Nothing is more terrifying and depressing than being chased for debts, especially if you have a family to protect. Threatening phone calls and letters can be very stressful, particularly if you have to lie awake thinking how to solve the financial burden you are in.
The situation even becomes worse when a bailiff turns up at your doorstep making demands, pushing you to sign complex paperwork or even trying to repossess your property. With a good understanding of your rights, you will know what you can and can’t do. Here are valuable tips and useful advice on how to deal with bailiffs.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Notified A Bailiff Will Visit Your Home?
If you have received a letter from a bailiff such as chandlers enforcement agents also known as an “enforcement agent”, notifying you they will visit your home to collect payment, do not ignore the letter. If you do, the bailiffs will come to your home after 7 days. However, there are steps you can take to prevent them from coming:
Tip 1: Contact the Company the Bailiff Works For
This is the best course of action you can take. Call the bailiff’s company and notify them that you have received their letter and you want to negotiate a repayment plan with them. The bailiff’s company will not ignore this as long as you make a reasonable effort to pay back your debts. Be sure to make an offer you can realistically afford even if it is just a few pounds per month.
Tip 2: Overturn the Bailiff’s Warrant
If your creditor has been issued with a Court Warrant allowing them to instruct a bailiff to recover their debt, you can apply to the court for this to be varied or suspended. You have to fill an N245 Form that allows you to explain your current financial condition to the court and offer to pay back your debt in instalments based on what you can afford.
You must send your complete N245 Form to the Court that issued that warrant together with an application fee of £40. Your creditor will then be notified and will be allowed 14 days to either reject or accept your proposal. If your creditor accepts the proposal, the court will make an order overturning the Bailiff’s warrant on the terms you requested.
Tip 3: Pay the Bailiffs in Full
If you can manage to pay some or all your debt, then there is nothing to prevent you from doing this. Before you pay anything to the bailiff, ask for their proof of identity. You can also ask them for either a copy of their authorisation to take away your things or a copy of the court order stating you owe your creditor money.
How to Deal With Bailiffs at My Door
Bailiffs can come to your home anytime between 6am and 9pm. However, you do not have to let them in. Legally, bailiffs are not allowed to enter your house by force, but they can enter your home if your doors are unlocked or windows are opened. Therefore, ensure you always leave your doors and windows closed.
If the bailiff has already entered your home, they can forcefully access all the rooms and even seize goods. Bailiffs can seize luxury items, such as games consoles, TV and home theatres. They cannot take items, such as things you need, such as clothes, cookers and fridge or someone else’s belongings. Goods seized by a bailiff are put into auction and sold to recover your creditor’s debt.
If the bailiffs forced their way in, you can complain to the bailiffs’ professional body, take a court action to recover your goods or report the matter to the police.