The Bailiffs: Collecting the debts

The word Bailiff has the ability to strike fear into the hearts of many lenders across the country. If you owe somebody money, or if somebody owes you money, one of the many ways to collect that money is through the use of Bailiffs.

What is a Bailiff? A Bailiff is a person or persons sent by a creditor to collect money owed. When Bailiffs are sent out to your home, a due process must have been followed for them to be there lawfully. This includes obtaining a County Court Judgement and an Enforcement Order from the relevant justice department.

These people can then remove items from your property to sell for the money owed. However, you do have rights even when a Bailiff comes knocking. Most importantly, do not allow them to bully you into payments you cannot afford.

It is advisable to lock your property securely and close all blinds and windows should Bailiffs turn up. A Bailiff cannot force entry into your property without proper due cause. This stops them from doing a ‘virtual’ accounting of your property.

A debt collector is not the same as a Bailiff and has to leave if you ask them to. If they are a valid Bailiff or enforcement agent, they will be able to present you with ID. Bailiffs can only take items that are non-essential such as TV’s, stereos, books, etc.

It’s best not to let things escalate to this point and to arrange for a repayment schedule with your creditors. For further advice, you can contact the citizen’s advice bureau at or by phoning 03444 111 444.