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Tuesday, 28th April 2009
New bailiff laws from 6th April 2014
Bailiffs have been around for centuries but sadly English law has not been sufficiently brought up to date to deal with their activities. All that changes on 6th April this year when The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 come into force.
Out go ‘Bailiffs ‘ and in come ‘Enforcement Agents’ - other changes include
There are also new fees, easier to understand and no scope to overcharge.
Beware of the bailiff tricks to get into your home!
Watch how Mike explains the three tricks a bailiff can play to gain access to your home and understand the repercussions once you have given 'peaceful entry’. Watch ITV London News (3 mins)
Bailiffs / Enforcement Agents - know your rights
Having a bailiff call can be a harrowing experience; especially if they are looking to remove your property. Staying calm and making sure you don’t invite them in to your property is essential. In a lot of circumstances they don’t have the right to enter. Don’t be fooled by their initially friendly manner – the repercussions will probably come back to haunt you.
What is a bailiff / Enforcement Agent?
A bailiff / enforcement agent is someone authorised to collect debt on behalf of a creditor. A creditor being someone you owe money to.
Bailiffs can be used to collect different types of debts, such as county court judgments, unpaid council tax, magistrates court fines, outstanding rent, unpaid maintenance to the Child Support Agency.
Even though different bailiffs have different powers when collecting debts they all have to adhere to certain rules that apply to all bailiffs.
Anybody can act as a bailiff providing they have the legal authority from the creditor to do so. Most reputable firms however use only Certified Bailiffs.
Do bailiffs / enforcement agents have a code of conduct?
Yes, all bailiffs should adhere to the following:
What can I do if I receive a notice to say that a bailiff will visit my house?
Will the Police arrest me if I refuse a bailiff entry into my house?
No. The Police are there only to prevent a breach of the peace. You can however be imprisoned if you wilfully refuse to pay council tax, child maintenance or Magistrate Court fines. Before this can happen you will be required to attend Court for a means enquiry hearing.
Can I refuse to let a bailiff in?
Yes you can! However, if you leave a window or door open then they have the right to enter, and more importantly, they can then force other doors once inside the property. It is important to note that once they have gained peaceful entry they can return and force entry. Be careful of persuasive ways of gaining peaceful entry such as:
Do not be fooled by these kind of tactics.
What will happen if I let a bailiff in?
Upon gaining peaceful entry a bailiff may look to seize goods of value that belong to the individual named on the warrant with the intention of selling them at public auction so as to raise money to pay the creditor/lender. Now that the bailiff is in the home he/she can force open any locked doors and cupboards. By allowing peaceful entry you have now given the bailiff the right to return and enter, even without your permission; in effect they can break in and remove your goods.
Can I throw out the bailiff once they have gained peaceful entry?
Any physical contact with the bailiff may lead to an allegation of assault against you.
How do I formally complain about a bailiff?
Your first point of call is to complain to the person who instructed the bailiff, for example a local authority, the county court (if the bailiff is certificated or a county court bailiff) or a trade association.
The majority of private bailiffs will also belong to a trade association, which will have a complaints and grievance procedures you can use. The main trade associations are the Certificated Bailiffs Association (CBA) and the Association of Civil Enforcement Agencies (ACEA).
Contact details as follows:
14 John Dalton Street
Phone: 0161 839 7225
150 Regent Street
Phone: 0207 432 0366
Fax: 0207 432 0516