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Bailiffs - any tips with dealing with the ******s

(48 Posts)
katiekitty Wed 04-Jul-07 16:12:10

Hello - I'm being threatened with a visit from the bailiffs, has anyone got any experience of this? I've been advised to keep my windows shut, could they really climb in through an open window? Bit frightening..
What would I do if they came round?

Any help gratefully received xxx

LIZS Wed 04-Jul-07 16:18:21

Any chance you could avert it by making a payment or speaking to whoever you owe now?

tutu100 Wed 04-Jul-07 16:21:54

They can legally gain entry as long as they don't have to break in so they can come ni through an open window. However I would not advise that you avoid them as they will just keep increasing their charges which are extortionate.

Some bayliffs can make payment plans, but you need to speak to them to arrange this.

What do you owe money for? Hope you don't mind me asking.

FluffyMummy123 Wed 04-Jul-07 16:24:09

Message withdrawn

TequilaMockinBird Wed 04-Jul-07 16:31:49

What is the debt for?

mytwopenceworth Wed 04-Jul-07 16:33:56

depends if its court baliffs or private, court baliffs have more powers.

TequilaMockinBird Wed 04-Jul-07 16:34:05

And yes, they can climb in through open windows. They are allowed to make 'peaceful entry' i.e. not forced so if your windows/doors are open then they can walk/climb in!

mytwopenceworth Wed 04-Jul-07 16:36:34

read this

TequilaMockinBird Wed 04-Jul-07 16:39:50

If its bailiffs for council tax then read this thread

Tutu, thats not strictly true, the bailiffs cannot add extortionate charges on by law (although they will try to!!) -there is a maximum legal charge which they can add to the debt but no more. A lot of people however dont know this and just pay what they ask!

I used to work in Debt Collection and my personal advice would be to speak to the creditor and try to arrange to pay them directly and take the debt back from the bailiff.

MissTea4Me Wed 04-Jul-07 16:40:01

There was quite a good article in the Sunday Times a few weeks ago about it here It's worth checking what their actual powers are because they apparently will often intimidate or claim to more powers than they're legally allowed.

TequilaMockinBird Wed 04-Jul-07 16:40:53

Sorry that should say 'ask them to take the debt back from the bailiff'

ConnorTraceptive Wed 04-Jul-07 16:41:54

sorry but they aren't the b***ds they are recovering a debt that you have failed to pay.

handlemecarefully Wed 04-Jul-07 16:43:41

My sentiments entirely connor

newlifenewname Wed 04-Jul-07 16:44:38

If you cannot pay the debt - cod, your comment is unhelpfully obvious - then you can speak to them and maybe arrange a payment schedule but things will have got quite far if you are at this stage so that might not be an option.

You can hide, or try and pay. You should seek advice from CAB who will help you establish your priority debts. It can be illegal to pay other debts before these so make sure you don't owe fines or council tax first and foremost.

Do not answer the door or if you do do not let them cross the threshold - important legal point there. They can can be quite pushy and persuasive.

If debt is related to a vehicle hide the car. Preferably in a garage.

A lot of the time they never do turn up. There isn't much they can do if you truly cannot afford to pay but you will have to prove this with a financial statement. Council Tax debts can be pursued regardless of whether you can pay and at worst imprisonment is a slim possibility.

tutu100 Wed 04-Jul-07 16:45:13

TequilaMockinBird thankyou for correcting me. I didn't realise you could ask for the debt to be bought back. I had always thought that once the debt had been bought by the bailiffs that is it and that was why you should try and strike up an agreement with your creditors before it got to that point.

So how can you legally challenge what bailiffs are charging?

ConnorTraceptive Wed 04-Jul-07 16:47:02

sorry new life but how about taking a bit of responsibility for your mess?

comments like hide your car really piss me off. Why should you still have a car and not pay the people you owe?

newlifenewname Wed 04-Jul-07 16:49:13

Connor your attitude pisses me off a bit too. Think beyond what you are perceiving as the real issues here and you may see.

CAB advised me this (hiding car) once.

Have you awareness of rurality issues at all?

newlifenewname Wed 04-Jul-07 16:51:05

In fact, have you any real awareness of the reasons behind debt for many people, or the desperate struggle to take responsibility?

TequilaMockinBird Wed 04-Jul-07 16:52:39

Tutu, yes you can ask for the debt to be taken back and some companies do just that. They pay the bailiffs to collect the debt from you and therefore have to pay them a sum of money on collection - if that makes sense .

There is a website somewhere which tells you how much they can legally charge but i know that on council tax, if they have not had access to your property then they are only legally allowed to charge you £39 - £22.50 for the first visit and £16.50 for a second visit. Regardless of how many visits they have to make. However they will try and charge you a ridiculous amount of money for each time they come out!

Even if they come to your door every day for a month, they can still only charge this £39!

All you need to do is challenge them - they will probably say that you have to pay what they ask no matter what but, i would suggest telling them to take you to court to recover the extra charges (obviously knowing that a judge will NEVER make you pay back 'illegal' charges ). I guarantee this will make them back down!!

ConnorTraceptive Wed 04-Jul-07 16:53:44

wasn't aware katie had said she had got rurality issues?

I'm well aware that there are often bigger issues. Doesn't mean the rules shouldn't apply to you though.

And there are plenty of ways to deal with debt before it gets to the bailiff stage

handlemecarefully Wed 04-Jul-07 16:54:42

I empathise with people who have got into a spiral of debt due to unforeseen changes in circumstances / a run of bad luck etc. But don't think that bailiffs should be given an abusive name.

They are doing a valid job.

newlifenewname Wed 04-Jul-07 16:58:53

I didn't mean Katie. You said that it irritates you to hear the suggestion about hiding a car. The problems of rurality/ill health/ poor transport locally, etc. can all make a car essential. Shopping at the village store is expensive and cheaper supermarkets are out of town and so on... This is what makes getting out of debt an uphill struggle, the fact that being poor is expensive!

So, hiding the car in order to keep it so that you can keep your head above water shouldn't really grate so much imo.

Once in debt, know thy place? One ought not enjoy the conveniences and pleasures of life any longer, yes?

FioFio Wed 04-Jul-07 17:02:22

Message withdrawn

ConnorTraceptive Wed 04-Jul-07 17:03:54

I do get where you are coming from I really do but I guess we don't know how katie got to her current situation do we? So i'll refrain from further judgement.

BUT bailiffs are doing a job and shouldn't be treated as though they are pnd scum and I still believe that hiding yourself or your car isn't the way out of the problem

katiekitty Wed 04-Jul-07 17:06:27

Yes, I do owe money but I am taking responsibility for this and paying what I can. I have sold most of my posessions, including my engagement ring and most of my clothes to go towrds what I owe. I don't have a car. I called them *** as I have been contacted via a collections agency, being told they know my movements and that I don't have a partner and they are coming to get what I owe. It just scared the hell out of me and I think it was heavyhanded and very threatening.

I just wondered what I can do to make the situation better?

I have absolutely nothing of value, it's all gone, would they really take a tv that is about 20 years old? That's about the most valuable thing I've got.

Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll have a look at the links you sent and see what I can do.


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