take away your belongings, does get the job done.
The process of having Bailiffs sent out is not an overnight quick process, you would be notified well in advance that this may occur. You would need to be sent notices of a court date, and a CCJ/County Court Judgment would need to be issued, then the Bailiffs can be used to collect the debt.
There is plenty of time to nip this in the bud as they say, before you have the men with chest cams knocking on your door.
What To Do If Bailiffs Are At Your Door
If the situation has grown to the extent that Bailiffs are being used to collect a debt, what you need to do is simple, first try and avoid the situation by setting up some form of payment plan with the creditor prior to Bailiffs being used.
Even a token payment arrangement for a period of time, don’t let the issue escalate to the Bailiff level.
However, the situation has escalated to the Bailiff level, do not let the Bailiffs inside your home.
To repeat, Do Not Let The Bailiffs Inside Your Home!
Be polite, nice, and speak with them, all either through your door, or outside, but do not let them inside, and draw your blinds and shades so they cannot view inside the property and attempt a “virtual accounting”.
For 95% of all debts the Bailiffs may be collecting, they cannot force entry. However, if you let a Bailiff inside, work out an arrangement for payments, they take an accounting of your possessions, and then you fail to adhere to that payment arrangement, on their next visit they can force entry.
So don’t let them in, and don’t make any payment arrangements you cannot maintain.
What Can Bailiffs Take?
It is important to know what Bailiffs can and cannot take from you to be sold to pay off a debt.
They can take your car, and you may find that is the first thing they look for as a car can have value.
However, they cannot take your car if it has a blue badge for disabled, has financing on it, and also if it is parked on someone else’s property.
Bailiffs cannot take essential household items, such as a cooker, microwave, bedding, beds, fridge, children’s toys, and anything that does not belong to you. However, you may need to show proof that the item in question is not yours.
They also cannot take “tools of the trade”.
Bailiffs can take TV’s, stereos, and any “non-essential” items in the home.
Any creditor or someone you owe who obtains a CCJ can use Bailiffs, however, Councils seem to use Bailiffs more often than many banks or lenders.
A recent report by the Money Advice Trust showed that the use of Bailiffs to collect unpaid parking fines has increased by 21% in the past two (2) years.
The Chief Executive of the Money Advice Trust, Joanna Elson stated, “Bailiff action should only ever be used as a last resort and can be avoided.”
“We will continue to work constructively with councils to help them reduce their bailiff use – and to impress on central government the urgent need for the national policy changes that are required to quicken the pace of change.”
Obviously avoiding the use of Bailiffs, and not letting a situation reach that level is key, however, if the situation does escalate to the point that Bailiffs are being used, we need to now our rights, and that to do in that situation.
In addition, Bailiffs are a professional body of workers, and many adhere to certain standards of practice, and maintaining a professional manner at all times.