Bailiffs: know your rights

posted by in Bailiffs, Collection Process, Debt

Not all bailiffs are burly!

Not all bailiffs are burly!

The threat of bailiffs (now officially called enforcement agents) at the door can be extremely worrying if you don’t know what powers they have or how to deal with them. Before I started working here I, like most others, thought of bailiffs as a burly men banging the door down. That’s enough to scare anyone, but it’s often far from the truth.

The best way to deal with bailiffs is to know your rights, and this is where we can help.

We’ve put together an infographic (see below) which lists the dos and don’ts when dealing with bailiffs. It’s a handy checklist to refer to for quick advice, but as you may know, bailiff debt law is a complicated topic and it’s important that you get some free and impartial advice if there’s a threat of bailiffs coming to your home.

This article was first written in 2012, there have been updates to bailiffs law since then. For the most up to date information please visit our website.

Powers of bailiffs

A bailiff is authorised to collect a debt on behalf of a creditor and there are several different types of bailiffs, all of whom have different powers;

  • County court bailiffs
  • Certificated bailiffs
  • Private bailiffs

They can be used to collect different types of debts, not limited to county court judgments (CCJs), council tax, magistrates court fines, maintenance to the Child Support Agency (CSA) and outstanding rent. Get in touch with us if you want to know more about the different types of bailiffs and their powers.

What’s a warrant of execution?

A bailiff must be legally authorised to collect the debt and a warrant of execution is a document which allows a county court bailiff to take and sell goods to pay a judgment, as well as any court costs and fees. It can only be issued once a payment has been missed on a county court judgment (CCJ).

How to suspend a warrant

If a creditor has applied for a warrant of execution you’ll receive a notice from the courts informing you that a warrant has been issued and giving a date when they will visit your house. This notice will normally give you at least seven days’ notice.

You can make a combined application to the courts to have the warrant of execution suspended and change the payment to an affordable amount, using an N245 form.

If you don’t apply for the notice to be suspended, bailiffs will be able to attend your home on the date stated and remove goods to sell on. You can prevent this by paying the amount in full.

Entry into your property

Most bailiffs don’t have the right to force their way into your home. Although it’s rare, exceptions to this rule include bailiffs dealing with:

  • eviction orders
  • persistently unpaid court fines and
  • unpaid taxes

Most other bailiffs have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they can’t use force to enter a home, for example by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter through an open door and can climb over fences and gates.

You don’t have to let a bailiff into your house. They can’t force their way past you and if all doors are securely closed they can’t gain peaceful entry to a house unless they’re allowed in.

Once a bailiff has gained peaceful entry into a property and levied they can come back at any time to remove the goods.

Levying of goods

The power to levy is the power of bailiffs to seize, secure, and if necessary sell goods in order to clear a debt. It’s likely that the bailiff will walk around your house and make a list of any valuable items that they could sell.

There are certain things that bailiffs can’t take such as ‘tools of the trade’ needed for work, and certain household items such as beds etc. They can’t take goods that are on hire purchase or items that don’t belong to you (although it would be up to you to prove that they belong to someone else).

Once the bailiff has levied goods they have a number of options, one of which is that the bailiff will ask you to sign a ‘walking possession agreement’.

What’s a walking possession agreement?

A walking possession agreement means that you’ve agreed that any levied goods now legally belong to the bailiff and can be removed at any time if the debt isn’t paid. If you sign the agreement, they’ll usually leave the goods with you provided that you maintain any arrangement you’ve made to pay the debt.

A walking possession order is likely to be written but would be equally valid if it was a verbal arrangement.

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that bailiffs are employed to put pressure on you to clear the debt. The golden rule to remember is that in most cases they’d much rather come to an agreement with you to pay the debt rather than incur costs and go to the inconvenience of selling goods.

And remember that debt collectors aren’t bailiffs and they have no enforcement power whatsoever so it’s important to know the difference.

If you’re worried about bailiffs it’s best to get some free and impartial debt advice as soon as possible. We’ve blogged before about the difference between avoiding bailiffs and dealing with them now and we’re sure that you’ll agree that seeking advice sooner rather than later is always best.

You can read more about bailiffs on our website.

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Pavan Gata-Aura is a qualified debt advisor with 6 years of experience. She enjoys spending time with her two children, fundraising for charities, has spent time volunteering in Africa and takes part in organised races.

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Tags Bailiffs Collection Process Debt
  • stacey lei

    Hi Please can you hep or advise? I am currently being chased for council tax for a previous address when speaking to the council I was advised that a payment plan would be put in place. since this is I have received an enforcement letter and when I called to ask why I had received this I got told because you haven’t paid your council tax, I quickly responded back and stated a payment plan had been put in place. again I called the council today asking why and get told once the account goes to the enforcement team there is nothing they can do. I have spoken with the enforcement agent who has now hand delivered x3 letters at different points of the day to encour more charges total adds to junst under £2000. I called the enforecemtn officer again and advised I am happy to pay as I do not wish to have some one entering my home with my 2 year old here so can we set up a payment plan, I was told and I quote “we shall see what are you proposing to pay and I will contact you over the weekend to discuss”. My question is if I make a lump some payment will this get them off my back for a few weeks till I can come up with the rest? Also will this completely clear my outstanding debt with the council tax? I have an appointment with citizens advise but not till FRI 15 which I stated to the officer who said it will be too late then? any information you can provide me I will be extremely grateful. Stacey-lei

    • moneyaware

      Hi Stacey,

      Thanks for posting. Enforcement agents can be hard to negotiate with and it depends on the people you’re dealing with but I know that making payments of any kind will usually help with negotiations, as it shows you’re trying your best.

      I don’t know whether your debt with them will cover all of your council tax debts or just a section of them. If you check the paperwork you’ve received then it might make it clearer. Sometimes they’ll just be collected a previous year’s arrears but you may owe money on the current year, for example.

      We can give you debt advice over the phone, and help you plan a budget to work out what you can afford to offer towards this debt, alongside any other debts you might be dealing with you. Here are the details for our Helpline: http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx.

      Kind regards

      James

  • claire thompson

    Hi

    we had a bailiff at our property today from marstons. He was here for unpaid court costs for unpaid tv licence which we do not need and which we have letters stating we do not need from the tv licence company.
    The bailiff forced his way in pushing and shoving my partner to get into the property!! first of all is this allowed as far as i am aware this is a no!
    He refused to show a warrant of enforcement and when he eventually did it was nothing more than a letter headed paper from marstons themselves!
    My partner paid the £650 he was asking for even though we do not owe this and have and no letters from the court or marstons to say we do!!
    he also lied saying he was going to take away goods on his visit which i know he can not do,as it is his first visit but unfortunately he intimidated my partner into believing. He called the police when he had forced his way in leaving a big dirty boot print on my wall!! saying my partner had assaulted him. The police then arrived and started helping him go through all the drawers cupboards in my house including our drawers in bedrooms …..
    I have been on the phone to the courts who say as we have paid they pretty much can not help and also the tv licensing who are refusing to anything even though they are the ones in the wrong.
    Where do you suggest i go from here !!!
    We also have the bailiff on video shoving his way in and refusing to show the “warrant”

    Thanks

    • moneyaware

      Hi Claire,

      Thanks for posting. This sounds like a really stressful situation to have been in. I hope you’re all OK.

      With these situations it’s usually best to start off by making a complaint directly to the company involved. You mentioned that it was Martsons, here’s the section of their website about complaints: https://marstongroup.co.uk/enquiries/how-to-make-a-complaint/.

      The web page above also takes you through the process you can follow if you aren’t satisfied with how they investigate your complaint, including appealing to the relevant trade association.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards

      James

  • wendy

    I made the mistake of ringing baliliffs after recieving a letter through
    my door. He came round,took inventry of goods and said the council will
    only accept 3 x payments to cleat the £609 which was for unpaid parking
    fines. I agreed even though i couldnt really afford it as he said its
    my only option. If i amended the standing order to a lower payment would
    i get in any further trouble or fees ?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Wendy,

      If you amend the payment without talking to the bailiffs first then it’s likely they’ll see it as you breaking the agreement and you could be back to the start with them.

      It may be possible to negotiate a new arrangement with them though. I’d suggest you give us a call for help, we can give advice about dealing with bailiff debt alongside any other debts you might also have too.

      Here’s our contact details: http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx.

      Kind regards

      James

  • rachel

    I made an agreement with a bailiff back in 2012…he gained entry peaceably, in a previous property and took an inventory, which we intended to pay (cut a long story short)…we moved and consulted with local council to make arrangements with the bailiff to stop them from enforcing entry in to the new place…..we stuck to the arrangement like glue! We then moved again and I missed one payment (due to moving) and the bailiff once more has been to my new house (only some 4 weeks later) to enforce the order…I have made an extra payment to make up for the one I missed…and I only have 2 payments left on the agreement to go…..I am scared!

    • moneyaware

      Hi Rachel,

      I’d suggest giving the bailiff a call to explain the situation. My experience has been that most bailiffs would rather avoid coming to take things out of people’s property and it’s a last resort.

      Hopefully they’ll understand that it was a simple mistake and you’re committed to clearing the last two payments on time. If you have any problems then feel free to give us a call and we can see if there’s any advice we can offer: http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx.

      Kind regards

      James

  • Karen Hayes

    I have had a letter from a company saying they are coming to remove goods from my flat due to non payment of council tax. Although I admit it’s my fault I didn’t keep up with payments. I am on a state pension and rang the gentleman explaining this and said could I set another plan up now my finances are sorted . his answer was no and I should ask family or friends for the money. I’m worried sick haven’t slept all night . I don’t have much and I now it’s not going to cover the 400 I owe them. Plus charges on top.
    Is there anything I can do ?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for your message and I’m sorry to hear about your
      situation.

      I’d suggest you give us a call and get free debt advice sooner
      rather than later. You can have a chat with one of our advisors in more detail about your situation, and they’ll be able to let you know the best course of action with regards to the council tax debt and talk to you about how else we might be able to support you.

      Our Helpline number is 0800 138 1111 – it’s free to call from
      landlines and mobiles, and we’re open from Monday to Friday from 8am until 8pm and Saturdays from 8am until 4pm.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Laura

  • mp

    What of the rights of the claimant? Sounds like people can effectively steal money, and then refuse entry to a property to a bailiff forever.

    • moneyaware

      Hi there, thanks for posting.

      A debtor would not be able to evade bailiff action or further enforcement indefinitely. If the bailiff isn’t able to establish payment or seize goods, the creditor may be able to look into other enforcement options such as charging orders or an attachment on the person’s income. This would all depend on the kind of debt the bailiff is acting on behalf of, however.

      Kind regards

      Rachel

    • Bandit Queen

      I find it offensive that you call debts stealing money. People with debts that they cannot pay are not criminals or thieves but ordinary people who have fallen on hard times. Not all claims that someone owes money are correct either and while claimants may have a genuine need to collect their money, it is not a case of evading payment, but not being able to pay due to sudden ill health, loss of income, bereavement and so on. Claimants should establish the facts and come to a realistic arrangement before getting the bullies in. Keep the bullies for real evading not people in vulnerable circumstances.

  • Charley Smith

    In January 2015 I had bailiffs call to my home for a tv license fine I went to c.a.b and sorted a payment plan to pay it back and the bailiffs were meant to send me a payment card I received a letter with a barcode on so I messaged the bailiff and asked if this is what I was meant to use and got no reply and never heard anything from them again I’ve received no letters until weds when I received a final notice and again on Friday I rang the bailiff to see what I could do he said he needed payment in full or he would come and remove goods I told him I was 24 weeks pregnant and didn’t have that kind of money he said he would ring his welfare office then rang me back and said they wanted him to continue with taking payment in full but would give me until Monday to find it or he would be removing goods I went to c.a.b again this morning who rang the bailiff I offered to pay £100 today and every month until paid but he said no he needed payment in full and will be back on Monday, c.a.b said I have no choice but to let them in as they have the right to kick my door in, is there anything I can do???

  • Katherine Collins

    Hi,
    My husband lets out his old flat, has done for 8 years with continuous tenants. About 2 months ago we received a letter from Rossendales stating that they were authorised to collect for backdated council tax at this property. As the law stands, the tenant living there is liable due to a signed tenancy agreement in which it states this is the tenants responsibility. We received no correspondence from the relevant council until a month AFTER the first bailiff letter. No notice ever until after this had all gone to court! We have since spoken with the council, and provided evidence of the tenancy agreement. This has been accepted by them and the charge has been removed from our name. That was 2 weeks ago. This evening, we received a phone call from Rossendales demanding payment of all the fees related to this mistaken charge, amounting to almost £500. We do not think that we should have to pay this. Is this correct?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Katherine,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      If you’re disputing that you owe the debt it might be worth taking this up with the council.

      If they continue to chase it and you believe you don’t owe it, you can make a formal complaint.
      For the initial complaint you should write to the council and if you need to escalate it further you can write to
      the Local Government Ombudsman: http://www.lgo.org.uk/.

      I hope this helps,

      Jen

  • Steve Antony

    Hi there,

    I have been separated from my wife for a few months now. She received two enforcement notices re outstanding PCN fines.
    The bailiffs arrived at the house one morning, she explained that I am not currently living there as warrant was solely for me, she called me, I stated that they cannot enter property or force her to pay fine that is in my name, she told me that they said will call the locksmith to break locks and gain entry, once again I informed her that they have no legal right to enter property but she said she will pay it to keep them away as she believed the threats they were making.

    Please advise if I have a strong case to get my money from the bailiff company and confirm as they clearly used threats and intimidation to obtain the money from my wife.

  • Gavin

    Hi ..
    I am needing some advice ..
    I have a loan which is secured against my car through money barn .. I have had a few problems in the last few months resulting in 5 payments being missed .. I offered to pay £150 pounds a week but was told they couldn’t accept it until I had a payment plan in place. Itried to get one in place and went through all the right procedures only to have it thrown back in my face saying £150 a week wasn’t enough as they wanted the original payment of £373 a month plus the £150 per week to be able me to proceed with the payment plan. I explained that this was not possible in any way and they basically told me point blank that they were not willing to negotiate at all and it was all or nothing .. Money Barn are now telling me that I have no other option other than losing the car or paying in full the remaining balance …
    The offer I made is £223 off my arrears per month as well as my usual payment of £373 per month. I thought this would be ample to cover the payment but still they are terminating my contract as of Monday please can you help in any way ….??

    • moneyaware

      Hi Gavin,

      Thanks for your message and I’m sorry to hear about your situation. You mention you’ve been in touch with your creditor before to arrange a reduced payment, but that this didn’t work out. Sometimes creditors can be more willing to accept a reduced payment if they can see you’ve sought professional advice on your debts.

      I’d recommend you give us a call and speak to one of our debt advisors about this. We’ll be able to have a chat with you in more detail about your financial situation and recommend the best way for you to deal with the debt. You can find out how to get in touch with us here: http://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,

      Laura

  • SIMON

    Hello
    I have a family member renting a room from me with full board. He has a potential issue with a potential court order to pay arrears on spousal maintenance. With him living in my home, can a court enforcement officer consider my home and it’s contents as potential assets to sieze if my tenant fails to pay the court order monies as they live within my home.

  • KKC171

    Hi, I apologise in advance for the length of this
    7am on Friday morning I had a firm
    called “Marston High Court Enforcement Officers & Certified
    Enforcement Agents” banging on my door having already clamped my car and
    stuck a notice on a window demanding over £400 for a parking ticket I never
    received. The history of this is a few weeks ago I had a phone call at
    work from someone of this place who said they were at an address looking for me
    (I had sold the address he was at over a year beforehand) and was going to
    break down the door and seize my possessions. I tried to explain that I
    knew nothing of what he was talking about and he could not have an order as I
    would have had to be served with many notices from both a creditor and the
    court, but I had received nothing. My friend with a connection to
    Solicitors (but not a criminal lawyer firm) phoned the number back later and
    left a message that he was not to contact me again and was to send all the
    papers to her at the Solicitors he had already been in contact with. She
    never heard anything and it went to the back of my mind until 2 weeks ago when
    a “Notice of Enforcement” from Marston arrived.
    I gave it to my friend who instructed one of our trainee solicitors to
    write to Marston and get the paperwork.
    The trainee sent an email and 2 letters by Royal Mail, one to the
    registered office and one to another address on the notice asking for a hold on
    their proceedings whilst he looked into the matter and asking for the
    papers. I thought it strange earlier
    this week when I had not heard anything and was so busy I kept missing a window
    of opportunity to speak to the trainee to chase them as it was worrying
    me. Then, Friday morning came as set out
    above. I am an older woman (not far off
    retirement) and am on my own. I was very
    scared about this arrogant bully on my doorstep damanding a lot of money for
    something I knew nothing about or my car was being taken and went in my house
    and grabbed a baseball bat my daughter had left under the stairs. Arguments ensued for what felt like ages,
    then he advised I was on camera, (now I thought it was illegal to record
    someone without first advising them you were filming them) I estimate this was
    a good 20 minutes into the confrontation.
    During all this time I was trying to get hold of my friend until
    eventually her daughter answered and said she and her husband were walking the
    dog and would ring me as soon as she got back.
    I felt sick, my stomach was not doing too well, I was shaking and very
    scared. Eventually, my friend rang back,
    told me to put the bat away and call the police and she would get her husband
    to send someone. I rang the police and
    the man said he had already rang the police because I threatened him. The police arrived and said I had to pay up
    or loose the car. I explained I knew
    nothing of owing any money anywhere, I would have had to receive correspondence
    and an opportunity to defend myself and that I had received nothing. The police insisted I pay up! How can the police uphold the law if they do
    not know the law themselves. The police
    said my Solicitor would only arrive and tell me to pay up to which I argued and
    said that was not what he was coming for.
    The trainee arrived, with the file he had stopped at the office to pick
    up, then even more bazaar events occurred.
    Firstly, the man and his boss (on the phone) kept denying receiving any
    of the 3 communications for about half an hour until eventually this man’s
    boss, Kevin Cox, admitted he had received all 3, read them and decided he “did
    not care” and would proceed with his intended actions. The man was in the background periodically saying
    his bit “pay up or the car is gone, the lorry is on it’s way and when it
    arrives that is another £100”. It was
    now 8.50am so the trainee started calling the council offices who were the “creditors”
    and luckily got through. After about 15
    minutes of explaining what was going on and requesting the council instruct
    Marston to leave the property, the council confirmed they had received letters
    back marked not at this address and had continued to pursue a Court Order in
    the knowledge I was not receiving their letters and she immediately called
    Marston and only then would Kevin Cox instruct his man to “stand down” just as
    the lorry was arriving to take the car away.
    It was 9.25am virtually 2.5 hours after my ordeal started. On hindsight if the firm of Solicitors had
    been criminal lawyers the trainee would have gone to the Council as well as the
    Enforcement notice had my registration number and it was my care they were
    after, but that is not the point, Marston’s knew everything had gone to the wrong
    address and proceeded to track my current whereabouts and persue me
    relentlessly, ignore correspondence, etc.
    Over 48 hours later I am not well at all physically, I keep breaking
    down into tears and shaking, it was a horrendeous ordeal and I am also so very
    angry that this could happen and keep thinking what if this happens to an old
    person who has no one to help? I am
    always so very careful where I park my car, I cannot remember having had a
    ticket for parking/speeding or anything for over 20 years and know knowing
    where I was supposed to have received this parking ticket I remember being told
    I could park there by the company I was attending, parked in a long line of
    cars and there were no parking restriction notices (and still are not). This is a comedy of errors and I want to know
    what, if anything, I can do about complaining about the respective parties
    involved in this and even make a compensation claim against any of them for all
    the stress, anguish and now depression and physical illness discomfort. How many people go through the same thing
    each year?

  • NS

    Hi, yesterday I had a call from an enforcement agency stating I owe so much form non payment of council tax. both me and ex partner paid the half which was a lot. later did I find out that I had already paid this a year ago and the notes clearly specified to not contact me and to contact my ex. due to this I couldn’t pay my rent and have now incurred feed. can I do anything about this?

    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      In this situation it’d be worth putting in an official complaint to the enforcement agency chasing the payment.
      If you have evidence that you’ve already paid the debt they were chasing, you should provide a copy of it with the complaint.
      It’d be best the put the complaint in writing, and there should be information on the enforcement agency’s website about how to complain.

      You can also get in touch with the Council to let them know this has happened, as they should let the enforcement agents know that the debt
      no longer needs to be chased as it’s already been paid. They may also be able to offer you further advice about what to do in this situation.

      I hope this has helped.

      Kind regards,

      Jen

  • CMPS

    Hello I’m a little confused my boyfriend went to court over an unpaid fine and is paying it back £50 a week and had nearly paid it off. The other day we got a letter from bailiffs saying its not been paid so the communication from the courts to the bailiffs hasnt been correct as he’s kept all the reference numbers from each payment and never once been late, and as its nearly paid off we where quite shocked about this letter please could I have some advice on this matter to put our minds at ease
    Thank you

    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      If you’ve got proof that you’ve made all the agreed payments to keep the account up to date, you could make a formal complaint about the situation.

      If you get in touch with the court you can ask them about their formal complaints process and how to follow it.

      You can find out more about making a complaint about a creditor here:

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/your-rights/making-a-complaint-about-a-creditor.aspx

      If you’re unhappy with the response you receive about the complaint, you can escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman.

      I hope this helps,

      Jen

  • Matthew Fowler

    Hello just looking for a bit of advice my partner is stopping with a friend when bailiffs turned up this morning with a warrant to take property but the warrant is only on a tablet is this legal?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Matthew,

      We’re a little unsure what you’re asking here. Did you mean that the warrant that was presented to your partner was on a tablet device? Or were you referring to the goods that the bailiff were trying to take?

      Kind regards

      Rory

      • Matthew Fowler

        The warrant was shown on a tablet the bailiff had no paper work every thing he showed was on a tablet

      • moneyaware

        Hi Matthew,

        It’s very unlikely that this will have any impact on whether the warrant is valid – but if your friend would like a copy of the warrant they could as the bailiff (enforcement agent).

        Kind regards,

        Rory

  • Greffo Nelo

    Enforcement agents damaged the bumper of my Dad’s car while removing the clamp they had attached to it. I have tried to contact them and sent them pictures of the damage but no response. What are our rights, they should be liable for the damage?

  • robduff

    Hi,

    A JBW agent visited my daughters home today, who owes Council Tax, calling himself Mr Tuffy!

    My daughter was not in & Mr Tuffy posted a note titled ‘Enforcement Notice’, which had written on it by hand ‘Warrant Issued at Court, debt to be paid by 7.00pm or removal goods’.

    My daughter has never been advised that a warrant of execution has been issued or that the matter has been to court. As the debt mentioned in the is simply the Council tax debt, I doubt that the matter has been anywhere near a court as court fees would I assume be included.

    My daughter rang Mr Tuffy on the hand written mobile number & asked if she could make an arrangement to pay, but he stated that it was too late for this & he is coming round to her home for full payment or goods.

    My daughter is now with me, scared to be at home.

    The JBW agent is lying & using threats to intimidate his way into my daughters home. What should my daughter do.

    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had to deal with this and can understand this must be a very worrying situation for you and your daughter.

      In this situation I’d suggest your daughter contacts the council to find out what’s going on and see if a repayment plan can be set up for the arrears. You may be able to talk to them on your daughter’s behalf, if she gives you permission to do so.

      We have information about dealing with council tax arrears on our website that your daughter may find useful to read.
      It also outlines the process the council will usually follow in order to collect arrears. You can find it here:

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/council-tax-arrears.aspx

      You can also read more about bailiffs, how to deal with them and what rights they have.

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/bailiffs/bailiff-rights-and-powers.aspx

      In terms of the agent that visited, if they’ve used threats to intimidate your daughter, she could make a formal complaint. You can find out how to do this on the company’s website. If she’s unhappy with their response, she can escalate it further to the Financial Ombudsman. There’s a page on our website with more information on this here:

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/your-rights/making-a-complaint-about-a-creditor.aspx

      If your daughter is worried about dealing with her debt then I’d suggest she gives our Helpline a call for some free advice. Our advisors will be happy to chat through her situation with her and let her know the options available to her. You can find our contact details here:

      https://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx

      I hope this information helps but if you have any more questions please let us know.

      Kind regards,

      Jen

  • Lisa jones

    Hi can you please advise me, I had a n245 granted in Dec 2015 for a variation order and to suspend the warrant after I had a letter off the high court enforcement group. The court agreed we could pay £50 per month which I have been doing. I did get a visit in Jan 2016 after I was granted the n245 but showed the letter and they went away.
    I have just had a letter from the solicitor who we have to pay for the claimant with a record of payments along with a copy of an email in July 2016 from the hce saying we owe an extra £300 for there fees. This is on top of the amount that’s on the n245 variation order is this right? I thought once a n245 was granted the hce can’t do anything? So now confused why we have to pay more money.
    Thanks

    • moneyaware

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for getting in touch. It’s hard to know exactly what’s happened without knowing all the details. There are details on our website about the fees High Court enforcement officers can add here: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-collection/high-court-enforcement-officers.aspx.

      If you can get more details about how this £300 of fees was calculated you can compare it to the charges listed on the webpage above to see if they seem reasonable.

      Kind regards

      James

  • rev667

    Hi, I need advice. A debt collection agency has taken a £200 payment in lieu of setting up a DD of 200 per month. This was done on the 28th july. I had a visit and a note through the door today (22nd Aug). So rang and explained I was paid on the 21st of the month and could now arrange to pay the 200 pounds and set up a DD. The agent refused and demanded payment in full (£1200) within 24 hrs. What now?
    feeling like I should rob an old lady to pay these people.

    • moneyaware

      Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation.

      If you’re unhappy with the way a creditor has treated you, you could make a formal complaint. You should be able
      to find out how to do this on their website. We’ve also got some information on our site about what to do:

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/your-rights/making-a-complaint-about-a-creditor.aspx

      In terms of the payment, it’s important to pay what you can afford. Your creditor may not agree to you paying less than the agreed amount however they can’t actually reject the money you do give them. With this in mind, it’s important to keep paying what you can towards your debts as this shows you’re not ignoring them. There’s more information about arranging repayments to debts on our website:

      https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/arranging-payment-with-creditors.aspx

      Struggling to meet payments towards a debt could be a sign of a debt problem. If you’d like some advice about your debts, please feel free give our free Helpline a call. One of our advisors will be more than happy to chat through your situation with you and answer any questions you have about the debt collection process. You can find out how to get in touch with us here:

      https://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx

      I hope this helps,

      Jen

  • tracy morgan

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    4. Get promotion you have desired for a long time at work or in your career.

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  • Jade Leanne Moss

    Hi it have unpaid tv licence fine as I forgot to pay it it’s now 300 a seizure of goods warrent has been issued to collectica does this mean they are going to come a take my stuff before offering a payment arrangement?

    • moneyaware

      Hi Jade,

      Not paying a fine for an unpaid TV licence can eventually lead to bailiffs (sometimes called enforcement agents) being sent and they could take your things away if they can’t come to agreement about repaying the debt.

      There’s more information about TV licence fines on our website: https://www.stepchange.org/debt-info/tv-licence-fines.aspx.

      If you can afford to repay the fine then this should stop any action being taken. However, there are still options if you can’t afford to repay in one payment. Please give us a call for more in depth advice if you need it.

      Our service is free, impartial and we can offer suggestions about dealing with debts like this. Here’s our contact details: https://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx.

      Kind regards

      James

    • Bandit Queen

      Just don’t let them in. Make sure your back door is locked, speak to them firmly and ask them to put a letter through with their contact details. Then go to the CAB and get advice. But don’t let them in and report them if they threaten you. If you want to offer payment, ask for contact ONLY in writing and keep copies of everything. Do a budget plan, pay priority debts first, offer everyone else only what is realistic, even 1 pound a week. They need to show you a warrant and identifying evidence. They can’t come in unless you invite them, so don’t and even then they can only list certain things, plus collectica have no powers at all. Tell them to go away. Contact the court and try to make an arrangement. Don’t let them in and don’t deal with them at the door or phone. Writing only.

  • michael

    What is the situation with bailiffs and self storage units? Can they enter a locked unit? And what about bank accounts, do they have access to funds in the bank?

  • Dodo

    I issued a warrant of collection of money after I got a judgment. The bailiffs went 3 times to the defendant’s house but failed to collect and are now telling me they won’t go again. Where do I stand, does this mean the bailiffs are not executing the warrant and in breech of the court order? Thanks!

    • Hello,

      Thanks for your question.

      It sounds like the bailiffs have tried to collect this debt but haven’t been able to collect any money. From what you’ve said it doesn’t sound like they’re in breach of the court order (though the claimant obviously is). It’s hard to give firm advice without knowing all the details though, I’d recommend getting specialist legal advice if you want to look into this further.

      There are other options to enforce a judgment, you can find more information on the Government’s website: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/enforce-a-judgment.

      Thank you

      Becca

  • Bandit Queen

    I am disabled with a disabled spouse who almost died last year and I got a council tax bill last year while he was in a coma. I told the twits this as I could not access his bank account to set up payments. I then forgot, lost the bill and never heard till November last year. I asked them, politely for a copy of the bill which they refused and for details to set up a payment scheme as we are on low incomes, as are most people who deal with scum bailiffs, but they ignored me. They then took it and got a liability order which raised it by about £60.00. I insisted on a complaint form and went through the complainant procedure, plus eventually got the bill and set up a standing order for the remainder of the year, three months. I got the charges revoked due to compassionate circumstances, even though the moron on the phone told me that my husband being almost dead was no reason for him not paying. No, but the fact I was in shock and at his bedside for over three months must count as a reason for it slipping our minds. They eventually agreed. However, still owed arrears and asked them to spread this over the next year, which they were considering before they just then went and took it from my benefits. The complainant was not yet completely finished and they ignored the seventeen letters for an appeal form. I have my own ill health so I gave up. I arranged for the DWP to pay, but at a much reduced rate. This was for £94.00 over 12 months.

    I got this year’s and set up a direct debit. They have not taken, so I cancelled and set up a standing order, which they have been paid. For some reason the DWP stopped paying the arears and now the council will send bailiffs. I had yesterday a letter and it worried me. My husband now has mental health and memory problems and I am in constant pain. I know we don’t have to let them in and I have no intention, but what if they take my car. It is 20 years old but we rely totally as disabled people as does my 89 years old mum as we take her shopping in it. She can’t go otherwise. It’s only worth £50 at the most and is in my name, the council tax is in my spouses name. Should we hide the car and are bailiffs allowed to come to vulnerable disabled people or should I tell the council to recall them? I heard you can do this. I have a disabled badge.

    Thanks in advance

    LynMarie

    • Becca Drury

      Hello LynMarie

      Sorry to hear about your situation – it sounds very complex and must be quite stressful. We cannot comment on whether you should be considering hiding a vehicle or not.

      We’d suggest that you give us a call so that we can discuss what’s happening in detail and see how we can help you. You’ll find all of our contact details here: https://www.stepchange.org/Contactus.aspx

      Thank you
      Becca

  • jack

    Hi, recently I agreed with Marston group to pay 60.00 a month coming out as a reacuring debit transaction. I lost my bank card after my first initial payment and when they tried to take the money my bank it didn’t go through because I now understand that they changed my card number! I didn’t know this as it was my first time losing a bank card. Anyway Marston have slapped on an enforcement stage 2 and added 594.00 because of this. I have phoned them 4 times and complained and they just will not listen and are extremely rude also not interested And said to take it up with MOJ on the charges. I believe I have been treated so unfairly as I was willing to get myself straight this year. Original debt southern water 1238 and now it is 2138 !!! Please any advice