We are often asked by clients what to do when a Bailiff turns up at their premises.
Here are a few tips as to how to deal with the situation in the first instance:
1. Don’t ignore letters, reminders or warning letters from Bailiff Agencies, it will not make them disappear. If you feel they are incorrect, contact them to inform them that they have the wrong address or other information.
2. If a Bailiff arrives on your doorstep, ask for paperwork before you get into discussions about anything. They must have with them:-
- Proof of their identity and that they are from a Bailiff firm
- Proof of the debt that you owe
- Proof that they have authorisation to remove items from your property
3. They generally cannot force entry onto your premises, unless it is a last resort. They can obtain ‘peaceful entry’. If they enter without your permission and without breaking in, i.e. if a window is left open or a door unlocked, that is classed as ‘peaceful entry’.
4. If they don’t have the relevant paperwork or begin using forceful methods then contact the Police.
5. They can only take things belonging to the debtor, so make sure they only take what they are entitled to.
6. You can try and negotiate with the Bailiff, try paying them a portion of the debt at the time, then propose a repayment plan that they can go back to their company with. Or seek agreement that you will make payment in full to the relevant company within so many days.
7. Remember Bailiff Fees will be put onto the total debt that you owe, you therefore want to avoid their involvement as much as you can.
For more information, contact our legal team.
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