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A bailiff may visit your home if you don’t pay a debt for something like council tax, a fine, or child maintenance.
If you have been contacted by a bailiff, you can prevent them visiting by paying them what you owe, or by arranging with them to pay in instalments.
Bailiffs will generally be happy to accept an arrangement to pay, provided that it’s realistic, and that you can afford to pay it.
If we’ve already worked out a budget for you, you can use this to demonstrate to the bailiffs what you can afford to pay. If you haven’t already completed a budget you’ll need to detail your income, outgoings, and work out what’s left over and what you can afford to offer them (see our offers to creditors page for more information).
You can also send the offer, and your budget, to whoever you owe the money to. This may help you to get the offer accepted.
If you let the bailiff in, they can take some of your belongings which will be sold to repay your debt.
This includes items like:
They can't take:
If a bailiff visits your property, you must ask them for identification such as a badge, ID card or enforcement agent certificate
You should also:
All bailiffs must have a certificate unless they’re exempt or they’re with someone who does have a certificate.
You should do this before paying them anything or letting them into your home.
Bailiffs can’t enter the property:
If you haven’t paid the bailiff and you don’t let them in, they can still take things from outside of your house, like your car. It’s therefore advisable to park your car in a locked garage, or away from your property if you’re expecting a visit from a bailiff.
Some solutions protect you against further from your creditors, including bailiff action. They are sometimes called ‘formal’ solutions because the creditors, as well as you, are bound by them:
If you’re in one of these solutions, and the debt which the bailiff is collecting is included, they can’t send bailiffs out to your property.
There are, however, some important things to consider.
You may find that, if you have fallen behind with your repayments to a debt, that you are contacted by another firm who have been asked to collect the debt. Your creditors are entitled to do this.
Debt collectors can:
Debt collectors will often agree to freeze interest and charges to accounts where they can see that a person is in financial difficulties and has sought debt advice. If you appoint a third-party representative, they will usually direct all contact through them rather than contacting you.