If you are seriously in debt and have been taken to court you have probably received many nasty letters, unpleasant phone calls and threats of bailiffs, bankruptcy and eviction.
Once you have been issued with a Liability Order (a letter from the court laying out what you owe and giving you 7 days final notice) the next step is a visit from Enforcement Officers or Bailiffs.
Keeping Bailiffs Out
The initial visit by bailiffs may appear civil and helpful. However, you must not allow them to put a foot inside your door or you have voluntarily given them the right to enter, list and confiscate your possessions.
If you leave a door unlocked, you might as well have hung out a sign saying “Come and get it”. If a door is unlocked, bailiffs have the right to try the handle and let themselves in. Keep them locked!
If bailiffs return with an Enforcement Order (and they will), there is nothing you can do. Arguing and physically resisting them will just lead to more trouble.
The truth is that at this stage the court is on their side and they are going to collect payment one way or another.
The exception is if you are disabled or seriously ill, have mental health problems, are pregnant, under 18, over 65, or are in a stressful situation such as recently bereaved or unemployed.
It’s up to you to tell the bailiffs this when you first get the Liability Order.
What Enforcement Officers Can Seize
Bailiffs want to seize items that are easy to sell and have high value. These include jewellery, gold and precious metals, electrical goods, computers and electronic gadgets, collectibles and cash.
They can take things even if they are jointly owned with someone else, such as a vehicle.
There are some essential items that bailiffs and enforcement officers are not allowed to take.
- Beds and bedding
- Cookers and basic kitchen appliances
- Table and chairs for everyone
- Care equipment for the disabled
- Phones and mobiles
- Things that belong to someone else (if you can prove it)
- Tools, computers and equipment needed for your studies or job (up to £1350)
- Things on hire purchase or on finance (stick the paperwork to the back of the object e.g. TV)
Bailiffs’ Seizure of Vehicles
Bailiffs like cars and other vehicles as they are easy to sell and command high value.
If you know that the bailiffs are due to visit, you should know that they can clamp and tow your vehicle if it is parked on the street or in your garden.
However, if it is on private property belonging to someone else, they cannot touch it without further legal orders.
All these are temporary measures to keep out the bailiffs, but eventually you will need to deal with your debt. Call Aunt Meg today for some friendly and helpful advice.
You’ll be surprised at what we can do immediately to stop letters, phone calls, court orders… and even stop the bailiffs while you sort out a solution.
Call us now and Beat the Bailiffs!