Debt collectors are not bailiffs

debt collector bailiff

A stereotypical image of a bailiff

Have you got unsecured debts, such as a credit card, personal loan, overdraft or store card? Are you worrying that you can’t pay them?

If so, we reckon you’re losing sleep thinking that bailiffs will be knocking your door. Well , please don’t worry too much.

Creditors of unsecured debts can’t send bailiffs (or enforcement agents, as they’re officially known) to your home.

Creditors can send, or threaten to send, doorstep debt collectors. But it’s really important to know that they have no more power than someone ringing you. They are not bailiffs! They just look a lot like them…

Quite often they’re just sent to scare you.

Can bailiffs come for credit card debt?

Let’s repeat that most important lesson: People chasing you for unsecured debts are not bailiffs. So don’t be scared. So that means no, they can’t chase you to pay your credit cards – unless things have got worse and they’ve been appointed by the court.

What is unsecured debt?

Unsecured debts include credit card debt, medical bills, utility bills and other types of loans or credit that are not secured against a property, or other valuable item.

Bailiffs can come for credit card debt only if things get worse and you end up being taken to court, or get a CCJ. Otherwise, they can only send debt collectors, whose powers are limited.

Also, it’s not so likely that a debt collector will come to your front door. It’s cheaper for them to phone you instead and they’re just as likely to get the money they’re after this way.

If a debt collector does come to your door chasing an unsecured debt, ask them to leave. You do not have to let you in and they can’t force their way in!

To stop them coming back, you should write to the company they work for. Ask them to contact you by letter only.

Find out more about what your creditors can and cannot do by reading our guide.

When are bailiffs called?

They are usually following up on court action or late council tax payments. If you’re worried about being taken to court, or not being able to pay your council tax, read our advice on bailiffs right now.

Find out more about what creditors can and can’t do, and if you’re worried or losing sleep over your debts, creditors, debt collectors or bailiffs please contact us or use our online debt help service.

Posted by in Living with debt