Bailiff Help & Advice
A bailiff can help enforce a court ruling. Bailiffs are court officers who are typically responsible for maintaining order in the courtroom, as well as enforcing court orders.
They may be asked to help execute a court ruling by serving documents, confiscating property, or even making an arrest.
If you have had any contact by a bailiff, give us a call immediately to understand your options.
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Can Bailiffs force Entry? Do I have to let them in?
In most cases bailiffs are supposed to enter your home ‘peaceably’ through a front or back door. This means they’re not allowed to use force or enter your home without your permission.
There are some circumstances where bailiffs are allowed to force entry, but they should give you chance to let them in voluntarily first.
When can bailiffs visit?
Unless they have a court warrant giving them extra rights, they can visit you at home between 6am and 9pm, any day of the week. They’re supposed to avoid religious or cultural festivals but may still attend if necessary. You can make a complaint to a bailiff if they visit you when they’re not supposed to.
What debts to bailifs collect?
Bailiffs can’t collect Consumer Credit Act-regulated debts like payday loans, credit cards or overdrafts unless:
The creditor has taken you to court and obtained a County Court judgment (CCJ), and
You ignored the CCJ or didn’t pay the amount the court ordered
As well as unpaid CCJs, bailiffs collect several other types of debt, including:
Council tax arrears
Child maintenance arrears
Parking penalties issued by a local authority
Tax and National Insurance arrears if you’re self-employed
Dealing with Bailiffs
If a bailiff is at your door, it is important to stay calm and not act aggressively, as this could make the situation worse. It is also important to know that you are not obliged to open the door to speak to them, this can be done through the letterbox. Additionally, here are 7 things to consider when dealing with bailiffs:
Check the legitimacy of the bailiff, ask for ID.
Request a payment plan in writing.
Be aware of your rights as a debtor.
Seek legal advice or support.
Ask for proof of your debt.
Consider filing a complaint with the court or bailiff's office.
Take steps to protect your property.
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