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What are bailiffs?

Bailiffs are people who have been given special powers by the courts to collect debts. They usually arrive at debtors homes or places of business. Usually, if you do not pay bailiffs immediately they will try to repossess household and business items, alongside any vehicles which may be at the property. They will then look to sell these items at auction to use towards the money owed. A County Court Bailiff will collect a wide range of debts including council tax debt (council tax bailiffs), parking fines, CCJ’s and many others.

Our advisors work with a huge number of different court bailiffs throughout the United Kingdom to ensure that our customers avoid repossession and resolve their debt problems quickly and confidentially.

What can bailiffs take?

Bailiffs can take any luxury items. This includes TV’s, consoles, or anything else which isn’t essential for survival. They will also look to repossess vehicles which are at your property.

What can’t bailiffs take?

Bailiffs can not remove essential items.

These include:

  • Clothes
  • Cooking items, such as cookers, microwaves, fridges or freezers
  • Work tools and equipment (with a value of £1350 or under)
  • Other peoples belongings (proof is usually required)

How to stop bailiffs

When bailiffs arrive at your house, you should ask them to show appropriate identification to prove who they are.

To stop bailiffs, you need to have an active debt proposal (such as an IVA or bankruptcy). Contact us immediately for bailiff help, bailiff advice or to find out more about bailiffs rights. Beat the bailiffs!

Bailiffs Rights

Can bailiffs enter your house when you are not there?

Bailiffs can only enter your house when you are not there through an unlocked door, unless is related to a criminal debt.

How many times can a bailiff visit?

A bailiff should not visit your house more than 3 times in order to collect a debt. You should receive notice of the first visit 7 days in advance. The second visit should be to collect the debt and the third visit should only be needed if they can not collect the debt on the second visit. If you are not at the property at the time of the visits, this number could increase.

Do bailiffs work weekends?

Yes, most bailiffs often work weekends as this is a time when debtors are usually at the property, and not at work. Visits will not happen on a Sunday or if a Saturday falls on a Bank Holiday (such as Christmas Day).

Can a bailiff take my car?

A bailiff will often try to take your car unless it is not parked on your drive, on somebody else’s private land.

Can bailiffs enter my parents house?

Yes. If a bailiff has a court order (warrant) to enter the property, then they can enter your parents house. This would happen when the address of the credit account is registered to your parents house. The address is registered when the debt is taken out.

Can a bailiff refuse a payment plan?

A bailiff can refuse a payment plan if they are instructed to collect the amount in full only. They are agents for the creditor, so it is not in their powers to accept payment plans which do not suit the original lender.

Can bailiffs force entry?

A bailiff can force entry to your property with a relevant court order. This is usually a last resort, it may incur charges (your debt may be increased).

This sometimes happens with council tax arrears bailiffs, when dealing with bailiffs council tax.

Can I pay the council instead of the bailiffs?

When a debt has reached the bailiffs, it is now your responsibility to pay the bailiffs unless you pay the original creditor in full, they can then inform the bailiff that the matter is settled. You would usually have to pay the fees incurred.

What can you do if bailiff only want full payment?

If a bailiff only wants full payment for a debt which is owed, you will either need to clear the payment in full or enter into a formal arrangement which includes the full amount of the total debt (inclusive of charges).

Note: For bailiffs in Scotland, see our Scottish Trust Deed page.

Here is a recent and up-to-date list of high court bailiffs that have approved IVA proposals:

Andrew James Enforcement
Andrew Wilson Enforcement
B and S Bailiff Services
Bristow and Sutor
Court Enforcement Services
Direct Collection Bailiffs
Elliott Davies
Excel Civil Enforcement
High Court Enforcement Group
JTR Collections
LG Collections
Newlyn PLC
One Source Enforcement
Phoenix Commercial Collections
Proserve Debt Recovery
ARP Enforcement
Marston Holdings