Stop The Bailiffs! Your Guide To Stopping Issues, Visits & Calls

Many people in the UK public are asking questions to debt help organizations such as:

“How Can I Stop Bailiffs Coming To My Home?”
“I’m Under Pressure To Repay Debts That I Can’t Afford, What Can I Do?”
&
“I’ve Been Visited By A Bailiff, What Do I Do Now?”

Many people want to protect their goods at home, stop the bailiff hassle and return to a normal life, this page is your guide and has all the information you need at a glance to deal with bailiffs and resume your normal way of living.

Ways To Stop Bailiffs Before They Visit:

There are different ways to stop the bailiff companies/enforcement agents/debt collectors before they visit your home, we divide this section into two parts dependant on if you’re at the stage of ‘receiving a letter’ or ‘they’ve visited my home and there is a ‘controlled goods agreement’.

Received A Bailiffs’ Letter?

So you’re behind on your debt repayments and you’ve received a letter from the bailiffs’, this is usually known as a ‘notice of enforcement’ designed to inform you of their intention to recover debts.

Ignoring a letter from a bailiff is not a good idea, if the letter is ignored this generally means they can pay you a visit within 7 days of the letter being issued, so it is a good idea to pay attention to any warnings from enforcement agencies/bailiffs/debt collection agencies, you can only do this by keeping on top of any incoming mail if you know you’re behind on your debts.

It’s worth doing the following things once you’ve received the letter (notice of enforcement):

Check The Notice Is Valid:

For your notice to be valid it must:

Display your correct contact details: name and address
Display the amount of debt you have and what type (the correct amount)
Issue a statement saying you have 7 days before a visit
It must come from a registered bailiff (not a debt collector) this can be verified by searching the bailiffs’ register here: http://certificatedbailiffs.justice.gov.uk/searchPublic.do?search=
Be sent to you by letter – By Post/Fax/Or Email
Be written in a legal, formal style

If the above criteria have not been adhered to you should check with your local citizens’ advice and ask them to verify the document for you as you may need a second opinion.

Figure Out Which Day You Can Expect A Visit

Bearing in mind the bailiff must leave it a minimum of 7 days before visiting your property, try to anticipate when you may get a visit so you can be prepared, this way you can be sure the visit is expected and you aren’t caught in a situation where you don’t know what to do.

Bailiff Already Been In The Property? (Controlled Goods Agreement)

For if you’ve broken the agreement:

If you’ve broken a ‘controlled goods agreement’, it’s possible you may get a letter called a ‘notice of intention to re-enter’ .

This entitles’ the bailiff to use reasonable force to re-enter your property, generally this means they may use a locksmith to gain entry, they aren’t allowed to break in the property.

If you act quickly there could be time to renegotiate your payment agreement plan with your bailiff, you will need to move fast at this point to avoid the risk of them entering your home to remove the goods.

Stopping Bailiffs During A Visit

It’s possible (in the event that there is a visit in progress) for you to stop the bailiffs from gaining entry into your property, read below for more information on this.

Refusing Entry: Stopping Bailiffs Before They Enter Your Home

If bailiffs visit your home, you are under no obligation to allow them in unless they have obtained a warrant or if you have broken a ‘controlled goods agreement’.

Many bailiffs are turned away from peoples place of residence on a daily basis, this will not be unusual to them as they have no legal right to enter a property without an order and special permissions (warrant), you are entitled to ask for this in the event of a visit.

Ask For Identification

You should ask to see some identification from the bailiff during the visit, they must be prepared to identify themselves.

Important tip: under no circumstances should you allow entry to a bailiff if they have not provided you with both ID and a warrant for entry (or a document known as a ‘writ’).

Check If They Are Allowed To Force Entry

The bailiff could have the right to force entry to your home or business if they’re collecting:

court fines, tax debts for HMRC, TV licence fees etc

They will need to show you proof of liability, ID, and the warrant or ‘writ’ documentation, you should check the proof of liability has your correct name and address on it.

If the bailiff intends to force entry to your home, contact your local citizens’ advice for further help as a matter of urgency. You can contact citizens’ advice here: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/search-for-your-local-citizens-advice/

No Warrant: If They Aren’t Allowed To Force Entry

If the bailiff is collecting any other kind of debt they aren’t allowed to force entry.

This includes if they’re collecting (these don’t count and they aren’t allowed to force entry for these):

council tax liabilities
credit cards or catalogue liabilities
unpaid parking ticket fees
energy or phone company debts

There are very limited circumstances in which they can force entry:
(generally only to recover HMRC income tax, criminal court costs or TV licence fees & debts of that nature, obligatory debt repayments)

It is generally a rare occurrence for bailiffs to force entry to your home. If they do they will use a locksmith as they are not allowed to break in.

If they are not allowed to break in you are entitled to keep them at the front door and discuss your debts’ with them outside your home, you are under no obligation to let them in if they have neither the permission nor eligible form of debt recovery (mentioned previously).

Broken A Previous “Controlled Goods Agreement”?

This section is for if you have been given a previous ‘controlled goods agreement’ and you have broken that arrangement.

If you have broken a ‘controlled goods agreement’ you may get a ‘notice of intention to re-enter’. This will mean that they have the right to use reasonable force to re enter your property using reasonable force (locksmith) if you cannot (in the meantime) come to an agreement on debt repayment or come to an agreement on the handover of the goods.

Stop Bailiffs Long Term

Read below for more details on this, there are different options to free you from these problems.

What Are The Long Term Options For Dealing With Bailiffs

There are different solutions for you to stop bailiff issues in the longer term:

Manual approach

This is to deal with the bailiffs yourself or enable them to confiscate items to cover your debts and/or renegotiate payment plans’ if your debt amount requires it. (if you haven’t read this page in full we recommend you scroll up and understand the information carefully).

Seek outside help from a debt help company

There are ways’ in which you can receive help from experts’ who can provide debt solutions that can halt pursuit from bailiffs, enforcement agents, creditors’ and debt collectors.

There are also other advantages to this including consolidation of monthly bills, frozen interest and charges, new point of contact on your behalf for all applicable debts and other benefits.

Can I Get Someone Else To Stop My Bailiffs?

With the debt solutions below, it is possible to get a representative that would act as the new point of contact for anyone chasing you for debts and liabilities (for most types of debt).

Debt Solutions To Halt Bailiff Problems

Debt management plans: these are informal debt solutions that can (where possible) help to consolidate your debt into one lowered monthly repayment, stop interest & charges, provide you with representation in dealing with creditors and other collection agents and enforcement officers. For more details on debt management plans see here.

IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangements): These are more formal debt solutions that are legally binding and approved by both the courts and your creditors’.
It will halt any pursuit from bailiffs. enforcement agents, debt collectors and anyone else pursuing you for debt. It will also freeze all interest and charges and call also write off a considerable portion of debt. (up to 85% in theory, up to 75% of debt is more common).
To find out more about IVA’s see here.

Both of the above debt solutions address creditor issues and bailiff problems & you can have a conversation about either of these on a no obligation basis for free with an advisor.

If you are suffering with bailiff problems don’t suffer in silence or bury your head, feel free to contact us for a free, confidential, no obligation debt assessment to see what options are available to you.

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