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Complaints About Bailiffs: When To Complain & How?

21 May 2019 - Posted by TalkAboutDebt

If you believe that the enforcement agents have not acted in the correct fashion then you can make a complaint. There are various routes for complaints about bailiffs, you can find the details for this on the Citizens Advice website.

You may also want to read this article on filing a complaint against a bank.

 

Bailiff’s broke Confidentiality, can I sue?

 

If you believe that the bailiff has breached data protection then you should make a complaint. As there are different complaints routes for different types of enforcement agents you can read the guidance on how to go about this on the Gov.uk website.

If you raise a complaint and you are unhappy with the response you may be able to escalate the complaint to an Ombudsman. The Ombudsman may specify that action must be taken and this could be by apology or compensation. Whether or not you could take some form of court action against them would really be a question best placed with a solicitor, a legal adviser, rather than a debt adviser. If the debt still needs to be dealt with then it may be worth contacting a free debt adviser who can help you in coming to an arrangement to deal with the debt.

 

Can a bailiff involve the police to assist them?

 

If a bailiff feels that there is a danger to themselves, a danger of a breach of the peace they may ask the police to attend to ensure that they remain safe whilst carrying out the details of the order. It is difficult to advise further than that without a lot more information about the debt being collected and previous actions, you may benefit from speaking to someone at your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau, or contact any of the free debt advice charities.

Some typical police powers to assist bailiffs may include the police may only get involved in the seizure of goods when a breach of the peace has occurred. The police cannot play any part in the actual removal of goods.

 

What can I do if the bailiff has incorrect information?

 

A bailiff attends a property and seeks payment for the debt or goods to the amount listed. They do not have the authority to change the amount that the order states or to find out if the amount that the court has ordered be collected is correct. If the amount listed is incorrect then you will need to contest this, which may then change the order and stop further action.

In the case that you are not liable for this debt, you need to chase this up again with the courts, providing them with proof of this fact. The court may advise that they will get back to you. However, if they have not done so then you will really have to ask them why they have not responded. It could be that they have looked at the details and the response is that they will continue to collect the fine.

If you have never received a fine for anything then it is important that you take legal advice as soon as possible or this situation will continue to escalate. If you can contact your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau or a solicitor, they may be able to help you get to the bottom of this.

 

Can a bailiff threaten me to pay for someone else’s debt?

 

Firstly, you are under no obligation to pay for someone else’s debt as you have no liability for debts not in your name. If you feel that you were pressured into paying someone else’s debts then you should make a complaint. If you want to make a complaint about a bailiff’s actions or behaviour, you should complain in writing to the bailiff’s employer and ask for a copy of their complaints procedure.

You may be able to ask your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau for help with these issues and there is information on the Gov.uk website that you may find useful.

 

Can a bailiff refuse payment?

 

Assuming the bailiffs have followed the correct procedures, they are within their rights to not accept a payment arrangement. However, if the debt which they are collecting is subject to a County Court Judgement (CCJ) you can apply to the court to make the debt payable by instalments by using the form N245. This can be obtained from your local County Court or online on the Gov website.

Please be aware that the next step for bailiffs would be to seek and sell your items, but they must give you 7 clear days’ notice before they do this. You may want to consider whether there are any other family or friends who might be able to give or lend you the money.

 

Bailiff lied about their rights to enter my property. Will a Notice of Removed Implied Right of Access invalidate entry?

 

If the bailiff acted in this manner, he/she would have done so unlawfully and you would have the right to make a complaint to the company that issued the fines. You could also complain to the bailiffs governing body (CIVEA), the Civil Enforcement Association for Certified Bailiffs.

You may wish to take further legal advice on the disputed fine and whether the court was correct in granting an order for bailiffs when the fine itself is in dispute. It may be that bailiffs should not have been used at all and the debt. These are the things that are needed in order to stop the bailiff returning to remove the goods that they have secured.

 

Can bailiffs record you?

 

You may need to seek legal advice on the rights of a person to film you. If you feel that the bailiff has acted inappropriately in this situation and you would be within your rights to make a complaint to the organisation the bailiff reports to and the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) who oversee the actions of private bailiffs within England and Wales.

You should also read out article on the Marston group bailiffs for more information.

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