If there is one word which can strike fear in the hearts of anyone struggling with their bills and finances….it is Bailiffs!

If you live in Scotland, it is the Sheriffs.

There are a few things that must be said about Bailiffs:

The Process of Bailiffs Being Used to Collect a Debt

The process of Bailiffs being used to collect a debt is not a lengthy one once the process has begun.

It begins with someone being in arrears on an account, the account going into default, a default notice being sent, and then a day in court where the creditor attempts to obtain a CCJ/County Court Judgment.

Once the Judgment has been obtained, the creditor may then seek an Enforcement Order to collect the account, and one tool that can be used to enforce the collecting of a debt is Bailiffs.

As you may notice, there are a few steps and stages in this process where it can be stopped, usually by setting-up a repayment plan, or entering into a Debt Management Plan, or even an IVA or Bankruptcy.

What To Do Should Bailiffs Come to Your Home

The first rule to know if Bailiffs show up at your home is to NOT let them in.

Close all curtains and blinds as well, so they cannot see inside.

Do speak to the Bailiffs, and read any documents they may have for you, but do this outside your home.

The reason for this is if a Bailiff enters your home, and takes an account or inventory of your possessions, which they may try and do a “virtual accounting” looking through windows, should they have to come back out due to a broken payment plan, they can force entry at that time.

The Bailiffs are there as a proxy for the creditor and the courts to collect a debt. It’s very simple, they will ask you to pay the full balance, or as much as you can, or if they can, set-up a payment plan with you.

Again, it is going to be rare that Bailiffs just show up and force their way into your home. However, for some Magistrate fines, and also for some tax debts.

What Goods/Possessions Can Be Seized

What Bailiffs can and cannot take is changing due the current Covid pandemic, and also if they will enter your home or not.

Until December 2020, Bailiffs were not entering homes or taking any property inside the home. However, they can still demand payment, seize your car, speak to you and also give you documents.

In seizing goods, the process would follow the following:

The goods they can seize are:

The goods Bailiffs cannot take:

If you have certain health issues or a disability, Bailiffs are trained to handle these types of situations.

Extra care is given if someone has young children in the home, are disabled, experiencing mental health issues, and don’t speak or read English.

A couple of things to remember:

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