During the Covid-19 pandemic, UK legislation has been temporarily amended to prevent enforcement agents from visiting properties to collect debts. This suspension ends on 23 August and bailiffs will restart enforcement visits to homes from 24 August.
The most common debts bailiffs deal with are local council tax arrears and unpaid parking fines, although they also recover a variety of others too.
Understandably, this change could be very worrying, particularly if you're already struggling financially. So, in this blog, we offer some guidance to help if you're facing this difficult situation.
What can you do to avoid the bailiffs?
There are still some additional restrictions in place:
- Bailiffs are required to give you 30 days’ notice of any enforcement action. If you receive a letter from a bailiff, contact us as soon as possible to get advice on your options and next steps. You may be able to come to an affordable arrangement and, in some circumstances, we may be able to give financial assistance.
- Bailiffs should not enter your home. If a bailiff does visit your home, they shouldn't attempt to enter your property to take control of goods. However, this doesn’t prevent them from seizing property outside your home, like a car. So, if this applies to you, get in touch.
Are you vulnerable?
Bailiffs need to take account of any vulnerabilities you may have. This could include vulnerability specifically related to Covid-19 or any other condition/situation which might make you more vulnerable.
Don’t ignore letters
Bailiffs are agents for your creditor and must have the correct permissions to carry out any enforcement action. For example, the Local Authority will need to have taken you to court and obtained a Liability Order to enforce action with a bailiff.
If you've received a letter or think that you may be visited by a bailiff, there is still time to stop enforcement action. Call us and speak to a member of our money advice and guidance team to get the help you need. Don't delay and let the situation get worse.
You may need to provide medical evidence or a detailed financial statement to support any agreed arrangement. We can help you to do this and contact the bailiff on your behalf if you don’t feel able to discuss your situation.
Don’t suffer in silence
We know that you may be worried if you can’t pay or embarrassed, and even frightened, by bailiffs. Our advisers are understanding and impartial and your enquiry will be treated in completed confidence. We care about how you feel, we won’t judge you and we won’t share any information you give us without your permission.
Bailiffs may be back but we’re here to help you through it. Apply for help.