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1/Council sent Bailiff to my home address for an outstanding Business Rates Payment of £400.00 (my son's LTD CO), but I had to pay it because he threatened to take my car if I didn't hand over the cash (2015) 2/my landlord sent a bailiff my email address who demanded payment for my business (Different from 1/ above) I set up a payment plan with him, then, the landlord's asset manager told me things where on hold till we sorted things out, then 3/a new bailiff was appointed by the Debt Control department of my Landlord, who served an email which went to my private email junk box and was discovered on the evening he arrived to explain who he was (I had a phone call during the day informing me he was collecting a debt for the Cafe next door (also with the same landlord), when he turned up I was confronted by a large muscle man at my service counter demanding cash out of my wallet/till whilst I was cooking for customers, he scribbled out a control of goods notice (My first) and I could only get rid of him by paying some of the money 3/, there are more things, but the Bailiff would not be able to do what they do if the Council and Landlord (in my case) had to take responsibility if the agents they use are not in full compliance with the law. It is who uses the 'bailiff' that should be made accountable. under law they have been engaged and in some other circumstances (IE construction) the client MUST ENSURE their agent or sub-contractors follow the law and can be held accountable if they don't

Chorley

I received a 2-week High Court Enforcement Notice for unpaid rent of £15,000.00 of 3.5 years ago. The debt has increased to £22,000.00 with fees and interest. The Bailiffs came I was prepared. I already had the doors and windows, rear gate and shed padlocked. When he arrived I spoke briefly through the ground floor window. I offered £30 a month he refused saying you need to get the money and call me, I said OK. I filed a Court N244 form asking the court to pay monthly, he has not been back for a week. I have listed all my co renters goods with receipts, the house is rented fully furnished so have that inventory. I have no car or possessions,  I won't ever let them in but if they did there is nothing to take. The Court should accept the £30 a month, if not then what can they do? nothing really. Just don't let them in or have anything in your name.

Cambridgeshire South

I have been working for the NHS for over twenty years and was overpaid over a period of a few months. The NHS said they sent me a income and expenditure form which I did not receive I was going through a very difficult time overworking to pay rent etc and getting more exhausted my brother died my sister went in to care. I was visited by a very aggressive enforcement officer who said he would take my goods or my car. When I said I could not afford the whole amount he said borrow it off somebody or I will be back. I felt desperate could not talk to any one at the company as they said I had to talk with him. He put bills through my door adding extra on all the time. In the end my other brother paid this for me. It has left me angry that a organisation such as the NHS employ these underhanded tactics as I have worked all these years with no previous problems. My concern is suicide amongst vulnerable people and the NHS more than anything should realise this it's unethical and wrong.

Penrith and The Border

For some reason bailiffs come to my address for a debt my son owed when he lived in a flat on his own. My son does not live at this address but they still keeping coming and we have told them many times of this fact. They came at 6.30 this morning the last straw we are very angry about this.

Braintree

The first time they came it was 6.30am. It was dark and I was at home alone. I was on the sofa watching TV as my mental health and autism means my sleep is terrible. I froze to the spot and she went away. But I knew she'd be back and I could hardly sleep waiting for another knock. This came the following morning. Since then I've started locking my gate overnight so the bailiffs don't come when my kids are heading off to school. I spend most of the day out of the house through fear. I have nightmares about them breaking in and am constantly on edge. I don't have anything of any value they could take. I wish they'd leave me alone. I'm paranoid to let the kids play in the garden in case they appear. It's affecting every aspect of my life and I don't know when it will end.

York Central

I fell behind in paying my council tax due to the fact that I had to leave my nursing job in the NHS as I received a brain cancer diagnosis. I had been communicating with my local council but it had already been sent to bailiffs so I was told to speak to them. I rung informed them of my situation, that I am currently on benefits and i had to pay for hospital visits. I rang & offered to pay as much I reasonably could and even that would have caused me difficulty. I was told by the bailiffs over the phone that it wasn't good enough, I had to pay in full and that and I should stop making excuses. I was told that the visit would go ahead unless I paid a significant amount and that more fees would be added per visit. The visit happened a few days later, they hammered on my door, they shouted that I needed to pay a debt, they knocked on my neighbours door and informed them I owed money and asked if I was in. Eventually the council let me pay direct but it is unacceptable behaviour.

Chorley

I was visited by a bailiff in September 2019. They did not send a seven day letter and forced payment under duress. I went to court and the judgement was set aside. The court asked the bailiff company to refund all money collected. They refused. I have sent a copy of the judgement them, they still refuse to return the money. They bailiff do not comply with the court order. They did not comply with Taking control of goods regulations. They should be banned.

Harrow East

Having moved to Newbury for a new job, after a year of settling into new job out of the blue we were contacted and harassed by a bailiff firm for it seems one months' closing balance of council tax from our previous borough council. We requested full details via a data subject access request.  They have failed to provide this but instead continued proceedings. Did not offer us a payment plan even though both in IVA. Very aggressive behaviour.

Newbury

The bailiff put his foot in my door - the debt was for my son. I explained he did not live at my address, that he was a recovering drug addict and I could not have him live with me. He called 999. I let him in. I consider myself vulnerable as I am 65, have a severe hearing loss and take anti-depressants. He stated he found evidence and if I could not find receipts he was taking my goods. He was intimidating, and a bully. Opening cupboards and unplugging my computer and printer. The police came and only then did he pass the warrant on. I did not have sight of it. I had to pay £3,683.71 form my savings. I have now complained as there is a homeless application to support what I said, I have two bruises on my legs from his pushing on the door and once calm I found receipts. Despicable. I had to phone my manager and explain because he would not leave. Despicable company and person.

Hornchurch and Upminster

A bailiff came with a warrant to my mum's home, and said if I don't pay the amount today he will entre the property at 7pm.  He posted the notice.  Earlier that day, my brother rang me to tell me that my mother had just come out of hospital, and gave me the bailiff number.  Now bear in mind I have never at any time lived at my mum's home since I was 16, and I am now 48.  This home is her second from our home when I was a child.  But when I got divorced and lost my home, my mother said- have your mail sent here which I have for 15 years.  But he has now threatened 3 times that he will remove my mother's goods.  But now I have proved I don't live there, he has now threatened to go to my ex-partner's home, which I again don't live at and remove goods from there.   I have no fixed abode since I got divorced and work away and stay at my mates on Fri and Sat and away Sunday. I have no goods for them to take ,and have offered that I'll pay half Fri and rest...

Caerphilly

The bailiff called and visited on my house.  They forced entry to my house and the person who they came for was not here.  Later they forced me to pay £1,026 which I never owed to any company.  Even the police took their side and handcuffed me and threw me on the floor.

Lewisham Deptford

My client had fled a domestically abusive relationship and was in temporary housing with 2 small children. A bailiff called on her in relation to a council tax debt on her previous property, which was in joint names. She had not previously been allowed access to the finances in the relationship and had no idea how to deal with this. She tried to explain her situation and to provide her ex-partner's address but the bailiff told her he was not interested. He demanded payment in full and became quite loud when she couldn't. Her children were also present and all 3 of them were visibly upset. He told her he would be returning in 24 hours with a van to remove her belongings if she hadn't found the money. She was incoherent with distress when she rang me but was able to give his contact details. I rang to clarify her vulnerability and was told that it made no difference to the collection process! The Council thought otherwise and recalled her case but she wouldn't have done this on her own.

Weston-Super-Mare

3 members of my family suffer with mental health issues. We fell behind with 1 payment. Before the bailiff visit I called the office they said it was ok to pay my agreed payment but the bailiff would have to visit and I would have to pay the charges which I agreed to make the payment as my error for missing a payment. I had a bailiff turn up, I didn't open the door. I called the office explained the situation they advised we needed to provide evidence of our mental issues. I then called the bailiff and advised him of our mental health issues at this it sounded like he sniggered at it. Unfortunately they do not record bailiff calls as they are on mobile phones as I have requested my calls to be sent to me. I now feel in fear for any knocks at my door or even going and coming back home. I fear for my daughter as she is bipolar and as we work we have to leave her in the house alone in the day. The bailiff would not agree to a payment plan he is demanding the full amount.

West Bromwich West

I was not home but my partner and daughter were extremely intimidated both crying and screaming down the phone while the bailiffs started pulling our good around demanding I paid £900 in full straight away. When I said I did not have the money and couldn't get it they added another charge on and within the hour the price doubled owing them just over £1900. To frighten and intimidate a young woman and young girl is disgusting.

Basingstoke

They took £800k worth of goods for a £2k rates bill and used a bailiff who had been sacked for alleged theft from a previous job. Issued me a indemnity to say I wouldn't sue them after 3 months of them holding my goods wrongfully and failed to declare this to the council aka fraud.  The council ignoring equality law /human rights breach/breach of contract and fraud.  As a result 9 years of mental health and losses of £4-6 million.  7 people lost their jobs all over the firm's error.

Leeds East

I was home alone and my door bell rang, when I looked through the peep hole I saw a one guy standing, I asked him who you are he was I want to speak to Mrs.... then he looked to his left there was another guy I couldn't see and said Mr..... I replied Mr.... is not home he went to work and he was like I need to speak to him I tried to call and Mr .... didn't reply.

 I told him there is nothing I can do for you as am a female and the person they want is my flatmate and he is a male.  The other guy I couldn't see just kept talking about a locksmith and a lot of stuff and I kept repeating "you are getting me involved in something which is not my issue as am not the person you are after". it was a very scary situation as with crime rising in the capital seeing unknown men in front of my door and I was a female alone was so scary and at least if I was the person they are after I will know they are coming.

Croydon North

Intimidated and bullied by a two man team who allegedly gained entry to my (which I dispute) unlocked property and claimed a £310 fee for a supposed fine I have already paid in full. They phoned me from my home number to inform me they were emptying goods from my house with absolutely no prior contact. Utterly and totally disgraceful behaviour and frightening too. Literally thousands of pounds of assets lined up to remove before I arrived home . How can this be right ? I am totally bemused violated and so afraid that a locked front door is no barrier. I don't know who to talk to about this but its utterly wrong. I have paid my way all my life but feel totally abused by this violation of my home. Worst of all they have caused total stress and melt down in family relations.

Erewash

I was visited by bailiffs who were acting on behalf of a council for what was claimed was an outstanding payment on a penalty charge notice for a parking violation. I had already spoken to the council explaining that the payment had been made on time, but they proceeded with a county court case and the bailiffs were sent. The outstanding amount was £30, but after the bailiff charges, this was £378. I gave full evidence of timely payment in writing to both the bailiffs and the council, but they continue to pressure me to pay immediately, even advising me to make a payment under duress, which I could then claim back from the council should my case be successful. They were continuously pressuring me to pay, threatening more charges should they visit again, as well as threatening to show up alongside the police, which as far as I am aware is something they cannot do as they are only able to gain peaceful entry. It was through independent advice that I was able to successfully keep them at bay until the council eventually accepted my evidence as irrefutable. Very very very stressful for me and my children.

Chesham and Amersham

All bailiffs except one (I have had many over the years) have been rude, forceful and quite honestly *********. The way they speak to you is to put the fear of God into you, and at first it worked but with advice and research I learnt most of what they said i.e. we will be back to remove goods, we will get a high court order, we will ring the police and locksmith. They are empty threats and that's there job.  Unfortunately there is no limit on what they can say to scare you into paying money you haven't got. My mental health suffered after visits from bailiffs and constantly calling to try sort out a payment plan. I was that drained and anxious I finally went bankrupt and it was the best decision for me.

Hazel Grove

I owed some Council Tax to my local authority. I was in receipt of the maximum amount of Council Tax Support for a working age person in my area. This means I had to pay 30% of my Council Tax. I am hit by the bedroom tax so could not afford my council tax as well. They passed my arrears to an Enforcement Agency. I let the Enforcement Agent in and he listed my goods. He advised me he would not be taking any of my goods to auction as they had a zero value. A month later I was visited again by the same bailiff and had to get a money advice officer to call them to make sure they did not charge me twice for coming to the property. I am 100% sure if she had not called them I would have had to pay for 2 visits. I have requested the council note that I have goods of no value and that I am too vulnerable for EA action (I have ESA support group and am appealing my PIP) To date they have done neither of these things. (A Money Advice Officer has helped me to write).

Derby South

Council have sent two different debt collectors to our home who both try scare tactics to make us let them in.

Eastleigh

A bailiff phoned my daughter, who is a vulnerable young adult and started shouting and threatening her about a council tax bill. He did not check her identity, provide any reference details only demanded payment in full made directly to him. My daughter called me in tears so I phoned the bailiff who made no attempt to check my identity or if I had authority to speak on behalf of my daughter. He simply started making threats and demanding full payment. I said that I would contact my daughter and the council over the weekend and call him on Monday to try and get a resolution. 

On Monday when my daughter called him he once more started making threats and shouting that he was going to visit the house again and add more charges to the bill, having been told that she had moved out 6 weeks ago. He said that wasn't his problem then proceeded to demand a completely different amount relating to a different address. When challenged he said it was our problem to prove that she didn't live at the address and only after a lot of shouting he admitted he had disclosed someone else's details.

Chipping Barnet

I have been harassed severally by these awful people who think they can steal people's livelihood by threatening vulnerable people. I have been so stressed that at times I wished I wasn't here. They seem to think it's by choice that one is in debt. I cry out for a change in law and for these ruthless people to cease trading permanently.

Walthamstow

Where do i start? Tale of absolute horror.

Leeds Central

Horrendous experience making a complaint against a HCEO which is virtually impossible. Finally after two and a half years of emails, letters, phone calls etc dealing with the HCEOA my complaint was upheld. However extremely short lived as now the HCEO objects to the decision and has hired a bullying solicitor to appeal the decision. I have never known a process like it, its disgraceful and shameful and the emails I receive from said solicitor are disgraceful. There is no regulation here at all, this industry needs sorting out ASAP. The complaints procedure is a shambles and anyone wishing to make a complaint be prepared for years of hell because these people believe they are untouchable.

Wirral West

Persisting in visiting and telephoning despite being informed (by GP letter) that I am a vulnerable adult. Denying knowledge that I am a vulnerable adult despite having been sent the GP's letter several times. Asking for 'notification' of the payment plan in operation even though they can see the direct debit in place. Shouting at me through the door to my flat when anyone could hear. Aggressive manner.

Witney

I was visited by a balliff yesterday who was extremely aggressive towards me. He tried to intimidate me by telling me that he was going to force entry into my home if I didn't open the door. When he realised this wasn't working he told me he had the power to get my mobility car taken off me. stating that the small print in my contract with motability said if I had outstanding parking offences he could. He then told me that he was calling a recovery vehicle to bump up the costs because I'd "pissed him off" after about 45 mins he left saying people like me thought just because we claim to be disabled and get a bit depressed we could do what we want and get away with it. And he was going to show me we can't. A really horrible experience.

Burnley

I had unpaid parking fine which lead bailiff to clamp my car which is on hire purchase and I did inform them of it and show the hire purchase agreement but he still refused to remove the clamp as I do not own that property.  I am in process of speaking to court who has issued this matter as I do not have a job and cannot afford to pay the fine. 

Hayes and Harlington

Enforcement agent turned up and clamped my car this morning (Wednesday) even though I paid the agreement on payment plan. I accidentally paid on the wrong reference number. I had to pay £235 additional bailliff cost. WHICH IS RIDICILOUS, I HAVE NOT DEFAULTED ON MY PAYMENT PLAN, I HAVE LAUNCHED FORMAL WRITTEN COMPLAINT AND ASKED FOR REFUND ON £235.00 WITH IN 28 DAYS OR I WILL TAKE FURTHER ACTION TO RECOVER THE COSTS.

Islington North

I was recently visited by two enforcement officers who called to collect on a TV licence debt. I opened the door as I couldnt see who it was, once the door was open a foot was placed in the doorway preventing me from closing the door, then they told me they were allowed to do this, they entered the house and threatened to take my sofas, table and chairs, my sons TV and PlayStation, they are still pursuing the debt and now say they will return with a locksmith and force entry in my absence.

Stockport

Paid the a full amount owed and due to a error by the other parties there was a shortfall of £88 owed to which with no warning 64 days later they slapped their charges on and came to collect £324.66 to which I have requested from both the company and the council details on how this has came about. Guy knocking door most unhelpful and rude.

New Forest West

I am currently dealing with a bailiff and have been threatened with police and a locksmith even though I have continued to keep paying unaware that the bailiff has had my case for 10 months. I contacted the main office and told them my partner has mental health and the bailiff called less than 6 days later and added another £240, I know they cannot do this and contacted them again stating my rights and theirs, I have put a official complaint into them and the enforcement officer as they are not following correct procedures and I will also be contacting the creditor to complain and to ask to take back the debt.

Middlesbrough

The bailiff turned up , we spoke through the window he told me I had to pay or he was coming back to break in and take all my stuff . He said my toddler is going to be very upset when all her things are gone . He told me through gritted teeth I should be afraid of his powers , as I told him I was a single mum and could not afford the payment . I asked if I could have 5 minutes to make a phone call . When I got back to him he said that I had wasted his time and for that reason he was not giving me a chance to have a payment plan as I was a time waster and I “pissed” him off . I got him speaking on camera as I filmed him as he was so menacing staring at me with gritted teeth I was so scared . This was for a parking fine over a year ago .

Bedfordshire South West

Very bad. I tried to shut my door. The bailiff put his foot in the way before knowing who I was or even if he had the right address. When I tried phoning the police they weren't interested. At this time the bailiff still didn't know who I was but refused to move his foot. I was later arrested when I used reasonable force to remove him from my doorway (I pushed him back away from my door).

Portsmouth North

Ended up in council tax arrears due to loss of job, Mental Health Problems. Council went straight to Bailiffs after Liability Order.  The bailiff firm was incompetent and threatening and were demanding unaffordable cash up front (they never cared about affordability). Had to go without food etc. to stop them from coming. After the amount was settled they still sent a so called "bailiff" to enforce a Liability Order that was settled, called to complain they claimed no knowledge of it (I have a Crime Reference number from calling the police about it).

Wyre and Preston North

The bailiffs told me they are coming to my home today with a warrant and will have a locksmith. They are collecting for council tax arrears and do not have a controlled goods agreement and have not been inside my property. Me and my boyfriend are very stressed and we even thought when a  van drove past the house, it was the bailiffs. 

As reported to A StepChange Deby Charity adviser

Vale of Glamorgan

Bailiffs are collecting my council tax debt. I was told that if I don’t make the agreed payments then the council can make me sell my house.  While the council could technically apply for a charging order, unlikely as it is, if a payment arrangement was made then they wouldn’t be able to force the sale of my property. I think that this may simply be an education issue with the bailiff however it also rings of using absolute worst cases to try and force a payment. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Vale of Clwyd

A bailiff called round today. They are collecting a parking fine issued by the council. I have paid them one instalment of £20pcm so far, but they said I should have been paying £20pw, and since I had now missed a payment they wanted the full amount of £463 immediately. They said they would come round at 0600h tomorrow morning, and said they could remove goods in my absence. I told the bailiff I was getting debt advice, and he said ‘So what?’. I then said I had a disabled daughter, and two other children. He said, ‘Not my problem.’ I then said I would go bankrupt. He said, ‘Sorry love, you can’t do that either.’ I had previously talked to the firm over the phone, and they went through a budget with me but it literally took only 2 minutes. When I said I had other outgoings to add, they were dismissive and said they don’t go into detail. It has been an awful experience, and I was physically shaking throughout. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Lewisham West and Penge

I’ve had a number of issues with the bailiffs collecting my council tax debt. They have told me that they can take my children’s items in order to pay the debt – I have a 6 year old son with no assets of value – This is something that they have told my mother too as she was attempting to make an arrangement for me as I was being treated for anxiety. They have told me that I have to pay £82 per week or I would be sent to prison. A bailiff has called round and refused to turn off his body camera while my 6 year old son was getting changed. Although the agent has called at my address no control of goods order has been completed and I have few assets: I have one TV and essentials only. The council have already declined to take the debt back from the bailiffs. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

A bailiff is collecting council tax arrears.  I have had a number of issues with this company.   Firstly I had entered into an arrangement to make payments with them. However due to a number of changes in my circumstances I have been unable to keep up with this – I have moved house, my partner has entered into an IVA and I had the birth of my first child. I have still been making payments to the bailiff firm however as I'm making payments the bailiff is calling out to my home and then charging for the visits.  This means that the outstanding balance is still £615.  When I was 40 weeks pregnant the bailiff firm staff told me that if I didn’t make the full payment they would take me to prison with or without my baby. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Ipswich

Bailiffs are collecting two different year council tax debts.  They have called at my grandmother's address and have completed a control of goods order on my items even though they have not been sighted as they were in storage at the time of the bailiff's visit.  The control of goods order has my fridge, my sofa and my son’s ipad listed on it.  

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Worsley and Eccles South

A bailiff is collecting my council tax on behalf of the local council. I had not spoken to the bailiff but came home to a letter that states I am not allowed to sell any of my belongings, a control of goods order in effect, even though I've never let them have entry to the house. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Wolverhampton South West

The bailiffs are collecting a council issued PCN.  I have spoken to the bailiff who firstly misrepresented himself as a High Court Enforcement Officer collecting on this debt.  I explained that I am disabled and the bailiff told me that he could “kick the door down” to gain entry to my home.   I am now anxious about speaking to the bailiff to make any sort of payment arrangement.  

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Bailiffs are enforcing a council tax debt. I had an arrangement in place to make payments of £100 per month towards the outstanding amount however as my income is from Universal Credit the payment days are changing month by month. I have made my payment this month. However the bailiff is still pursuing the debt. He has called today and handed me a letter informing me that he will be back this afternoon to collect goods and that I have been charged an extra £200. I have autism and have previously made a complaint to the bailiff firm regarding the same bailiff giving me verbal abuse over my medical condition and homelessness. The response from the firm was that as the bailiff was using his own mobile they had no recording of the conversation and could not investigate further. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Rochdale

Bailiffs collecting a council tax debt have used repeated threatening, abusive and foul language when talking to me.  They have declined my offer of payment and have told me that I can be sent to prison for this debt.   

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Peterborough

I had been speaking to a bailiff firm regarding a council tax liability order for a previous property I owned with a friend who has now passed away.  I had offered a monthly payment of £50 that was accepted. However since I made the payment they have said that this figure is wrong and that I now need to pay £86 per month, which is unaffordable from my current budget.It seems unfair that one bailiff has said that they would accept this payment in order to get something paid to the debt, then another has immediately declined an agreed plan to force me to pay more. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Eastleigh

Bailiffs pushed their way past my housemate to gain entry whilst I was at work and immediately began to unplug electrical items, going through drawers and my wardrobe. They visibly left a mess that I found when I left work early to deal with the situation. The bailiffs did not bother with Controlled Goods Agreement process and also went through my mail including my wage slips. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bury South

The bailiff enforcing a magistrates fine was rude, didn't take into account my mental health (vulnerability) and said that he didn't care, swearing and name calling. He was also in breach of the Data Protection Act by discussing my account and details with my mother without prior permission. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Lincoln

I have been disputing several Dartford crossing fines. Whilst the dispute was still on going yesterday, bailiffs clamped my car, which is a hire purchase vehicle. The bailiff said that they had won a court case giving them the right to clamp HP cars even though the car was not owned by me. I had to get to work so my parents paid the fine in full (£1000). This has caused me to get into financial difficulty as I can't afford the additional cost of paying back my parents. I have further crossing fines under dispute and I am very concerned that history might repeat itself. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bexleyheath and Crayford

A bailiff came to my home address and threatened my 15 year old brother with changing the locks on the council property that my mother rents. I heard this over the phone as I was not home and my brother spoke to bailiff. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Erith and Thamesmead

I have council tax debt with bailiffs. The bailiff would not agree an offer of instalments and advised he would add £300 every time he visits the property. The bailiff also advised he was now able to break into the property and he had a court order, I have seen no evidence of this. I have already complained in writing but had no response to this. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Braintree

A bailiff come to my home regarding a County Court Judgement. The bailiff stood in the doorway at 6am and pushed past me into the house. I phoned the police regarding this but they didn't come out. My daughter was in hospital with sepsis and the bailiff wasn't understanding of this. He also didn't give me a controlled goods agreement so I'm worried he may break in even though he hasn't given me relevant paperwork. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Ashford

A High Court Enforcement Officer is collecting a water company debt. They had wanted £100.00 per month but I called them to say I couldn't afford to pay that much. The man on the phone replied by suggesting I was not capable of looking after my child. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Worthing East and Shoreham

I have a vehicle which has been clamped by bailiffs who are acting on behalf of a water company; they have a high court writ. The vehicle has a log book loan attached to it so technically the vehicle doesn't belong to me; it is under the ownership of the logbook loan company. I have complained to the bailiffs about this but they are refusing to remove the clamp. I am currently unable to attend work due to the vehicle being clamped. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Gillingham and Rainham

The bailiff rang me when I was at work and told me on the phone 'I am at your door. I'm waiting for a locksmith and will be entering your house and taking your stuff'. I was very worried knowing I had left a bedroom window open and thought he might get in through that. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Newbury

A bailiff visited my home whilst I was in hospital. My ex-partner was at the property caring for the children. Ex-partner explained that I was in hospital and the bailiff became very pushy in front of the children and threatened a warrant of arrest for failing to pay council tax. My ex-partner explained that I was ill and unable to contact them and the bailiff said I would still need to contact them. Until I went into hospital I had been in regular contact with the bailiff as they were visiting the property at least once a week and calling me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Rotherham

I am afraid as a bailiff organisation is threatening to break into my property to take goods, using a locksmith and going to court to get permission to break into a property, despite the fact that all three options are not viable nor legal for Council Tax arrears. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Folkestone and Hythe

I have had a High Court Enforcement action with clear miscommunication on the enforcement of this writ. Written engagement is on-going. But details of the High Court Writ were incorrect. Also the bailiff has spoken to my next door neighbour telling them why they were at my home and asking for personal details about me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity client

Shropshire North

Bailiffs collecting a council tax debt have written to me for the first time saying that they are going to visit the property and remove goods. They have not previously visited and therefore no controlled good agreement is in place. When they visited they knocked on my door at 5.30am. They have also rung my place of work and made repeated visits there to try and collect the debt. The adviser in the bailiff office was rude and unhelpful and told me "well if you paid your bills, then this wouldn't be happening". 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Surrey Heath

A bailiff collecting council tax arrears has been putting undue pressure on me and my partner. He has been threatening us with the police (we're currently trying to get custody of the children and he knows this) and saying he doesn't need a signature on a controlled goods agreement or even to see the goods, his chest cam is enough. He's also said he can take the children's medical equipment and all the white goods from the kitchen and all the seating from the lounge. I feel he is enjoying the power he has over us. 

As reported to StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Pendle

The bailiff pushed passed my son (who is under 18). I'm not sure if that means walk-in possession has been granted. The bailiff did not make a control of goods order. However, I had already made a payment of £100 to the council for this debt but the bailiff said it had not been made. 

As reported to StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Westminster North

I have had terrible treatment by enforcement agents regarding my council tax arrears. The enforcement agent has threatened to call the police to attend my home, and has been harassing me with phone calls and text messages. I feel stressed by the situation and am concerned about the impact on my health and that of my elderly father who already has health problems. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Croydon North

Bailiffs are collecting for a penalty charge notice. The bailiff was very intimidating and unwilling to reason to the point it triggered my anxiety and set off a panic attack. I have tried to explain to both the head office and the bailiff that I am starting a new job tomorrow and will be able to repay the debt in full within a month. They will not accept and have said they will keep coming out to my mum's house and adding home visit charges as much as they want. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Chorley

Bailiffs are collecting my council tax arrears. I had a £45 per month repayment arrangement but, due to a short stay in hospital, this arrangement defaulted. The bailiff has now demanded payment of £250 to prevent him entering the property and taking goods. This has left me very distressed. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Warrington South

I had Council Tax arrears that have been passed to a bailiff firm who are enforcing the debt. I have tried to call them at least three times to make an offer of repayment (I can only really afford £10 a week). The bailiff firm hung up on me at least twice, and in all of the calls I have made to them, I found them to be rude and unreasonable, insisting that I pay the full amount in one go and refusing to discuss any repayment offers. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Sheffield Heeley

A bailiff is collecting a council parking ticket. He ignored me when I told him of my mental health vulnerabilities even though their office already knew; He shouted at me, bullied me, kept telling me things "had gone too far" and that he'd call every day until the debt was paid. I offered £100 rent money which he would have taken until I realised it wouldn't stop him visiting. I have suffered a barrage of phone calls from him, so that my family now have to use my mobile to contact me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Plymouth Moor View

My debt has been passed on to bailiffs to collect and I am very dissatisfied about the way that they have been treating me. There is one particular enforcement officer who has been very demanding, not accepting offers of repayment. I have raised a direct complaint with the bailiff firm. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Middlesbrough South and Cleveland East

Bailiffs are collecting council tax arrears. I have received letters and verbal threats that they will force entry into my home to take goods away. There is no Controlled Goods Agreement in place. I do not have enough money to pay the debts and their threats to take goods away have left me feeling suicidal. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Don Valley

I am really concerned at the way in which bailiffs are handling my Council Tax debt. The bailiff is continuously coming to my home with other different agents. They have taken my car's registration number and are causing me a lot of stress. I have told them about my mental health and physical health problems and that I'm a single parent. The bailiffs have not followed their company's vulnerability policy and are being really harsh in their manner of approaching the debt. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Swindon South

I rang the bailiffs to confirm information about debts which I thought were cleared, but they claimed they were still outstanding. The person I spoke to was very rude, blunt and cold. They dismissed the fact I was receiving debt advice from a debt charity and told me I had to pay £50 a month. I was not happy with the way they spoke to me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bournemouth West

I had an arrangement in place to pay the bailiffs, which I set up a direct debt for, and this was verified by the bank. But the bailiffs did not collect the payment. They then set up another arrangement with me and the same thing happened and now they are asking me to pay the debt in full and will not make another arrangement. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bethnal Green and Bow

The bailiffs clamped a car that didn't belong to me, but one of my family. I felt pressured into paying the whole amount they were asking for, to unclamp the car. I had to borrow money from my family to do this. I've been having anxiety and panic attacks whilst dealing with the bailiffs. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Lewisham Deptford

The bailiffs don't provide their clients who are in financial difficulties with a low cost or free telephone number. I've therefore been unable to contact them to make a payment arrangement and avoid further action.

 As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Mansfield

A bailiff is collecting my council tax debt. He has been calling (on the phone) speaking over me, shouting at me, hanging up when I was speaking. He is brutish. I am a disabled student with only a very small debt, in the final year of my degree. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hertsmere

Bailiffs are collecting for council tax. I am getting debt advice and offered £1 per month as the adviser told me that is all I could afford. The bailiffs have told me they will charge an extra £35 for each £1 I pay, as a fee. I only have about £150 council tax owing and I'm now very worried about how this debt is going to continue escalating. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Wentworth and Dearne

I have had my car which is on Hire Purchase clamped by bailiffs for an unpaid parking fine.

Greenwich and Woolwich

Bailiffs are collecting two court fines. I attempted to set up a payment arrangement with them, but they only wanted near full payment. I discussed current family health concerns and was told I could speak to their welfare team, however if I did, I might be rejected and the original repayment offer would be withdrawn. I am unhappy with this treatment especially due to the nature of the health concerns and I am also amazed at the size of the fees which have tripled the original court fines. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Knowsley

The bailiffs have refused to negotiate on repayments for my council tax debt and ignored me when I said I had a vulnerability. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt charity adviser

Hyndburn

I had a Council tax debt for £680. The bailiffs came to my house. One put his foot in the door and refused to remove it. I told him I was on my own and suffering from anxiety/depression. He threatened to call the police. His colleague pretended to be on the phone - I thought he was calling the police. He glared at me and was very intimidating. They eventually left after my son came back and paid the debt. I felt very uncomfortable and very upset. It took me days to get over the experience. My parents had to come and be with me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Cardiff West

I have a car on hire purchase and bailiffs have put a Controlled Goods agreement in place. I am on Employment & Support Allowance and can't afford to pay the debt off in full (it's a penalty charge notice issued by the council) which was issued when I was in hospital. I have tried to negotiate with the bailiff and told them I have an on-going health condition but they won't negotiate and have told me they will take the car if I don't pay the remaining £235 in full. I have offered £40 a week which is all I can afford. I am worried sick they will take the car. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Preseli Pembrokeshire

I have been treated unfairly as the bailiff firm will not contact me. I have been trying to set up an affordable payment arrangement and have been laughed at. Me and my partner have tried to make a complaint but the bailiffs won't let us and they told us we have to wait 48 hours for a call back to discuss further. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hull West and Hessle

I owed money on my water bill. I originally set up a payment plan up with them which I was paying off. The bill was for £840.25 for the year and I was paying £60 per month. However, my card wasn't working properly and the debt was then passed over to bailiffs. I don't have a bank account and could only afford to pay £60 per month, but they said I had to pay a lot more. As a result I couldn't keep up with the new arrangement. Enforcement fees of £1,452 were added to the debt. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hampshire North East

I told the bailiff company I was not in work and suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder but they didn't take this into consideration and haven't been very helpful. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Bailiffs have been so threatening I feel scared to leave the house. They are outright refusing to look at payment arrangements and are threatening to take goods even though they are fully aware the goods in question are on a Hire Purchase agreement. I am cutting back on food to try and offer them something. They told me they will send me to prison and my kids will be taken into care. I have 4 children, one of whom has Asperger's. I am scared to bring my son to his GP appointments for fear of being followed by the bailiff. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Wolverhampton North East

A bailiff was very threatening and was swearing at me and my partner and laughing in our faces. It got to the point where our neighbour had to take the children away (we have 4 children, one of whom is disabled) as they were scared and worried for their safety. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Boston and Skegness

I didn't realise I owed some council tax debt from a while ago. Bailiffs are now enforcing this. Their agent has told me that I need to gather the money to pay in full from friends or family, and if I can't pay it in full, I will need to attend court and I will be sent to prison. I am really struggling to pay the debt but I do want to try and pay it off. I've already offered a monthly payment, but it's not accepted.

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Arundel and South Downs

A bailiff tried to reach through my letterbox to take off the chain, and was abusive when they spoke, in both language and attitude. The main bailiff firm office has been dismissive about the issue, and I have reported it to the police. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Peterborough

Bailiffs visited me in December. They told me that I had to make 3 payments of £150. They didn’t advise me how I could make these payments to them, so I assumed that the money would be collected in person. The payment dates have now passed and I had contact from a bailiff today saying that they will be coming back on Wednesday to take goods. I didn’t sign a controlled goods agreement when the bailiffs visited in December. The bailiffs have been rude and unhelpful. 

As reported to A StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Ashford

High court enforcement officer stating that he could force entry, take  mine and my adult daughters good when the debt was in my husbands name.  Misleading that he could get the police to help him break the door down.  Wouldn't show identification and sat in their van outside our house  whilst my daughter was in the house on her own.

Wakefield

A bailiff contacted my partner about a council tax debt from 10years  back. The main number refuse to speak to him and says he has to speak to  the agent. The agent is rude over the phone, doesn't call when he says  he will and refuses to discuss a payment plan which will see the balance  paid in full in 2-3months. My partner has not been able to sleep and  has sent messages to the agent asking for help but is being ignored

Bradford East

Bailiff put a note through the door - they were collecting council tax. I  rang the bailiff. They told me they were 'High Court Bailiffs'. I have  since found out they were not and Council Tax is not collected by HCEOs.  The bailiff lied to me in order to make me think they had extra powers /  to intimidate me.

Hull North

I ignored a solicitors letter asking me to repay overpaid wages and so  the debt was passed to bailiffs. I live at home with my parents and have  depression and am unemployed. Although a debt charity wrote to the  bailiffs with offers of repayment stressing that I had no assets and no  real money to make large repayments they continued to visit my parents  house and continued to serve notices, so my enforcement fees kept on  increasing.

Chesham and Amersham

no notice of 7am visit I was in my nightie old and vulnerable with  health problems.foot in the door and refused to leave.grabbed my wrists  and threw me to the floor suffered bruising and head injury. made my son  pay by means of threats.they said it was a peaceful entry which is  laughable. I now have to take anti depressants.they laughed at me on the  floor and said they thought I should be put down like a f******  dog.please stop these thugs.

Isle of Wight

Bailiffs visited father of debtor, an 80 yr old man with heart issues.  Debtor had used address in past but never lived there. Told the father  they would take his car and dog. Scared father paid off the debt.  Bailiff had turned off camera so no recording of incident. Complaint to  bailiffs, who did not find in favour of father even though say they  always find in favour of complainant when camera turned off. Got nowhere  with CIVEA either - just backed up bailiffs.

Dover

I work for Citizens Advice in Sheffield. I have completed a Debt Relief  Order for a client and she informs me that a Enforcement Agent is  attempting to enforce a parking charge (Local Authority - authorised by  Traffic Enforcement Centre). I telephoned EA and told him that client  was in a DRO and he should be leaving her alone. "What's a DRO?" he  asked. If he doesn't know then he should speak to his own manager. After  him calling me rude - he then tells me he does know what a DRO is. "If  you know what a DRO is then why ask me?" I state. He tells me that he  can enforce the debt. I say he is categorically wrong - he can't. So now  I have the issue of waiting for him to act and then raising a  complaint. Silly games - silly conversation - and a waste of time and  effort for all involved because he doesn't know the law.

Sheffield Central

I was visited by a high court sheriff about a debt I didn't know I owed  .They wanted paying in full or they will put our house on an online  auction and it will be sold within hours and we would be made homeless.

Coventry North East

My partner rang me as HCEO were at my door. He let them in and rang and  told me to hurry home. I had all 6 of my children in the car with me and  they were all quite confused and worried when they walked in the door. I  put all the children in the front room. I was quite hysterical.They  informed me what it was for they had listed my partners car on inventory  then we told them that it was his car. They then explained that we  needed some more proof as we couldnt find v5 or receipt at the time so  they listed it. I had tried family members to get money but no luck. I  signed the writ of control understanding that they could take belongings  if money wasnt raised feeling i had no option. Evidence was found and i  called and told them they lied and said that we never told them it was  my partners car and were ver rude and aggressive with their manner. I  offered installment payments again over the phone but was not accepted  so will be going to court.

Cambridgeshire North East

I was contacted re my complaint to police about my bad experience with a  bailiff, by phone. This was the police response to my complaints:  Whatever type of warrant the bailiff has, they are allowed to put their  foot in the door and forcibly push their way into the house, otherwise  no one would let them in. The bailiff is allowed to go after the parents  of the debtor for goods, money, if the warrant is for their address,  this is because the person owing money probably has nothing and could  not pay, and the bailiff has to be paid. Bailiffs can charge any thing  they want even if it is a large amount over what is set down by law, The  police will only investigate if the company that hired the bailiff  presses charges against the bailiff to the police. I don't think this is  fair. This is like my son commits a crime, and because the police  cannot find him I am put in jail in his place. I am afraid all the time  now and do not feel safe in my home ,and constantly worried I will come  home to my things taken away by bailiffs.

Crawley

A bailiff was recovering a council tax debt from a man with physical  disabilities which prevent him from working. He is an EU citizen and is  not confident speaking English. He called the bailiff on the mobile  number he was given and was told that if he did not allow the bailiff  into his house, the police would help the bailiff break in and the man  could be arrested. After the advice agency explained the correct legal  position, the man explained that he felt the bailiff was taking  advantage of his difficulty communicating in English,

Bradford West

A bailiff came to my home to recover a fine for my son. I rang him to  tell him that my son did not live at my address and had left 18months  ago. I then got a barrage of abuse from him and told it didn't matter  that he had left he would force entry and take my goods unless I could  prove that the goods belong to me. A very nasty person and very  intimidating. Bailiff should have to give a people their legal rights by  law, just in the same way police give people in custody their legal  rights in a booklet

Bury North

I was visited by a bailiff a heated argument ensued because they seized  my car even though it was on finance. The police eventually attended and  the bailiff told them I had assaulted them (which I hadn't ) I was then  offered a deal by the police that if I paid them the bailiff they would  not make a complaint of assault, I refused to be blackmailed and was  subsequently arrested, however, I was released two hours later with no  charge because the bailiff didn't want the hassle of going to court.  When I returned home my wife was very upset because she had given all  our rent and food money over to the bailiff because she had been told by  a "POLICE CONSTABLE" that I would be charged with a criminal offence  and kept in custody all day if she didn't pay the bailiff. I'm disgusted  with the police for taking on face value the word of a bailiff who lied  to me about their powers and lied to the police just to get what they  wanted.

Bury North

I was visited by bailiffs at 7:30am on the 11/01/19. I live in a flat  but somehow they gained entrance to the communal area. I ignored their  repeated bangings at my door and even them shouting my name in the  communal corridor (my friends and neighbours could clearly hear them)  They eventually left, however, I found a note under my door stating that  the had clamped my car. On the note, they left a number was published  for a debt charity which I called, I explained my problem to them, The  charity advised me that the bailiff could not seize my car as it is on  HP agreement, as I was talking to the advisor the bailiffs returned, I  told the (through the door) whilst the advisor was still on the phone  that my car was on finance and what I had been told. Their reply was the  advisor didn't know what she was talking about has the legalisation had  changed and that they intend to take my car. The situation escalated. I  haven't got enough space to continue.

Bury North

We received a hand delivered letter through our door addressed to a  person who does not live in our property advising of a Bailiff visit and  threatening a second. We contacted them and they said that the only way  we could prove that the individual didn't live there would be to allow a  Bailiff to visit and show our mortgage deeds and Council Tax Bill. We  argued that similar information was available publicly and should not  necessitate us having to do anything, particularly when that would  involve the stress of being subject to a visit from a Bailiff. Why  should innocent parties be expected to share their personal data in  order to convince a bailiff firm that the data they hold, about another  party, is inaccurate? It seems like an unnecessary processing of  personal data, particularly when it only proves who pays the mortgage  and CT and not who lives there. We eventually managed to convince them  without a visit, but only after submitting a complaint, I fear that more  vulnerable people would be less lucky.

Lewisham East

Bailiff complaint to the police I was contacted re my complaint to  police about my bad experience with a bailiff, by phone. This was the  police response to my complaints: Whatever type of warrant the bailiff  has, they are allowed to put their foot in the door and forcibly push  their way into the house, otherwise no one would let them in. The  bailiff is allowed to go after the parents of the debtor for goods,  money, if the warrant is for their address, this is because the person  owing money probably has nothing and could not pay, and the bailiff has  to be paid. Bailiffs can charge any thing they want even if it is a  large amount over what is set down by law, The police will only  investigate if the company that hired the bailiff presses charges  against the bailiff to the police. I don't think this is fair and just  and I am shocked by how I have been treated.

Crawley

The bailiff would have taken every thing, including my mobile phone, all  access to internet would have been taken away, surely internet access  is a necessity in this day and age, with councils trying to make sure  even the poorest have access in their homes, and with the need to daily  fill journals for universal credit, resulting in years of sanctions if  not completed .

Crawley

I understand you are investigating bailiffs, I would like to add my  plight to your investigations and my thoughts as a completely innocent  upstanding human being. I have included my complaints which I have sent  to various bodies, to better let you understand what has happened, and I  am still waiting to hear back from them. Parents who are housing their  grown up children should be protected from bailiffs they should not have  to have a receipt for every item in their home, my word should have  been enough . When a notice of enforcement is sent out it, there should  also be a copy sent out to the home owner, tenancy holder, bill payer of  the address, it is very wrong that the first I know of a bailiff coming  is being woken up early in the morning to find a bailiff ransacking my  private belongings with the blessing of the police. Below is my  complaint to various bodies: I am 60 years old I have suffered from  mental health problems most of my life I have long term physical illness  I work 24 hours per week as assistant manager at St Catherine's Hospice  warehouse I have no criminal record not even a parking fine I do not  owe even a penny to any one My council house and all the bills are in my  name I have lived in this house 40 years As is the case for mental  illness I buy too much and it builds up leaving small paths to cupboards  The chaotic mess in my home is not normal for a healthy person My son's  friend answered the door to the bailiff, the bailiff immediately put  his foot in the door, he said your not coming in, the bailiff said yes I  am and forcibly pushed the door into his face, this is on video with  sound recording, I understand it is also recorded by the bailiff . On  Thursday the 6th of December at between 7.30 and 8.30 I was woken from  my bed by my son, to find the police and a Bailiff who was ransacking my  living room, I had no idea a bailiff was coming neither did my son, I  found a letter after The bailiff left of my son's from the end of  November 2018 for £137.50 owing. Because of my poor mental health I was  vulnerable and terrified and unable to think, the police were no older  than my son, they gave me no advice no help they just watched as I got  increasingly distraught and terrified as my home was pillaged of all my  possessions, I had purchased over 40 years. The Bailiff even searched  through my very girly handbag and even more girly purse, I was  completely stripped of my dignity, and forced to endure a terrifying  experience, with the police watching, usually when a house is burgled  you are not forced to watch with the blessing of the police. This  Bailiffs sole purpose was to humiliate and terrify me so much, that I  would have done any thing for him to leave me alone. After what I think  was about an hour passed and my possessions (not my son's) where all  disconected and placed in piles to be taken away, it was clear he would  be going into my Daughters room, who was absent and unable to provide  proof of ownership and he would be taking her things too, at this point,  the female police officer asked my son "can you pay" I realised then I  could pay for the Bailiff to go away, I was charged £638 . £137.50 was  debt £75 compliance stage fee and enforcement stage fee was £235.00  which comes to £447.50 so I was also robbed of money that was not owed.  After the Bailiff left I realised I have bank statements and 15 years of  paypal statements to prove I own my belongings, vulnerable people are  very poor at defending themselves, the police and Bailiffs should be  trained to recognise the signs of poor mental health. So an innocent  upstanding human being has been left with mental trauma that may never  be recovered from, I have already had to be sent home early from my work  as I was not in a fit mental state to do my job.

Crawley

Despite filing court papers to vary terms of CCJ, HMCTS bailiffs  threatened to call police and break in. I suffered a mental breakdown  and was almost forced to pay. If it wasn't for my daughter, my rights  would have been ignored. My daughter advised the bailiffs their practice  was poor and referred them to make contact with the court to confirm  variation request was submitted. The bailiffs left after an hour later  which almost took a year out of my life.

Bromley and Chislehurst

My client did not have a valid lease in place and a high court  enforcement company had knowledge of that fact before they started the  enforcement and during the raid as I expressly informed them.  The  enforcement company did not send the 7 Day Notice and have not provided  any evidence it was sent. They said they had sent it first class,  a  simple lie. They intentionally did not email me a copy or send a text,  although they had my email and mobile number. There was no written  evidence of the demised address and so they were acing illegally. The  high court enforcement officer stood in front of the door preventing us  from leaving the building.

Manchester Central

Bailiffs did not bother to visit my home address to ensure I am fully  aware of the alleged fine. I have been clamped by a bailiff while I was  in the cafe (nowhere near my home address) On another occasion they  stopped in front of me as I was as to pull out of a parking space. Then  in the confusion managed to take the key out of the ignition. The  vehicle is also still on hire purchase. On both occasions I had no  choice but made payment to them.

Dulwich and West Norwood

I had fallen into debt simply for failing to display a ticket in a local  (privately owned) car park. Because my mail had been redirected, the  bailiff company said the debt had escalated to £868. I asked if I could  arrange repayment by instalments. They said it was too late the bailiff  was 'being notified tomorrow' . I told them I had completed court papers  to stay the writ and vary the warrant, as advised. They said tell it to  the enforcement agent. He gave no notice but rocked up 2 days later,  demanding over £2300. He threatened my 3 dogs with a weapon he had on  his belt . I was terrified I thought it was a taser. I was screaming,  terrorised. He would not listen to any offers. He threatened to take my  daughter's horse, called up someone to request a vet and a horsebox. I  had to put £2300 on my husband's credit card to get him to leave. I was  home alone and he was a burly bloke. I cannot sleep as the fear he  raised in me keeps resurfacing.

Suffolk Central and Ipswich North

The bailiff who called to my house was very arrogant and condescending  with me He would not allow me to speak, talking over me when I tried to  explain my situation and became worse when I asked if he was being so  rude because I was female and he thought he could try and manipulate me,  I knew my rights but he told me I was wrong, he could force entry on a  2nd visit even though I told him the debt was not in this category where  this rule would apply. I was told no arrangement could be met to pay  the debt off and he wanted the cash in full there and then. I ended up  shutting my front door on him and locking it before I called the  company's number I had on the letter I was given by the bailiff when I  opened my door to firstly complain about his conduct and found the call  staff were understanding and very helpful when I asked to set up  repayments. Bailiffs within this area do the job without any empathy and  gain satisfaction from bullying people believing they are the law  enforcers, horrible spiteful men.

Waveney

After the sudden death of my husband I was left with a business.The  bailiff wouldn't negotiate and I had to pay to pick up some of my  husband's personal belongings. There was no compassion or sympathy,it's  not what u expect at a very difficult time.

Bradford West

Im struggling with the amount they have asked us to pay back in  installments The repayments are set very high and are very unrealistic  which resulted in us not being able to make the demanded amount. We fell  in to arrears again with the repayments and now we have had a visit  from the bailiffs. In which they have added an additional £245 for the  call out. We have asked them to lower the repayments but sadly they couldn’t help  us. They are also very unapproachable. Very rude on the phone. All of this because we missed 2 council tax payments because my hubby  was made redundant. We lost the right to pay in installments. The bailiffs are relentless and very unreasonable.

Gloucester

I was called by my father one afternoon to come home immediately and was  met by a man who used scare tactics such as clamping my fathers car  despite being able to prove ownership and threats of calling the police,  large fines, taking of goods and prison for a debt I had proof in my  hand I had paid. He told me to sit down in my own house and when I  pointed out that was rude he told me I was aggressive. There was no  reasoning, attitude was poor, forceful, uneducated and unreasonable to  say the least. When asked what my options were he simply replied to pay,  I called their office and was told two different stories and that he  the collector held all the power. Bailiff had a friend in the car  outside and couldn’t help thinking they were making a day out of my  misery. Poor experience to say the least made to feel like scum for  something I hadn’t actually done and proof apparently doesn’t change  things. He was also rude to my father and girlfriend who tried to help  and told them if they wanted to help me then they should pay!

Middlesbrough

The bailiff visited early one morning. He told me that he had come about  a debt that had gone through the High Court which gave him powers to  seize goods. I asked how this debt was different to any other non  priority debt and he said it was through the high court and there were  certain powers attached to it. He said his client wanted to recoup its  money as soon as possible and so I could offer a repayment plan -  however he doubted that it would be accepted. I asked what the options  were if it wasnt and he said I would be sued for bankruptcy. I said  surely the client would want to work with me and recoup money and the  bailiff said 'they dont care', which basically negated his whole visit  and option to set up a payment plan. So I said that this was somewhat of  a contradiction and he shrugged his shoulder and reiterated that the  outcome would be that I would made to go bankrupt. The debt is for  £2000. For one thing this is incorrect advice and I feel that this was  an oppressive, scare mongering approach to take.

Devon South West

In august my car was clamped by a bailiff. A couple weeks later they  came to my home at 6am and start to kick my door and make damage. They  start to talk loud voice in the middle the street and call me names and  stick the notice in mine front door for humiliate me in front of mine  neighbours, I call the police and I open case for crime offender. I make  complaint to them but them play with me. I send a copy to a debt advice  organisation regarding mine financial status. I told them I'm diabetic  and high blood pressure but them ignore everything and keep saying they  are going to come mine home and increase my debt.

Lewisham East

Severely misled and extorted! Was late on paying under the agreement so  contacted by the bailiff firm who told me the stage 2 enforcement fee of  £594 applied with immediate effect. However, later told by another  employee of the same firm that if I had paid the balance on the phone,  the fee would not have been applied. Threatening and bullying behaviour  throughout entire ordeal.

Reading East

I live with my brother after separating from my wife. I am a hackney cab  driver and rent a cab. Recently I received a court judgement relating  to a parking ticket I nor the cab company ever received, nor any  subsequent letters. I contacted the Baliff firm offered 50 a week hoping  to get my money back after contesting the unfair ticket n court ruling,  they agreed but a few days later turned up at my brothers in stab proof  vests and refused to leave without payment in full. I was at work and  unable to come home. The baliffs did not leave until gone midnight and  forcing my brother to pay in full, and I am still not convinced they  will not come back. I am suicidal about this and it has caused a lot of  ill feeling between me and my Family and I now have to look for  somewhere else to live. The council that issued the fine could not care  less. I feel this is extortion and theft and should not be allowed.

Ilford South

2 bailiffs came looking for a person. I said I was not that  person/didn't know them. They put foot over threshold, would not remove  until i show ID. I refuse for 15 minutes. I call Police, police can't  attend but advise that i show ID. Bailiffs go. Only one bailiff had ID  on Lanyard, other did not.

Islington South and Finsbury

Almost knocked my door down banging on it as a was asleep, I worked  nights as a milkman. I refused to let them in so they threatened me with  the towing away of my milk float. I had to get my boss to come and  because he didn’t have a receipt for the vehicle they still said a tow  truck would come to tow it away. I had no choice other than go to  relatives for a loan to get rid of them. After reading the law, they  were totally outside their powers. Shameless and lost me my job.

High Peak

I had 2 Attachment of Earnings Orders (AOEs) until I went on maternity  leave. I received no communication from the bailiffs that this was no  longer taken from my wages. The first I knew of it was when a bailiff  turned up demanding £1400 there and then. He was aggressive, threatening  and very intimidating. He refused to allow any sort of repayment plan  and was particularly nasty. I am pregnant and my toddler son was with me  at the time but none of this was taken into consideration.

Scarborough and Whitby

I am currently in "negotiations" with a bailiff company, who are acting  on behalf of my local council for missed council tax payment. They  instructed me (did not discuss...I was informed!) to pay £60 per month  to deal with the debt. I missed a payment by two days, and it  immediately went to a bailiff. At this stage, I am still paying the  monthly repayments of £60. I have called to discuss this with them, and  even to offer to pay the amount in full. So far I have been sworn at,  hung up on 6 times, and had nothing but a blank refusal to deal with me  in any civil way. The irony being that I want to pay the outstanding  amount, and they seem to refuse to deal with me other than to send a  bailiff to knock on my door. I suffer from PTSD and anxiety. This  experience has left me unable to sleep, contemplating suicide.

Truro and Falmouth

The bailiff continued to inform he would take my Grandmas goods even  though it was clear they were hers. This included goods that she owned  for longer than I was alive. There was no receipts and he saw my Grandma  was upset. In the end she cleared the debt which I knew was wrong but  my Grandma was too upset to do anything else. Due to this she missed her  own rent.

Bolton South East

I owed council tax from a buy to let house that I have now sold. I tried  to pay the council in full after the property sale completed but they  would not take the payment. They said it had gone to bailiffs that day  and I would have to pay them. I phoned the bailiffs but they just said  it had not yet come to them and I would have to wait till they contacted  me. By the time that happened I could not pay it in full and the  bailiff rejected my offer of monthly payments. He called round and said  he would be back to take away goods. I told him he was not allowed to  break in and he just shrugged his shoulders. He took a photo of my car  and asked if it was mine. I denied it. I took advice from a debt agency  who adviced me to ignore him and he would then return the debt to the  council. I then went away for several weeks and took my car with me. I  am now back home and he has been round once more that I know of but i  didnt answer the door.

Northampton South

My experience was terrifying. I found I had a very aggressive thuggish  sounding man on the phone telling me he would be seizing my sons  possessions. He told me there was no one in the office of the  enforcement agency to speak to me despite the fact that the traffic  enforcement agency had told me the enforcement process would be on hold  as the matter was under appeal. It was extremely stressful to deal with.  I and my son have never owed anyone a penny, We are hardworking honest  people, and the way the matter was handled shocked me and my solicitor. I felt there was a deliberate policy on behalf of the enforcement agents  to intimidate, and make money. Eventually the enforcement order was  revoked. It took a considerable amount of time money and energy to  challenge, it and I wonder how a vunerable person would deal with such a  situation.

York Outer

My experience was terrifying. I found I had a very aggressive thuggish  sounding man on the phone telling me he would be seizing my sons  possessions. He told me there was no one in the office of the  enforcement agency to speak to me despite the fact that the traffic  enforcement agency had told me the enforcement process would be on hold  as the matter was under appeal. It was extremely stressful to deal with.  I and my son have never owed anyone a penny, We are hardworking honest  people, and the way the matter was handled shocked me and my solicitor. I felt there was a deliberate policy on behalf of the enforcement agents  to intimidate, and make money. Eventually the enforcement order was  revoked. It took a considerable amount of time money and energy to  challenge, it and I wonder how a vunerable person would deal.with such a  situation.

York Outer

I claim Universal Credit and my debt adviser was told as I was not  claiming this at the time a liability order for Council Tax was issued,  the in-house Enforcement Team at the Council's only option was to use  bailiffs. I was pregnant with a problem pregnancy, about to be induced  and was told I would be imprisoned without my baby if I failed to  maintain payments of £40 per month. The debt adviser asked if deductions  could be made from benefit at £16 per month but as the bailiffs are  part of the Council Tax Team they wouldn't entertain this. I was also  told my mother's goods would be removed as I live with her.

Alyn and Deeside

I'm unemployed, single mum of 3. Bailiffs are not taking my offer of £20  for at least until I get a job. They keep knocking at my door my kids  are so scared. Worst of all I just want to pay them but I can't pay  them. They have increased the amount from £665.18 to £900.18. It feels like I'm living in a nightmare and I can't do anything about  it.

Ealing Central and Acton

The local council, as most, sent their Bailliff for community charge  arrears. I had been ill several years ago and never recovered my  earnings or my sanity as a result of the threats issued by the bailliff.  Each time they asked for a ridiculous payment on a plan. At first I  paid knowing it would be impossible to keep up and it was meaning I fell  behind on other bills. The Bailliff doesn't care and neither do the  council. I've contemplated drastic actions but so far I'm still here.  Destroy the poorest in our society because the council needs the money  and to hell with anyone else.

Salford and Eccles

My girlfriend and I were visited by an High Court Enforcement officer  last year. We had no prior paperwork to his visit so when he arrived on  the doorstep it was a complete surprise. He refused a payment plan and  his office would not assist. He was aggressive, angry, physical and  completely unprofessional. He added on charges as he pleased, frightened  my girlfriend to the point now where she is afraid to open the door  unless she knows who it is. My girlfriend raised a complaint to the  company who refuse to acknowledge any wrong doings with his actions. She  has now escalated the complaint to the HCEOA of whom it has sat with  for a year and a half! It took them over a year to decide whether to  take on the complaint when it states in their complaints procedure this  should take 28 days! They are completely incompetent, we now even have a  copy of the footage which took 16 months to get hold of so there is no  denying his actions. 77 emails to date my partner has sent to the HCEOA  and they still say they are dealing with it!! The complaints process  needs regulating immediately.

Wirral West

A bailiff called at 6 am concerning my daughters debt, he threatened to  take all my possessions unless I paid £413.00. I told him the debt  wasn’t mine but he insisted that he could take everything from the house  including my lodger and granddaughters stuff and I would have to claim  it back later. I was forced to hand over the money, almost my entire  savings. My daughter is a addict, I never got the money back.

Edmonton

Payment demanded in full, bailiff refused to set up a payment schedule  as I cannot afford to pay in full as on a minimum wage on a zero hour  contract, no other benefits in place as I have 2 non dependents living  at home.

Bootle

Men sat in white vans parked behind your vehicle blocking you in. Sat  parked opposite your house for periods of time on a daily basis.  Knocking very loudly on windows and looking through windows. Putting  foot inside the door making it hard to get rid of them. This is with  their “client” being very aware of the vulnerability that whose door  their knocking on and sat intimidating. Refusing to be reasonable and  sending in a recovery vehicle for your vehicle which is a disabled one.  Flashing orange lights on top of the vehicles . Upon release of the  vehicle low key evening late no flashing lights and vehicle has been  damaged! Due to their way had cars piled on top at storage place!.

Crewe and Nantwich

I was visited by an enforcement officer whilst pregnant. The debt was  for my partner of which we received absolutely no prior paperwork. The  EA quickly focused on taking my car which solely belonged to me! He  prayed on me because I was pregnant and vulnerable! I proved ownership  but he didn’t care. He escalated costs illegally of which he denies, he  was aggressive, intimidating and assaulted my partner. He witheld all  paperwork, refused a payment plan and wouldn’t even supply a case  number! My parents ended up paying As he turned aggressive and they  wanted him gone. I’ve raised a complaint and the company have obviously  backed up his actions! I’ve raised a complaint with the HCEOA which has  been with them unresolved for 15 months!!!! This industry needs  regulating immediately and the extortionate fees need capping!

Wirral West

I live in building divided into flats & opened door to bailiff  claiming to have a delivery for a young woman in her late teens from  another flat. I immediately saw he had no delivery & challenged him  at which point he put his foot in the door , pulled out ID from the  council & said he was coming in as he knew his target was in &  hiding from him. He was very aggressive.I didnt know the woman but felt  concerned for her so I put my weight on the door & told him he wasnt  coming into my home & that I was phoning police. He got very angry  & started making legal threats & pushing on the door but I didnt  budge. When I called police they said the bailiff had right of entry. I  said I wasnt moving. He remained for well over an hour railing at me  & was joined at one point by 2 other hefty men before leaving. I  dont scare easily but it was pure intimidation, legal terrorism almost,  & I can imagine the pressure & stress these bailiffs  deliberately put people in debt under.

Lewisham Deptford

I had a professional and highly paid job but had to give it up as my  parents were dying of cancer. I had council tax arrears and the council  instructed a bailiff frim to collect the debt. They demanded huge  amounts at Stage 2 of the collection process, or they would remove my  car which was used to take my parents for chemo and radiotherapy. I  asked the council to take back and they refused. I had to take out high  cost loans to pay the Bailiffs to get rid of them. I couldn’t pay my  mortgage and eventually my home of 14 years was repossessed. No care nor  consideration during my parents’ illness and ultimate death from either  the bailiff firm nor the council. I now have a large shortfall on my  mortgage and will have no option but to petition for bankruptcy - I lay  my situation solely at the hands of the bailiff and the firm he worked  for, who refused to allow me an affordable payment plan, as well as the  council. The actions of the bailiff in the programme I watched tonight [Killed by my Debt]  bordered on criminal and he should have been charged. He could not list  the vehicle - it was on finance (stepdad) and a tool of the trade.

Newcastle upon Tyne Central

Council tax arrears. The council got an attachment to earnings order, in  this case Job Seekers Allowance, taking a weekly figure. They also  employed Bailiffs to collect the same debt, I of course ignored the  phone calls, door knocks and demanding letters. I have since learned  that this practice by the council is illegal, as they are not supposed  to pursue the same debt in two or more different ways. The blood does  not flow when you squeeze the stone.

Boston and Skegness

Debt collectors took my van that was used for my florist business for a  residential council tax and business rates debt. The van was clearly  signed as a business vehicle and was taken by the bailiffs and we never  got any notification of how much the van fetched at auction or anything.  The van was only a couple of years old and approximate value was £4,000  the debt was just over £2,000. We tried to explain to the council our  circumstances and the fact we were moving out of the shop the next month  when the business rates debt was for up to the following April. The  taking of our van meant we could no longer run our business and my  husband ended up having to go bankrupt as a result and fell into a bad  depression and even considered taking his own life and our lives have  never been the same since.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Horrific. I was treated so badly I had anxiety attacks. They wouldn’t  accept payment plans, said I was lying when I told them I didn’t have  any money. I was close to suicide. Told them I believe I didn’t owe the  debt but they forced me to pay. In the end I paid, and two months later  received a refund because I hadn’t actually owed the money.

Carlisle

A bailiff knocked on my door regarding speeding fine for previous  tenant. Told me he was recording the conversation and this would be  going onto TV programme if the debt was not settled there and then. I  explained it wasn’t me he was looking for, but he continued to threaten  me with taking the car off the drive as payment (my dad’s motorbility  car as I’m his carer/driver) and further threats of being used on tv and  how my neighbours, friends and family would see me lying about who I  was. Eventually I found my passport and he left..without an apology or  leaving his details of the company he worked for, so I was unable to  make a complaint

Ellesmere Port and Neston

My experience with bailiff since 2014. I dealt with a bailiff firm on a  couple of occasions. Once they arrived at my home at 6.15 am and woke me  and my daughter and my wife up demanding just over £1000. The debt was  in my name. I explained we where in server financal trouble stating I  was ill with cancer and was in the process of having my home repossesed.  The bailiff response was that wasn't their problem and I needed to find  over £1000 within 30 mins. Luckily all the major assets on our home  belonged to my wife although it did take me over an hour to find  receipts to prove it. The stress is enormous

Bootle

I had a bailiff knock early one morning when I say knock I mean banging  on the door like he was trying to break it down. I live with my son who  has learning difficulties and we was both really scared..when I finally  built up the courage to open the door he wasn't amused that he'd waited  so long ..the debt wasn't even for us it was somebody else but he  wouldn't listen just kept telling me to ring a family member or friend  for the money which I refused why should I do that when it's not our  debt..he told me he was going to come back on another day and I must  have all the money or he'll be breaking my door in..i phoned a debt advice charity who was so helpful and put my mind at rest that they  can't do that.. bailiffs are bullies and need to remember that some  people they knock on are extremely vulnerable because I'm sure if it  happened to a member of their family they wouldn't just sit back and let  it happen and wouldn't be happy either.

West Ham

I have an agreement to pay £5 per week for council tax arrears. I'm  paying off many of them one after the other. I paid my £5 on the same  day that VISA had global banking issues and the payment didn't go  through but I didn't know about this. I made my next payment and then  after that was told I was in arrears and it had been passed to an EA. I  rang him and after speaking to my bank told him that this wasn't my  fault. He said he didn't care and that he would get a warrant of control  and come and seize my goods unless I paid the full amount, which I can't  afford.

Telford

I had a visit early one morning from a bailiff collecting a debt that  wasn't mine, it was my employers. I was threatened, intimidated,  harassed accused of assault, the police were called by him, until after  2.5hours trying to get him to leave, I paid.

Daventry

I work for Citizens Advice. My clients reported that a bailiff came to  their door having been let into the block by a neighbour. The bailiff (a  lady) did not show any ID, and they thought she was a social worker.  Once inside they realised she was a bailiff. My client became very  distressed, and threatened to cut his wrists, at which point the bailiff  left.

Esher and Walton

We assist many clients who have had recent bailiff attendance at their  property- we always have a mixture of responses positive and negative.  Although new legislation is in place it is not sufficient. We have some  "rogue" bailiffs still who do not appear to understand the procedures in  place and we have had to complain about inappropriate behaviour on  several occasions. We deal with many vulnerable people and there needs  to be a more rigid policy in place to stop further issues with bailiffs  who believe they have immense power.

Bromley and Chislehurst

I have had a bailiff come to my door when I was at work. I called him  and he said he would come round at 6pm that Friday night. He didn't turn  up. He came round again today while I was at work. I called him again  and he said he would be round in the afternoon to collect goods as I  told him I could not get the money. He didn't turn up again. My partner  and I as well as the kids are getting stressed and worried while we  wait. Is there anything we can do because in our current situation the  stress is not helping. Can we report him to anyone for the stress and  worry caused to us.

Moderator: We can't provide advice directly as stories are anonymised, but you can seek free advice from an independent debt charity on this issue.

Dover

Bailiff collecting council tax. I went to a debt adviser who helped me  work out an affordable offer. Wrote with financial statement and  explained that I was vulnerable due to my mental health. The offer was  accepted, but less than a month later they rang and pressurised me into  paying more than I could afford. Eventually returned for more debt  advice after other debts escalated and my debt adviser phoned the local  authority who checked the bailiff database and said that they had not  recorded the information about my vulnerability - if they had the  council may have asked them to return it and they would have lost their  fees. As it was the council withdrew the case and made an arrangement  with me, but it has caused so much stress and worry that it has  triggered my mental health to breakdown further and exacerbated the  stress-related incontinence that I suffer from.

Leeds East

I set out below part of a letter I sent to the bailiffs last October:  For the past months I have been harassed by your bailiffs for payment of  traffic parking fines dating back (as far as I can tell) to 13th August  2015. I first became aware of these when the car was clamped on 18th  May 2017, and I was asked to pay £1,171.00 to have it released. Since  that date, there have been a number of other clampings and demands from  your bailiffs, to the point that my rent is now in arrears, and I cannot  make any further payments to you. Your bailiffs have been told that the  vehicle is not my property, but being purchased on deferred terms, but  continue to pursue my car and to clamp it. I realise, as a result of my  phone call, that the fact of my paying leads your bailiffs to the belief  that I still have some connection with the person who was the original  offender. I believe that your bailiffs have behaved in a way which is  not consistent with the code of practice governing the treatment of  debtors. I have reason to believe that on one occasion, when I had  managed to make a complaint to your office, my car was again clamped  within a matter of hours, which seems to be a surprising coincidence.

Sevenoaks

I work in a charity in Longbridge and my client came to see me as she  has council tax arrears with bailiffs. The bailiffs let themselves into  her property as the door was open and did not take or list any of her  goods but now they are threatening to return and remove goods and  sending her a "removal notice" even though I have called the main office  and they have confirmed there is no walking possession agreement in  place. My client is very stressed and anxious and afraid to leave the  house. I have contacted the council but they take weeks to reply.  Council tax debts are regularly referred to bailiffs in Birmingham for  clients with no assets who are in receipt of benefits and unable to pay.

Birmingham Northfield

Caused distress by intimidation and fear. No regard for vulnerable persons. 

Burnley

Two years ago I was violently assaulted by two very big bailiffs trying  to collect a debt that I did not owe on behalf of the local council. I  am an average sized middle aged man, I'm very obviously partially  sighted. I was physically assaulted by two very big violent bailiffs.  One of them attempted to force his way into my home in a very violent  physical way, the other filmed it, I attempted to stop his illegal  break-in as anyone naturally would, while my very frightened partner  called the police. By the time the police (who were clearly on first  name terms with them) arrived, the video had been edited, I was  immediately arrested, I spent the next 8 hours locked up while these 2  were left in our home with my by now very frighted partner. The police  showed no interest in my story, they showed no concern for my partner  who was forced to go borrow money from people and then.. out of room.

Hackney South and Shoreditch

My husband took out several loans in my name and defaulted on them all.  He was on remand when the bailif called at 6.30 pm on a Saturday night. I  explained to him the loan wasn’t mine I knew nothing about the CCJ from  the previous year. I told him I’d fetch the evidence as I had been in  touch with the debt collection agency who had written to me to confirm  there would be no further action. When I came downstairs he was in my  house. He refused to accept all the evidence. I was ill with the stress  of the circumstance and started with chest pains as he walked around my  house on his phone arranging a van. I was intimidated so much I called  my neighbours to help me. They eventually pId him 2000 pounds to get rid  of him. Which was subsequently refunded. He bullied me and my two  little grandchildren so much I was frightened of leaving my doors  unlocked and have been ever since. My neighbours were witness to the  bailiff's behaviour, even following me upstairs when I asked if I could  put my baby grandson to bed. I complained.

Torbay

Our client rang us, very anxious, about a bailiff visit where the  bailiff had threatened to take away all her goods immediately if she did  not pay £500 on the spot. He should not have threatened her, and he  should not have said he could take stuff immediately.

Leicester West

Our client popped out to the shop and returned to find a bailiff in her  house. He had entered the house when the only person present was an 11yr  old child. He should not have entered the premises when there was only a  child present.

Leicester West

Our client, a disabled wheelchair user in her sixties, answered the door  to a bailiff. He pushed past her into her flat and stayed for seven  hours, shouting at her and demanding large sums of money immediately.  When she tried to phone for help he snatched the phone from her hands.  She eventually managed to phone the police but was told that they could  not get involved. When we visited her at home a few days later she was  still in a state of terror.

Leicester West

Experiences locally of High Court enforcement of debts evidence that  fees are disproportionate to the amounts of debt being collected. The  addition of VAT and sale of goods fees when goods have not been taken or  even been subject to a warrant of control does not meet with the spirit  of the new regulations.

Yeovil

Our elderly client moved from another area where they had left some  Council Tax arrears. A couple of years after moving they applied for a  Debt Relief Order (DRO) and this debt was included (it seems there was  another outstanding sum omitted from the DRO but no liability order for  that debt, so no enforcement possible). Recently (a further 2 years  after the DRO was approved) the client received an enforcement notice  out of the blue demanding payment and which clearly implies that the EA  can remove goods whether or not the client is at home. Client who was  undergoing vital chemo was terrified to leave the house believing their  belongings would be taken whilst they were out. They also kept curtains  closed for weeks until we were able to confirm to the client that the EA  had been called-off by the local authority in question. This level of  fear, not to mention living without natural light for several weeks will  not have helped their chances of recovery - and all for a debt that the  local authority in question have now admitted was on record as having  been included in the DRO.

St Austell and Newquay

A bailiff firm are collecting Council Tax arrears on behalf of the local  council from our client who is a 68 year old vulnerable, widowed lady,  who lives alone. The arrears appear to relate to 2013. The client’s son  has tried to get further details from the council in order to dispute  the debt but so far this has not been forthcoming. The enforcement  agents have been rude, intimidating and threatening on the phone to the  client’s son and have bullied him into setting up a regular payment of  £20 on behalf of his mother. One of the things they said was, on hearing  that she had sought debt advice was that "they’re not the law, they  can’t stop us coming to get the money". As a result of the stress our  client's health has worsened and she has recently been hospitalised.  Reported by a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hornsey and Wood Green

My partner and I owe nothing and was woken this morning at 6am by two  enforcement agency guys. They were looking for my son who they said owed  money. They searched our home and found he did not reside here ! They  threw things out of draws and on the floor of the bedrooms. They were  both very rude and would not believe he did not live here and refused to  listen and walked away while I was trying to talk to them. I phoned my  son, and they spoke to him and he confirmed where he lived and told them  to go there. They did not and was making a list of things to remove  from my home. I phoned the Police who would not help in any way and put  phone down on me !!!! We paid the debt as we didn't want them to take  our things. It amounted to bullying when we weren't in the wrong and  owed nothing. VERY WRONG !!!!!!!!!!

Basingstoke

The council are aware my partner is vulnerable- mental health issues.  They still passed the debt to bailiffs. My partner agreed an arrangement  and went to make a payment but their system was down so this was taken  as a payment missed and they added on the enforcement stage fee. I have  contacted them on numerous occasions and explained my partner is  vulnerable but they still send letters directly to my partner as if it  is on purpose.

Barnsley East

They have been several times whilst i have been out as they seem to call mid day time when most people are out so i think they will start calling later now as had 3 hand delivered letters saying i owe local council tax and the letter says they can start a controlled goods agreement without me being present. Well good luck with that one as i know they arent allowed to break and enter. Its wrong scaring people like this. Personally i dont mind so much slight annoyance but i can manage it whereas other people are probably scared when they come knocking.

Lincoln

There aren't enough characters to share what I want to say. Briefly,  bailiffs lied about their powers to get access to my property. No  attempt to negotiate with you or ascertain you circumstances -  just  endless threats nearly all lies as to what they can do, if you don't  clear the debt there and then. No excuse for their behavior, but as they  are paid on results they seem to be prepared to do and say anything to  get results.

Worthing West

I have received text messages with phone numbers on tried to ring and  told the number doesn't accept incoming calls. Rang head office to get  through to them you needed a reference number and a pin number on  correspondence. Not on all letters they send me. When I got through I was  told they couldn't talk to me I needed to speak to agent. I told them I  hadn't a working number. They repeated same number - finished call. I  finally got through and set up a standing order. Yesterday I received a  text saying bailiffs were due to call to remove goods. I rang number. He  said I had defaulted on my agreement in March. It's now April. I said I  hadn't, checked my bank. I rang CC enforcement team, paid off half of debt and agreed increased  payments. They said they would inform bailiffs company. Rang bailiffs. He  said he was still coming to remove goods as I wasn't paying off soon  enough. He was scarey loud rude and unreasonable he should be  accountable for his actions

Coventry North West

Yesterday two thugs came pounding on my door at 8.30 pm. It was very  dark and I live in an isolated house. These men were calling about  something that was nothing to do with me. They were incredibly  intimidating and said they were from the ministry of justice and could  do whatever they liked. Their ID were just plain printed cards that  anyone could have made and it was too late to call an office to verify  them. They wound up my puppy and then left the gate open so she could  escape. They then sat for 10 minutes parked on my driveway with their  lights on which was very intimidating. There had been no previous  contact by phone, letter or during daylight. I am less vulnerable than  almost everyone they deal with but I was scared and upset. It is  appalling that they should be allowed to behave in this way.

Wells

I WANT TO DIE THEY HAVE MADE ME FEEL SO ILL AND SCARED. I CAN NOT GO  OUTSIDE THE HOUSE AND KEEP MY WINDOWS CLOSED EVEN WHEN ITS HOT.

Dorset South

Makes me feel worry, anxious to open the door to anyone. Shameful that I  can not pay back the money I owed. I was very restless at some point  and kept looking out the window every minutes of the day.

Cotswold

After one missed instalment on a Liability Order Payment plan for  Council Tax due to ill health, an enforcement agent left an Enforcement  Notice while I was out. When I contacted him, we was gruff, dismissive  and rude, referring to me repeatedly as 'darling', despite me asking him  not to do so, cutting me off and being quite intimidating, threatening  "we're coming round the house"... I wished to discuss my situation and  the possibility of being considered a 'vulnerable person', as I am  single mum struggling with severe mental health problems and anxiety  disorder. However, after completely dismissing me, he eventually hung up  on me, not without 'promising' to come over again. He has since not  answered any further calls from me. I have contacted the private company  for which he works and was also rudely dismissed and hung up on four  times! I am in intense distress and deeply distraught by the experience.  Please also note that the outstanding debt was only £125, so the  enforcement fee of £235 seems grossly inappropriate. I have now borrowed  the money and payed, simply because I felt afraid and intimidated. This  is not right.

Westminster North

I sold a car back in April 2017 without sending the the log book off . I  then had a fine for no insurance on that vehicle for 50 pound. Like a  fool I said I'm not paying that, its not my debt . I sent the log book  off with the new keepers' details but to cut a long story short the fine  turned into 425 pounds with a bailiff firm, their cut being 75 pound. I  thought ok I'm not going to get out of it, although I only sold the car  for 100 pound in the first place. I'm just going to have to swallow it  so I called the bailiffs and made an arrangement to pay it in  instalments as I'm on benefits at the moment and way behind with our  rent. I paid an initial payment and called the week later on the Friday  to make another but they said its too late, I should have paid on  Wednesday and subsequently could face another 235 pound charge if I  didn't pay the full amount. I paid the agreed original instalment  payment but they could still want a further 350 on top of the 425. Who's  policing these people?

Torfaen

My father a 91year old man who is essentially deaf was confounded by a  JBW agent. Telling to pay up for a debt incurred by a relative who does  not reside at his property but may have put his address as a temporary  contact address. If payment was not forthcoming extra charges of removal  & storage of goods would be incurred. My father believed the debt  to be £513000. He was told that if proof of ownership was not  forthcoming his goods would be seized. Few bills last 91 years, so  effectively he was led to believe they could remove almost everything  from his home, even goods that once belonged to my dead mother. The JBW  reluctantly showed identification. Only the threat of 999 made him find a  so-called warrant, a tiny display thing no 91 year old could read. This  JBW agent had invited himself in and would not retreat. I should have  called the police but only did so after he had left. The bill was  £513.00. I paid it to get rid of him. I do not know the offence that  allegedly generated this debt. Neither do l know who was allegedly  responsible.

Croydon North

We are constantly seeing Bailiffs in this area giving misleading  information to clients. Acting as if they have the powers of High Court  Enforcement Officers, and threatening clients which actions they have no  legal power to enforce. This has involved using various mobile phones  to send threatening text messages to clients.

Wythenshawe and Sale East

A client was contacted by a bailiff in regards council tax arrears and  made a payment plan offer which was refused. The client feels frustrated  that the bailiff is unwilling to engage in a discussion with them about  offers of payment and continues to demand the payment in full which  they cannot afford.

Submitted by a local adviser

Pudsey

My debt issues increased when I lost my job & had to claim universal  credit for the first time.My rent is paid 4 weeks in advance & UC  payments are 4 wks in arrears & no payment received until 7 wks  after the date you claim. I received phone calls within 7 days wanting  payment or face being evicted. I found a job before I got my first UC  payment but was made redundant a year later. My landlord has been brill  the council not. Bailiffs came at 6.45am he did show I.D but I didn't  let him in.He threatened to take my car & visited constantly for a  wk then requested I ring him which I tried constantly all wkend which he  ignored.I panicked & partially followed some advice I got from  National Debtline & paid £100 direct to the council.They have left  the debt with the bailiffs & refused CT support because I couldn't  provide them with documents I hadn't received myself from my ex  employer. I think council should also be reformed as they send in the  bailiffs so fast I think its more about figures on paper than people and  also UCredit.

Bolton South East

Client had a bailiff visit and later made contact with the bailiff by  telephone to offer a repayment plan. The bailiff refused the plan, has  consistently put the phone down on the client, yet continues to bombard  them with threatening text messages.

Leeds East

Despite not being aware of the debt until a bailiff arrived at my door  (they had been writing to me at the incorrect address) the bailiff  refused to even consider a payment plan when I explained I did not have  the £500 he was asking for. He laughed at me when I explained my very  difficult circumstances & vulnerability. He told me it was 'my own  fault for getting into debt in the first place'. He spoke in a  threatening way, telling me he was allowed to come into my house whether  I wanted him to or not (I later found out this was a lie). He told me  he was sending 'his boys' round to take my car (even though I explained  it was on lease & not in my name). He put the phone down on me even  though I was speaking very politely & calmly. The enforcement agency  refused to speak to me & kept putting me back through to him, even  though I explained my vulnerability (diagnosed with depression &  anxiety among other issues) and that I felt scared to talk to him or  have him visit my home. Finally I got help through debt advice.

Pendle

I’ve tried to get a payment plan to be told no. They say 117pound a  month or coming to take goods. I’ve 100 left told them I’ll pay on 29th  January 2018 told it’s fine then 2 days later got a call I have to pay  in 3 days said I can’t - told to ask friends for it - told them Friday I  can only pay 50 on 19th then 50 the following Friday - told no. Now  coming to my house to take goods I’m so ill over it trying to pay to be  told now or we're taking goods

Wimbledon

Somebody working for a bailiff firm called my employer's Head Office to  find my manager's contact number. They managed to speak to my manager  and informed them of my financial circumstances. I work for a financial  company and this behaviour could have a detrimental effect on my current  employment. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Eastleigh

I raised a dispute about the amount the bailiff firm says I owe in council tax arrears. I was then contacted directly by an enforcement agent saying that I had drawn attention to myself and should expect a  visit very soon. I felt that this was a threat. Also, fees have been  added for a visit that didn't happen, as up to that point I was up to date with my payment arrangement. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity  adviser

Devon West and Torridge

Bailiffs came round to my flat last night banging loudly on the door. I  have heart issues and was very upset. I did not sleep well at all. The  bailiffs have told me on the phone they will return with a locksmith  whether I am at home or not. At the moment I dare not leave the flat. 

As  told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Daventry

I am being threatened by bailiffs who are collecting for a Magistrates  fine. Although I have explained to the bailiff that my wife is extremely  vulnerable at the moment, and I am her full-time carer, the bailiff is  still threatening to bring a locksmith to force entry to our house. This  has caused a lot of distress to me and my wife. 

As told to a StepChange  Debt Charity adviser

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton

I have Council Tax arrears from 2012, which were passed on to bailiffs.  Originally these arrears were £600-£700. Since 2012, I have paid over  £1,000 towards the arrears but they now currently stand at £900. I have  missed payments every few months which have added to the debt but this  is only because the bailiff firm has passed me between offices and  failed to respond to my attempts at making contact and to make payments  until after my payment dates were missed, by which time the bailiff fees  had been applied. I have always made contact to pay each month and I  think the charges are unjust on the basis that the bailiff firm has made  the whole process unnecessarily difficult. 

As reported to a StepChange  Debt Charity adviser

Birmingham Ladywood

I suffer from depression and am on medication for this. I felt very  intimidated by the enforcement agents. They advised me that they were  calling the police because I had assaulted them (I hadn't). The  enforcement agent proceeded to clamp my car but no police arrived. I  paid their fee with a mix of credit cards and my overdraft leaving me in  a position where I could not afford to cover living expenses for the  rest of the month. I still have £150 to pay and the enforcement agent  has refused to remove the clamp on my car until this has been paid. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Richmond Park

I have tried many, many times to arrange a payment with the bailiff firm  offering £50-£100 per month which I feel is affordable, but the person I  spoke to asked for £110 and then £287 on top of that, which I really  can't afford. When I said I couldn't afford that and tried to offer £100  again they put the phone down on me. 

As told to a StepChange Debt  Charity adviser

Warley

I am having a parking fine collected by bailiffs. I called them to  explain my difficult situation and they told me that they understood and  that they would be willing to enter into an affordable repayment plan.  But then the bailiff still turned up at my house and threatened to take  my car and would not set up a payment arrangement. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Sevenoaks

I was contacted by a bailiff regarding council tax arrears. After I'd  spoken to an adviser at StepChange Debt Charity I contacted the bailiff to confirm the  arrears and tell him that I was getting advice from StepChange. He told  me that I would need to pay £375.00 before the advice session could be  completed and due to his attitude I felt I had no option but to take a  loan out to repay the debt. Once I had this loan money the bailiff  advised me that he actually needed £413.00 and that I would have to meet  him in a hotel in Burnley because if he came to my property he would have to charge another £200.00. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Burnley

I feel I am being harassed. Two enforcement  officers waited outside my door waiting for me to leave to take my 6  year old daughter to school and then followed me and my daughter to the  school. My daughter was very distressed by this. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bromley and Chislehurst

I was contacted by telephone by an enforcement agent acting on a high  court writ for water arrears. Although I explained that my circumstances  were presently very difficult, the enforcement agent was rude and  arrogant to both myself and my son when he tried to speak on my behalf. I  felt very intimidated by his manner. 

As told to a StepChange Debt  Charity adviser

Worthing East and Shoreham

My council tax arrears had been passed on to bailiffs to collect. I  called the council to explain my circumstances and they agreed to take  the debt back from the bailiffs. I then called the bailiff firm to  advise them that I had spoken to the council and an agreement had been  made with the council and they would be contacting them to take the debt  back. The bailiff told me that it didn't matter as the debt was with them now and that they would be around at 5:30pm to remove goods on the  first visit. I called the council back and they advised the bailiffs  could not do this. My partner called the bailiffs back and they told her  they could not discuss this with her and hung up. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Erith and Thamesmead

Bailiffs are collecting my Council Tax arrears. The bailiff has refused  my offer of £100 per month, which is all I can afford and is insisting  on £515 per month or he will get a warrant for my arrest and send me to  prison. I am a single mum. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hornchurch and Upminster

I had a train fine for 2009. This had been passed over to enforcement  agents and the enforcement agents came to my mother's property to try  and recover the debt. I had moved house and my mother explained that I  had moved out. The enforcement agent was shouting through the letter box  calling her a liar and telling her to let them in. I set up an  arrangement that I couldn't really afford to pay of £100 per month. I  paid the first 3 months but couldn't afford to pay the last 2 months due  to financial hardship. The enforcement agents said that they were going  to come and empty my mother's house and take goods. 

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Camberwell and Peckham

I have business rates arrears that are being dealt with by enforcement  agents. I made an agreement with the enforcement agents to pay the debt  over 12 months. I later spoke to the council and mentioned this  agreement. The council told me the enforcement agent shouldn't have  agreed this. The enforcement agent then visited my house and made a  Controlled Goods Agreement. I feel as though I have been forced to agree  to pay £525 a month when my debt adviser has told me that I can only  afford to repay £275 a month. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Morecambe and Lunesdale

My Council Tax arrears were passed on to bailiffs. I let the bailiff in.  An agreement for payment was made but the bailiff did not produce an  inventory list. He just told me that everything in the house was under  his control.

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hereford and Herefordshire South

I had a Transport For London Congestion Charge which was passed to  Enforcement Agents. I am currently suffering from post-natal depression  and have two young children. I am currently repaying debts and my debt  adviser has told me that after paying for essentials I can afford £50  per month in repayments. This is what I offered to the Enforcement Agent  to clear the debt. However, they will not allow me to make any payments  towards the debt unless I commit to paying two instalments of £139  (total outstanding £278). I haven't been able to get through to the  Traffic Enforcement Office and Transport for London will not discuss  anything with me.

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Somerset North East

An enforcement agent has told me that he will take my vehicle despite evidence presented to him of it being on HP.

Southampton Test

I am a support worker and bailiffs have been continuously pursuing a  council tax debt from someone I provide support for. They only have ESA  benefit payments as income. It got to the point where I was about to  call the police. We have now complained to the council about the  bailiffs' behaviour which was the only thing that got them to stop  calling at the house.

As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Swindon North

I had a parking fine enforced by bailiffs for £600.00. The first agreed  payment was £425.50 and the remaining balance of £175.00 was to be paid  on the 11th November. I paid first payment over phone. When I received  the receipt the payment taken was £425.00. I have been receiving at  least 3 phone calls a day from bailiff firm chasing the 50p payment.I  have told them that I do not have it in the bank but they can come to my  house and collect the money or add it on the next payment. I am still  receiving calls from them and feel as though I am being harassed. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Sevenoaks

Bailiff threatening to kick the doors in and smash the windows! He has  also threatened to take client's sister's car when she was visiting!

Bury South

I had the bailiffs knock loads of time I refused to open the door but  they waited for me one day wen I was out and as I opened the front door  they were there and put there foot in the doorway so I let them in the  end as I was agitated and anxious through my mental health. They went  round my house taking notes and writing stuff down it was horrible I had  a panic attack afterwards when they had gone I had to pay a large sum  of money each week and only half of it went on debt the rest was on  their fees

Wallasey

I'm a single parent with a 14 yr old daughter. She is on the Autistic  Spectrum & I have to walk with a stick due to a stroke I suffered. I  have depression and on medication for it. A youngish man knocked on my  door one day and ask could he have a quick word. He knew my name and  addressed me by it when I leaned out the window when he knocked the  door. I answered the door where at that point he told me he was a high  court bailiff, stuck his foot in the door, grabbed my keys off the key  hanger inside the door and forced passed me knocking me out the way. He  was there to collect council tax! I had to phone my neighbor from  work.He was in my house for over an hour, told me to phone everyone in  my phone and get money off each one of them if nesssary to pay the debt.  I told my daughter to go into her bedroom as she was shaking with  fright and crying.He walked around my house & into my daughters  bedroom while she was in there.Shes 14 yrs old!

Devon North

Bailiff visited client for council tax debt and client explained they  were a single parent in receipt of benefits; bailiff still demanded  payment and client paid £100 as fearful, with a further deadline set for  full balance. Discussion with Leeds council tax recovery office  identified that the bailiff should have passed back the debt on  receiving the information the client is on benefits.

Leeds East

Citizens Advice Money Adviser. A client told me that a bailiff and three  other men (unidentified) had called for her partner's debt while she  was alone in the house with a sick three-year old child. Two of them  arrived at the front door at the same time as another two arrived at the  back door and they banged on the doors, kicked the doors, and shouted  at her from both sides of the house at the same time, The child started  screaming and the client fled upstairs with him in terror. The client  then talked to the bailiff through the upstairs window but he demanded  she come downstairs and let them in or they would return with a  locksmith. The client sensibly refused. The bailiff later contacted the  debtor by phone and said that if he did not pay they'd be back to see  his girlfriend.

Leicestershire North West

I had a very negative experience when visited on Wednesday 29 November  2017. I was awaiting a package so when someone knocked on my door I  opened it. The agent immediately put his foot over my threshold and  refused point blank to remove it saying he had every right to put his  foot over my threshold. Having had a CT scan the previous evening I was  dehydrated and disorientated and as a 63 year old single woman felt very  vulnerable. I am now investigating how to complain about this officer  and his company.

Westminster North

Bailiff firm repeatedly trying to enforce CCA regulated agreement, did not respond to a complaint.

Solihull

I had a bailiff visit on 13th November, 2017. He was extremely  intimidating and rude. The total debt was £2276 I offered £2000 that day  and the remaining money the following day. This was refused. I  explained I was a vulnerable person due to a heart condition, ongoing  anxiety, stress and depression, my step mother had recently passed away  and I was an unemployed single parent. His response was he did not care.  He listed items such as fridge/freezer and things in my son's room. He  seized a vehicle that was not mine. This was proven to not be mine at  the time and since they took it but they have refused to communicate.  The situation actually caused me to be hospitalised due to heart  condition and I lost chunks of hair. The owner is still fighting to get  the vehicle back.

Wycombe

As told to a Citizens Advice adviser. Client has a debt being collected  via bailiffs - he has no fixed abode but has used his mothers and  girlfriends mothers address for correspondence only in the past. The  bailiffs have tried both addresses demanding payment of a parking fine  debt amounting to £158, despite having been fully informed that the  client is currently serving a prison sentence and not due to be released  until mid December 2017. Despite re-iterating this and advising bailiff  that debtor does not live at either address, they continued to press  for repayment. Lastly they advised clients mother that if she did not  pay the amount of £158 in full then they would attend the prison with  the police on the day of her sons release and have him re-arrested for  non-payment of the debt! As a result, clients mother was scared into  paying this amount! Client has been advised to start the complaints  process with the enforcement agency and escalate to the certificating  court if necessary, pending outcome of initial complaint.

Isle of Wight

Very Stressful, frightening and hiding in my own home, I didn't even answer  the door. Received theirs letter were bad enough, set me back from all  the progress with my therapist. It made me much more retrieve and  isolated even more, every knock on the door and every time the phone  ring.

Cotswold

Bailiff's are stating that they can take control of cars on Hire  Purchase. They appear to be referring to the case of Reiss Vs. LB  Barnet, Barnet County Court, April 2015. The judge in this case stated  that “Debtors have an ‘interest’ in hire-purchase goods and may be  clamped.” This is contrary to the majority of legal opinion and past  caselaw. Despite this it is very difficult to argue this with a bailiff  as they hold all the cards.

Coventry South

Despite trying to negotiate repayment agreements at an affordable rate  the bailiff continues to state that he wants 50% of the council tax debt  upfront. If this were possible the debt wouldn't exist in the first  place! The majority of this debt accrued through a failure in the  benefits system, during a transition to work. This person is not a 'wont  pay', but a 'cant pay' the bailiff is just unrealistic!

Nottingham South

Bailiff visited and left a Removal Notice saying I had to pay over £1000  immediately. I telephoned him the next morning and he said I had until  4.00 pm that day to pay the full amount, or he would come and take my  belongings. I explained I only had £1 in my bank account for the next 4  days, but he told me I had to borrow the money from somewhere, and I  should speak to friends and neighbours. When I took debt advice we  discovered the warrant had been withdrawn and the bailiff should not  even have been collecting the debt. As reported to a Citizens Advice  Debt Adviser

Leeds Central

Posted by Citizens Advice administrator: Client owed £673 Council Tax  arrears to Isle of Wight Council. The arrears were assigned to a bailiff  firm to collect collect. No evidence of a notice of intended visit.  Bailiff arrived at property, announced that he is here to collect  Council Tax arrears and demanded full payment. Client had no money, he  told her she should phone friends and family and borrow it. He then  stepped past her without invitation and listed her goods. He was at the  property for 1.5 hours during which she phoned everyone she could think  of. Finally a friend agreed to lend her £500 and the bailiff took  payment over the phone. He then left, saying he would be back for the  balance at 0900 Friday.

Isle of Wight

When I have a licensed debt advisor bailiffs still will NOT accept  Standard Financial Statement (SFS), need 3 months bank statement proof  of benefits do not listen to health problems Either pay up, borrow from friends or we add a larger charge.

Bromley and Chislehurst

I had a bailiff collecting on behalf of Sandwell Council as I have  fallen into arrears, he first wanted a sum of money upfront which was  500 I told him I couldn’t do it he said that’s the only way. I then got  advice which was to not let him in and don’t correspond by phone. One  day I was walking back from picking my three children up from school and  he text me a sinister message about where I was walking and what I was  wearing. He then told me he was going to get the police to arrest my  partner. I am pregnant and he scared me so much I didn’t want to return  home.

West Bromwich East

Visited by bailiffs 4 months ago regarding a fine for crossing Dartford  tunnel, bridge and forgetting to pay tariff which came to £5.00- I was  sent one reminder 3 weeks before bailiff arrived, payment requested was  for about 200 pounds , when bailiff arrived he clamped my car on drive  and would not release it untill i paid £860.00 , which i had no  alternative but to pay as i am a carer in the community and need my  vehicle to visit the elderly. As i told the bailiff this is leagalised  robbery.

Thanet North

A bailiff called and told me I had 30 minutes to pay them in full, or  they would take my possessions. They said they would get a locksmith to  force entry. They were rude and aggressive and left me feeling upset and  uncomfortable.

Haltemprice and Howden

I am a single parent with a disabled child. An adviser at an advice  centre made an offer of payment to Council Tax / Bailiff but got no  reply. The bailiff contacted me and told me he would have me arrested.

Hull North

I did not receive any letter before a council tax bailiff visited. He  told me he wanted money and I had to pay in full. I do not speak much  English and I started to cry. He threatened to have me arrested and told  me that he would come back with the police. He wanted me to get money  from friends and family to pay.

Hull North

A bailiff rang me about a council tax debt. He asked me what I was going  to do about the debt. He was aware I have a heart condition as he  mentioned it (at the time I was waiting for a triple bypass operation). I  explained I couldn't work until I had my bypass op and could not pay as  I was on disability benefit only. He said this was not satisfactory and  that he would apply for a warrant for my arrest.

Hull North

I received bailiff letters at my address for a family member who has not  lived with me for 3 years. I rang the bailiff to tell them this and  they said they would remove property from my home to pay their debt.

Hull East

I am blind and have a guide dog. There was a knock at the door and  someone said they were a bailiff. They were very loud and so I let him  in as I did not want the neighbours to hear. I did not know about the  debt and I told the bailiff I was scared and frightened. The bailiff  told me that he was going to come back with the police and a van. I  began to cry and rang my daughter. The bailiff snatched the phone off me  whilst I was talking. I was confused, frightened and upset. The bailiff  told me I had 24 hours to get the money. I was terrified in my own home  and very anxious the next night when I thought he was coming back (he  didn't).

Hull West and Hessle

Council Tax debt. I called the bailiff to pay and he was aggressive. He  told me I would go to prison if I did not pay in full. I asked my Mum if  she would look after my child if I went to prison. She paid the bailiff  £100 for me. I rang the next week to pay again, but the bailiff firm  told me it wouldn't make a difference and I would still go to prison. I  am single, self employed and have fibromyalgia. My illness has got worse  because stress causes a flare up of pain.

Hull East

A High Court Enforcement Officer came to my property and I refused to  let him in. He told lies about his powers, saying he would be bringing  the police and a locksmith even though he was only enforcing a County  Court debt that has been passed up to the High Court and no such power  exists. He was trying to use the level of the Court to intimidate me  into thinking he had more powers than he did.

Warrington North

Due to multiple debts, my home was visited by three different firms of  bailiffs/HCEOs. They all use threats and intimidation to extract  unaffordable repayments and pay no regard whatsoever to how payments to  them will impact on other debt repayments or my family's ability to  live. We sought help from Citizens Advice who have been marvellous. They  immediately negotiated a "hold" on further visits while they  investigated our circumstances and helped us decide on the best strategy  to deal with our debts. We now feel able to make a fresh start with our  finances without this terrible threat hanging over us.

Cambridgeshire South East

Shared via Citizens Advice adviser - client visited by bailiff - no  entry to personal property gained - bailiff insisted that he could seize  clients vehicle - although this was a company vehicle owned by his  employer and not client. Client explained that he was not the registered  owner/keeper/insurance holder for vehicle. Client's employer contacted  the bailiff to confirm his ownership. However, bailiff continued to  state he could seize the vehicle unless the debt was repaid in full.  Clients employer, unsure of his rights and not wanting his vehicle  removed, unaware that this action could not take place, paid the bailiff  in full, leaving our client now with a debt owing to his employer and  embarrassed that his employer was made aware of his debt situation.

Isle of Wight

Bailiffs clamped a car not belonging to the debtor. DVLA registration  was not seen as proof of ownership and the person involved didn't have  original purchase information. The person was about to start a new job  and needed the vehicle to get to their place of work in a few days time.

Swansea West

Our experience was very frightening. We would advise anybody in this  situation to NOT let bailiffs in but to politely ask for their contact  details, why they are there and ask them to leave, saying you will seek  advice. We didn't know this and panicked. We were worried the bailiffs  would call on our son's estranged wife where his children also live. We  ended up paying a lot of money to stop the worry. There are 'Bailiff  Advice' people on the internet but their advice isn't always sound. Debt  charities are extremely helpful and take the worries away.

Somerset North East

My boyfriend at time had mental health issues. He had ignored a parking  fine and it increased and finally the bailiff knocked on our door. He  was big and intimidating. He didn't tell us who he was at first, but  asked for my boyfriend by name. He had a camera around his neck. He  asked for a large sum of money and got irate when we refused to answer  questions. He seemed to be using tricks to keep us at the door, and stop  us shutting the door on him. We said we would talk to the council  directly and he said it was too late for that. Finally we shut the door  on him. I called the council an told them of my boyfriend's mental  health issues and suicidal ideation. They were shockingly indifferent.  They said they couldn't do anything and why should my boyfriend get any  special treatment? Finally I wrote a letter to a councilor and a long  complaint letter to the council parking fine body. They backed down and  asked for the original fine amount (it had multiplied several times). I  was Able to advocate for him. Others may not be so lucky.

Kingston and Surbiton

This year a bailiff firm wrote to my son at my address for repayment of a  fine he'd incurred at Magistrates Court (my son doesn't live with me).  He knew nothing about the court hearing or fine. We contacted the firm  who insisted on payment or they would send a bailiff. I paid one payment  and set up a payment plan for the rest while we investigated why he'd  been fined. 3 weeks later a bailiff from another company came to my home  demanding full payment. I explained there was a payment plan in place.  He wouldn't accept that. I had to pay the balance or he would return  with the police. I complained to the first firm. They wrote and  apologised and refunded their fees, error by their operator. I'm still  furious about it. Bailiff also didn't turn his video on until half way  through interview. (There was no nastiness in his visit). The first  bailiff firm didn't explain about Statutory Declarations either, which  we've since found out about and had granted. They say they don't give  legal advice when I complained about this.

Wentworth and Dearne

I had visits from bailiff re council tax as I was late paying 3 times  the council took me to court. I was consistently 2 weeks late as I'm on  benefits. Bailiffs ignored my letters as I didn't put a reference number  so they sent bailiffs who added £400 to my £100 bill by letters and  visits, when I was in they were aggressive without being threatening.  Telling me I had no choice but to pay the total immediately. Years later  I'm still paying now multiple ctax and fees as I couldn't pay bailiffs  and the tax I owe 3k on probably £800 in ctax and still get visits even  though I've got a payment plan. I feel bullyed

St Ives

I had been working as a self employed teacher so work was quite patchy  as I preferred to stay with the one college I was with. I become  anxious, when the work dried up and I struggled. I used all my savings  up trying to stay afloat. I ended up on Universal Credit. I asked on the  very first day about claiming for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit,  & was told by DWP it would all be sorted once my claim was sorted  out but it could take up to 8 weeks. I was worried and went to the local  council only to be told that I needed to book an appointment online - and that  was the only way I’d be able to see anyone at the council tax offices.  The bailiff came. I sat shaking, listening to him banging on the door.   I felt hounded. I was petrified. It caused me to have a breakdown. I  couldn’t cope but luckily got help from a bailiff friend. He told me  what to say/do. But I had to fight the council to take back the debt to  stop them visiting again. I never open my door now.

Harrow East

A client presented at drop-in with issues relating to the enforcement of  a Magistrates' Court Fine. He had missed two payments of £5 due to  benefit problems, and the debt has been passed to enforcement agents. I  made a telephone call to the bailiff but his phone was off. I then  telephoned the company themselves and had a strange phone call with the  man there trying to lecture me on the benefit system. He would not  accept that a joint ESA claim existed. I could not progress past this  point, he told me I was withholding information. I explained that I was  not ignorant of the benefit system, and it was not a material fact - he  can still talk to me about the debt. But he was continually rude and  would not progress the call. When knowledgable and experienced advisers  can't even get the most basic information, something is broken. I did  speak to the bailiff directly - and while he was not brilliant, he would  atleast talk to me. Submitted by a Citizens Advice debt adviser

Sheffield Central

An enforcement agent firm have been in contact with me with regards to  council tax arrears. The enforcement agency requested a payment of £32  per week. I have been making payments of £35 per week in response. The  agency have applied additional charges to the debt since this  arrangement began. I questioned this and have been informed that the  charges are due to my failure to agree to the proposed repayment  arrangement in writing. I feel this is unjust as the repayments made  have been met, and in fact been above, the amount that was originally  requested. As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Derbyshire Mid

I have had my council tax debt passed to enforcement agents. The  enforcement agents haven't attended my property but have still added on  the fees for a first initial visit to the debt anyway (which has been  verbally confirmed to me). I have not received any sort of documentation  for an initial visit. As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Putney

The bailiff collecting Council Tax arrears used locksmiths to enter my  home twice and added £280 costs to my debt. I had never let them in and  no walking possession had taken place. They also sent me letters to say  they would apply to court for my committal to prison for 3 months if the  debt was not paid. As told to a  StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Bosworth

A bailiff visited my house for the second time and has broken the PVC  front door by banging on it with excessive force. The door has cracked  and come away from the brick frame. I had made a previous complaint to  his firm regarding this specific bailiff but this has not been  acknowledged by the company. I have health issues which the bailiff firm  have been made aware of. As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Eastbourne

I was visited by a bailiff regarding council tax arrears from last year.  He had gained access to my building by pressing my neighbour's buzzer  and not through my property. I invited the bailiff in to show him that I  had no goods that he would be able to take and I showed him my bank  statement on my phone to show that I had no money in my account. The  bailiff took the phone out of my hand but I have got it back now. I  found the bailiff to be aggressive and unhelpful. I have a meeting with  his firm tomorrow. As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Gravesham

I had 2 Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) (£450.00 each) which had been  passed to bailiffs. They clamped my Hire Purcahse car. I agreed to pay  £100.00 a month towards the debts and was sent a text message confirming  the payment arrangement had been made. The following day I had a phone  call from the bailiffs advising that the payment arrangement didn't  stand and I still had to pay the amounts in full. They would not advise  me on the full amounts I owed with their fees added on. I was upset and  made a complaint but have not had any acknowledgement of this. As told  to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Islington North

The bailiff was intimidating & bullying; he appeared more interested  in what was in the knicker drawer than identifying goods of value. He  suggested I was sub letting, implied that he would take my bed, washing  machine & settee if I didn't pay the full £720 immediately. I felt  bullied into phoning hmy mum to ask for money. My mum is now worried  that the bailiff has her number as he insisted I used his phone to  contact her, as I had no credit on my phone. He also tried to get me to  phone my 90 year old grandad. He scared me to death & I've found it  difficult to stop crying since.

Thanet North

I had a call with a bailiff for a Council Tax debt. I told the bailiff I  suffer from depression/anxiety. He responded "Don't we all? I'm  depressed sweetheart". His reply made me feel awful. I could not believe  he was dismissing me in this way. He also said "I can enter your  property without you being there". When I challenged him about this, he said  he had not said he would break in. Further, he said he could attend my  home at 7am and would be harassing me. I felt threatened and helpless.  As told to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hazel Grove

I had an enforcement agent collecting on a CCJ of £5000 that was taken  by a private individual against me. The enforcement agent was in the  house and saw I had no goods worth taking control of. He then went on to  state that if I didn't get some money together and a payment in place  he would call the TV crew for "Cant pay we'll take it away" to come down  and film my sofa, TV and other goods being removed from my property. I  felt very threatened by this enforcement agent. As told to a StepChange  Debt Charity adviser

Arfon

Agent called to my property at 8pm, he was wearing a bulletproof vest  and I thought it was the police at first, he told me I have to let him  in or he would force entry to my property. He demanded the full sum and  wouldn't leave unless this was paid in full. He told me either full  payment or goods, I said that I have sought advice and going through a  Debt Relief Order (DRO) but he wouldn't acknowledge this and told me I  had been wrongly advised. He then started taking a list of goods and  said he would leave me with only a bed and a fridge freezer. I felt so  intimidated in the end that I called a friend who paid the balance in  full for me.

Rhondda

Bailiff called at the door and demanded immediate payment of the debt in  full. When I told him I couldn't pay it, he said he was off to fetch  the police and would come back with them and with a van and take my  things away. He had not been in the house and had not listed anything.  He also said he would take my motability car. I told him he was not  allowed to, but he ignored that.

Weston-Super-Mare

Rented a house for my family from end 2014. Previous tenants were  sharers (and described as neighbours from hell by those in the street).  They had loads of unpaid debts / unpaid parking fines / etc. For the  next yer and a half, despite returning all mail received for them and  marking it 'Not known at this Address. Return to Sender', we started  getting vistis from Bailiffs. Typical scenario would first be a hand  delivered letter through the door from the bailiff stating that he had  rung the doorbell, but it went unanswered. This was completely  fabricated, as there was always someone in, and the bailiffs never tried  to talk to us on that first occasion. Then, the next morning at 6 am,  our family was woken by the bailiff ringing the doorbell. The bailiff  informed us that he was fully entitled to disturb us from 6 am onwards.  Of course, each time we would have to identify ourselves to the bailiff  and explain that the person he was seeking had not lived at this address  for months. Allowing bailiffs to harass families by allowing them to  ring on the doorbell at 6 am is unnacaptable and pure harassment.

Finchley and Golders Green

The Local Authority (LA) is very aggressive in its use of Enforcement  Agents. Times are hard and the LA has a deficit budget and needs every  penny it's entitled to claim. Fair enough!  A  change in legislation is required to ensure clarity. The Law and the  Regulations don't harmonise, cause confusion and lead to aggressive  recovery tactics. People trust authority figures and tend to let  bailiffs in. At this point the game is over. There have been 6 hour  visits, the use of finding cannabis to ensure payment, unreasonable  payment demands and levying on Hire Purchase vehicles. Deductions from  benefit are often more appropriate than enforcement agents. I can  understand some of the issues faced by non-payment of council tax but in  many instances arrears are caused by genuine hardship. There are some  shady practices used by Enforcement Agents but the Law allows them to  persist. There are numerous clients who would willingly share stories of  how this process was conducted and how it made them feel violated.  Story shared by local adviser

Staffordshire Moorlands

Client's feeling under pressure by bailiffs to make offers of single  down payment and monthly payments that are simply unreasonable and  unsustainable. Then when client defaults on unrealistic payments a fee  of £594 is added to the already mounting debt.

Client experience shared with an adviser from Citizens Advice Southampton

Southampton Test

Our council sends all council tax arrears cases straight to bailiffs  even when they know that client is on a means tested benefit. This has  become a big issue since clients stopped getting full Council Tax  Benefit. As a result these clients end up paying bailiff fees which  often means their debt more then doubles. This results in inability to  pay the following years council tax and so this starts all over again. It is like a penalty for being poor. Should be mandatory for councils to  go for a deduction from benefit instead.

Comment submitted by local adviser

Burton

High Court Enforcement Bailiffs said they could break into the clients  home after gaining access but not completing a control goods agreement.  Charging VAT on the compliance stage fee with an Enforcement stage fee  of £822.00 on a debt of £775.55. This client we would consider  vulnerable due to her age and in receipt of benefits including PIP

Liverpool Walton

Visited by bailiffs regarding debts owed by my son. Son has not lived  with us for well over a year but still has some post sent to us (we are  now returning this on advice of Citizens Advice). Bailiffs know his new  address (we don't) but insist because he has a financial footprint at  our house they can take what they like unless we can prove ownership.  Wife is incredibly upset and we are both terrified. They have been in  the house first thing in the morning when we weren't dressed, spoken to  son on phone who was in his own house and clearly not living there. Been  verbally abusive towards us. We have a mobile number for the bailiff  but not been able to get hold of him or find out what company he works  for. We have paid them some of what my son owes just to buy us some time  to get more help from advice agency.

Romsey and Southampton North

My client has a Council Tax debt which she is willing to pay but not  able because DWP have suspended her ESA for 6 months longer than they  should have done. The Council put the debt on hold, but the hold expired  on Sunday night, and at 6.45am on Monday a bailiff put a note through  her door demanding payment in full. She phoned up and was told,  illegally, that they had booked a van to come and seize her possessions  at 7pm that day and she was so afraid she paid the debt, spending £700  of the last £1200 she had left to live on, as she has no benefits or  other income due to DWP delays.

Weston-Super-Mare

CAB adviser with disabled client, non English speaking, bailiff aware of  negative disposable income from previous contact, arrangement put in  place that client misunderstood so he was underpaying but making regular  payments. Bailiffs contacted client and asked for payment in full as he  had not adhered to offer of £5 pw, he was paying £5 every 2 weeks. He  was unable to afford this so came to CAB for further assistance. Contact  made with bailiff who advised client had been 'aggressive' on phone so  as a result he was refusing to accept the payment offer and 'will return  with the Police to remove his goods'. Bailiff advised he would have  agreed a payment if client conduct had been better. Client denies being  aggressive and stated they refused to allow him to speak so he became  stressed. Situation resolved by contacting local authority as they were  collecting council tax arrears. Payment plan reinstated and client  advised of correct amount to repay.

Newport West

Bailiff following up court fine for TV licence where client had moved  and never seen papers. Rang court and arranged appointment to do  statutory declaration to restart the court process. Court can't stop  bailiff action - send us to bailiff- bailiff says only can stop action  on instructions from court - go round in circles and still in fear of  bailiff visits and additional costs.  Having great difficulty sorting  out by phone.

Havant

Strangely this is quite a positive experience - but made me aware of how  little I knew about bailiff law and how confusing it is. A bailiff came  round to my flat and I let him in. He then told me that I needn't have  done that and that other bailiffs probably wouldn't tell me that. He was  very nice about the problem and agreed something I could afford but he  did say that I was lucky to have been assigned him, who would tell me my  rights.

Holborn and St Pancras

I work at a Local Citizens Advice. The Local Authority is aggressive in  it council tax recovery. The recent Welfare Changes have dragged many  vulnerable customers into the recovery process. The problem I have is  the conflict between the Law and the Regulations. Enforcement Agents who  gain peaceful entry threaten to empty the property if the balance isn't  paid in full. A Bailiff can lawfully empty the property but the  Regulations should mitigate their conduct. One Bailiff, remained in a  Customer's house for 6 hours until payment was sourced through relatives  and business client. This caused significant embarrassment and distress  and could have lost a client for the Customer. They were losing their  home after a Part 8 claim. There needs to be new primary legislation.

Stoke-on-Trent North

Enforcement officer said they would break down the door and take parents goods when I was living at their house.

Gravesham

Enforcement agent attended the property, very aggressive and demanding.  Explained that I couldn't pay their demanding sums living off £73.10 per  week. Agent clamped my vehicle, worth around 10% of the debt and said  they would remove it. They returned 2 days later and stated that the  clamp had been removed by someone other than them and added further  fees. They went on to remove the car and added even further fees making  the debt value a massive amount higher than it was originally. This  caused severe stress.

Ogmore

Magistrates court fine for speeding. The bailiffs pushed a Notice of  Intention to collect paper through my door . It was dated 2019! It  implied they would break in to seize property in my house. When I phoned  them they said they could take my partners car even though it was  solely owned by her and that they would be coming to break in. They  refused to negotiate a repayment plan with me even though I was prepared  to pay my debt off. They said if I didn't pay it all they would come  and take my things. It left me feeling very angry and aggressive towards them and I am  fearful I will do something I will later regret if they don't adopt a  more helpful approach and attitude.

Nottingham East

Summer of 2017. (Speaking for my mother who does not speak English) Two  bailiffs knocked on my door at 7:30. My yongest opens the door. They  walk into my house. One heads straight into the living room the other  walks into a bedroom. My teenage daughter is asleep. He starts going  through my girls wardrobe. I did not know in which direction to run.  Then one of my kids ask what are you doing. They say my elder son's name  (who does not live with us) and say he owes £300 and his is in debt  because he committed a crime. I could not explain that the court had  over ruled it a month ago and brought it down to the original amount,  which my husband paid off. I panicked and phoned my eldest child and  gave the phone to one of the bailiffs guys. My daughter asked for  paperwork and informed him that we did not get any notice. He said to  her, your brother is a criminal and handed the phone back. He then  rounded up my grandchildren's new bikes which was bought by my son in  law via delivery.

Poplar and Limehouse

I was erroneously evicted from a property mortgaged when the DSS failed  to make payment when not working. A baliff turned up out of the blue,  rude, shouting, saying she had posted notice [a buff envelope not  specifically addressed to me & alongside elections] and I had to get  out. She had an estate agent & locksmith with her. Even though I  rang Citizens Advice I did not know what to do. The police were called  & discussed things. The baliff would not accept an offer via the  police to pay outstanding arrears [mum] & I had 30 mins to get me,  the dogs, confidential work stuff out of the house. She continued to  taunt me throughout- yes neighbours loved it! & even attempted to  pet my dogs. She jeered when she entered my house. The eviction was  wrong & 6mths later I went home, having had to pay £6 - 8 K in fees.  What was worse was that in that time they switched the fish tanks off  [no access] emptied out my freezers, and some damage was done to the  house. I felt violated, not safe & unable to stay, and sold what had  been home at a loss.

Portsmouth South

They showed up at 6am, banged so hard on the door everything rattled,  insulted me, swore at me, told me I should be fired from my job. I had  some things that belonged to a friend who had just moved out: such as  handbags and makeup (I am male, my friend was female) I explained this  to the bailiff who then said "you look like the kind of guy who uses  them on the weekend." implying that I dress in drag, then they left  because I had nothing of value. I am now debt free thanks to Citizens  Advice.

Colchester

Bailiff attended property where debtor used to live. Didn't get response  so knocked next door & was told they no longer lived there but a  family member lived further down the round. Bailiff has gone to this  property, gained entry & started to remove goods despite being told  the debtor didn't live there or own any goods there & were provided  proof of this & made aware where the debtor was currently living.  Bailiff ignored all of this, stated that they were on TV Show & that  it was lucky the TV crew weren't there to cause further embarrassment.  There were vulnerabilities/disabilities in the property, this wasn't  taken into consideration & those in the house were forced to pay the  debt to prevent goods being taken. This has left a disabled man &  his carer with no funds left to pay on going living expenses for the  month as well as putting them into debt as used credit as well as funds  in bank account.

Dudley North

"today ur enforcement agent came to reposes goods as I had outstanding  balance of £xxx. I could not pay whole balance off but paid 500 and I  will pay 100 every month until my dept is clear. I hope this is ok and  would like to say ur agent was outstanding. I have a stammer and  fibromaialger and the firm kindness he showed me made me believe once  again in treat people how u want to be treat. thank you and kind  regards." Shared by a debtor being enforced against by [name anonymised] bailiff  firm

Durham North

Intimidated into signing control notice and handing over cash whilst  cooking and serving customers, being charged VAT on fees, and refusing  to answer clarification questions from the tenant, which then resulted  in  being asked to stop asking questions via emails

Chorley

Had High Court bailiffs visit. They have charged VAT on the fees. Sought  advice from my landlords money advice team (I rent from local  authority) and they challenged this citing the HMRC guidance but the  response from the bailiff firm was that they could charge the  VAT to me because I was their customer and they were providing me with a  service. It seems that the debt advice sector and HMRC take the view  that the creditor is the bailiffs firms customer and so VAT should be  charged to them and not me. However bailiff firms see differently. As  there is only HMRC guidance and no actual legislation in place to  clarify the position on VAT and bailiff fees, I feel this needs to be  addressed as I am only making small weekly payments of £5.50 toward my  debt and having to pay VAT on top of fees is not an incentive for me to  address the debt - some times I think I would have been best off waiting  12 months for the debt to be returned to the creditor and avoid the  bailiffs - I am now saving for a DRO

Havant

A High Court enforcement officer attended to recover debt 'owed' to a  PPI reclaim firm. The fees are completely arbitrary and in no way can  you see how they have even made an attempt to abide by the regulations.  To make things worse when a complaint was lodged, the response may as  well have said ‘tough’! They know full well that there is no real  recourse to complain. Very few members of the general public will apply,  or even know how to apply for a fees assessment – and could they risk  the chance of costs being awarded against them! The enforcement officer  who attended in this case also told our client that he could force  entry. Which of course he cannot.

Leicester West

Dealt with a Bailiff acting on a Council Tax Debt. When the Bailiff  attended the property they lied in order to gain entry by stating that  they were 'from a charity'. The Bailiff advised that they were attending  in order to assist in the process of setting up payment arrangement to  clear off the debts.

Leicester East

I have been contacted by enforcement agents about a debt. The  enforcement agents were asking for regular repayments which I can not afford. The enforcement company says "it wasn't their problem that I  couldn't afford the payments and that I need to pay it". They say they  cannot lower the repayment amounts. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Milton Keynes South

I have a Magistrates Fine with a bailiff firm for speeding & no  insurance currently at over £600. The bailiffs misled me over the phone  & by letter-headed paperwork. They told me that they were High Court  Enforcement Officers authorised to collect the fine. On questioning  them it became apparent that they were simply acting as ordinary private  bailiffs on behalf of the Magistrates Court & NOT the High Court.  Although this remains a serious matter & the fine a priority, it is  NOT with the High Court as originally intimated by the bailiffs by letter & post. This clearly affected the advice I received as the process is different for private bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Burnley

The bailiff has been contacting me and being rude to me and asking for  me to borrow money from friends etc to pay the money I owe. He laughed  at me when I said I'd raise a complaint and refused to give me his name.  

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Cannock Chase

The bailiff collecting the council tax I owed wrote a Controlled Goods  Agreement, and included items such as a kettle, toaster and other items  which should be exempt. I managed to get the bailiff to agree to hold off for a  month while I went and got advice. The advice organisation managed to  extend this period for another month, but after this the bailiff got back in touch with me and asked me if I had the goods to settle the  debt or the money to pay. When I told them the goods were not worth  enough to cover the debt and were actually exempt, and that I did not  have any money to pay, the bailiff told me they would be coming back to arrest me. I have been very worried. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Salisbury

I am finding it very difficult to contact the bailiff dealing with my  council tax case and often have to contact their office directly to make payments. The bailiff then sends text messages to me saying that  they've being trying to contact me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt  Charity adviser

Bedfordshire Mid

The bailiff collecting my debt is hard talking and will not accept  offers of payments. He has been threatening to clamp my car, which is on a  Hire Purchase agreement until he gets a full payment in one go, but this would mean that I couldn't go to work. The bailiff has also told me  that I am not allowed to make payments online, only in one lump sum to him. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Harborough

I've tried repeatedly to set up an arrangement to pay Council Tax  arrears with the bailiffs - they've refused to respond to my e-mails and  attempts to set up payment. Then they sent an agent to visit my home to  collect the full amount. I am very unhappy that my repeated attempts to  resolve the situation have been dismissed, resulting in escalation and  the full amount being demanded. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Knowsley

I had a council tax debt that was being repaid through deductions from my benefits but this was stopped when I moved house. The debt was then passed on to bailiffs instead. I didn't receive any notification that this had happened. A bailiff arrived at my door at 7am and continually  pressed the doorbell. When I finally responded, the bailiff was rude and  threatening. I didn't let him in and this is the first time a bailiff  has visited my home. However the bailiff claimed that unless I paid £500  within 24 hours, he would come back with the police and remove goods.  

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Rutland and Melton

An enforcement agent visited today when I was out and he put his foot in  the door when my mum opened it. When she stepped back to close another door he put his foot in that door as well, to try and get in. He was rude and abusive to an elderly lady and demanded money from her to repay a  debt that I owe. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Hertsmere

I called the bailiff firm about my debt. They were very condescending to  me and kept using my first name. When I tried to explain my situation  the lady kept saying: "You're not listening to me". I think that they  should provide more help to people like me who have low/zero income and  that the amount I have to pay should be means tested. 

As reported to a  StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Halton

The bailiffs have been given a fine to collect. The fine was for  just under £200. The bailiffs came out to visit my partner's home yesterday and put through the letter box thirty-three identical letters  and added £250 to the fine for each, bringing the balance to over £6000. I  have offered to pay the original fine when I get paid next week and the bailiffs have agreed to this but told me the £6,000 for the letters will remain on the balance. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity  adviser

Epping Forest

My council tax arrears of several thousand pounds have been passed onto  bailiffs. They have a Warrant of Control but have not visited my home  yet. Despite me telling the bailiffs that I suffer from Anxiety &  Depression AND that my very young grandson who lives with me has just  come out of intensive care, and should not be unduly stressed or  disturbed, the bailiffs stated that this was nothing to do with them  & they will attend my property to remove goods. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Barking

I have a magistrates fine which is being collected by a bailiff firm. I  rang them up to arrange a payment for the fine and I just received abuse on the phone, before having the phone put down on me. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Burnley

When I made an arrangement with the bailiff I offered to pay a certain amount per month. After they left  my home the bailiff firm told me the amount the bailiff had noted was  £20.00 per month more, which will cause me a lot of extra hardship to repay.  


As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Crewe and Nantwich

I have a complaint about the general services of a bailiff firm. They  have told me they can break into my home even though they haven't been  in the property previously. I have offered to make a payment arrangement  which was completely refused even though it was more than suggested on my budget. They just have a generally bad attitude about this. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Lichfield

I had a parking fine that was passed to bailiffs. I have been being  treated for cancer and I'm unable to pay more than £1 per month to the  parking fine. I advised the bailiffs of my situation and that I felt  vulnerable due to my illness and living alone. I've got back to them  about all their requests for more information. But I've now been told  that I do not fit their criteria for vulnerability and that they are  going to enforce the debt. I am very unhappy about this and feel upset  and worried about the possibility of a bailiff coming to my property  when I am alone. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Brentford and Isleworth

An enforcement agent visited my home and clamped my partner's vehicle. The enforcement agent is enforcing a debt which is only in my name, not my partner's. After showing the enforcement agent documentary proof of my ownership of the vehicle, the enforcement agent still refused to unclamp  it. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

High Peak

The enforcement agents are collecting an old council tax debt for my  council. I don't have a permanent address at the moment and am staying  with family and and using my elderly parent's home address for post. I  have told the enforcement agents this. I have asked them not to attend my parents home. But this has been ignored. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Sheffield South East

The high court enforcement officers are collecting an outstanding County  Court Judgement for over £2,000. I got an agreement in place to pay £40 a month to them. But they now have a Controlled Goods Agreement which  includes exempt domestic items & items specifically listed in the  regulations that they are NOT allowed to remove including my cooker, fridge, table & chairs and microwave. 

As reported to a StepChange  Debt Charity adviser

Bishop Auckland

The bailiffs collecting for council tax have been making unnecessary  threats to me in terms of forcing their way in and hanging around my home with intimidating behaviour. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Wentworth and Dearne

The bailiffs are collecting a Parking Fine issued by the council of over £100. I want to complain about them as they have clamped a vehicle which is on a Hire Purchase agreement, disregarded the fact that I have health issues including Bi-Polar & that my adult daughter, who lives  with me, also has Mental Health Issues. They have also advised me that unless payment of the Fine is made in full, they will clamp the vehicle again even though they are aware the car is subject of a Hire Purchase agreement. 

As  reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Newcastle upon Tyne Central

I have a high court debt. The officers keep coming to my parents' home despite having been given proof that I no longer live at their property.

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Clacton

I am finding the bailiffs intimidating. I am unable to contact them via  telephone as every time I ring I am put on hold and then they hang up on me. If I contact them via email it can take over a week for them to reply. They have advised me they will not accept the affordable payment per week worked out by StepChange Debt Charity as evidence of my financial situation. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Somerton and Frome

I am very unhappy with the bailiff's language and tone when speaking to  me. They have also not responded to correspondence I have sent. The  bailiff has completely disregarded my difficulty with depression and  commented about my money management when they visited. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Arundel and South Downs

I've not been able to keep up with payments to the bailiffs due to a change in my circumstances. When a bailiff visited, they said they  already had a controlled goods agreement. The bailiff was rude and  threatening and advised me to borrow the money I owed from my friends or family. My mum is on holiday but he asked me to contact my mum anyway. He said  that when I'm at school picking up my child, he'll arrange for a  locksmith and enter my home when I'm not there to take all my goods. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Harborough

A bailiff informs me that I have been given incorrect advice and that when they call back today that they can force entry. This was for  collection of council tax and the bailiff did not have a warrant. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Basingstoke

An enforcement agent visited my home and despite being advised that there was a very vulnerable child inside, was threatening to my partner.  So much so, that the child, who is supposed to be in a safe  environment, went to school in fear. Despite this the enforcement agent  did still threaten forced action, even though we had made a payment offer. The enforcement agent was very threatening in his approach. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Mansfield

I've been trying to make an arrangement to pay my council tax arrears of over £800. The enforcement agent is unwilling to make any  arrangement despite me offering £30 a week, then to clear the whole  amount when I receive my next wages, which would clear it very soon. I  have already made a payment on the enforcement agent firm's website but have been told not to bother paying any more as it was not enough. The enforcement agent has now given me a warning of committal notice, although I had not received a summons. I am incredibly worried and not able to sleep. The enforcement agent told me I  could go to prison and that I was not taking this seriously enough. But I don't have any way to pay immediately. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Stevenage

Regarding bailiffs collecting for council tax arrears - I made an  arrangement with the bailiff for £10 per fortnight, but was still  receiving letters, phone calls and texts from the company asking me to  pay the debt. I called the head office to ask them to stop these  communications as I'd already made an arrangement, but the woman on the  end of the phone was very rude and hung up, after saying she would  continue to send letters and messages until the debt was cleared. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Barking

A bailiff entered my home without permission whilst we were all  upstairs. We discovered him in the house filming goods with his camera. I  am really concerned about my young children and the impact this  incident could have on them. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity  adviser

Morley and Outwood

The bailiff was very rude and verbally aggressive to me. She threatened  to force entry into my home (though no Controlled Goods Agreement had  been made, and no previous access to the property given). I told the  bailiff she wasn't allowed to force entry and was told by the bailiff  that she could do what she wanted. I told the bailiff that she was rude  and upsetting me and the bailiff replied that it was my fault as I  should pay my bills. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Mansfield

I couldn't get through to the enforcement agent who had visited my house  so I called their office. But the person who answered told me she  couldn't answer my questions and hung up on me. When I called the  enforcement agent's mobile again, the agent told me he would enter my  property even if I wasn't home, and said he would bring the police. The  agent wasn't helpful and was quite 'bolshy'. I am really concerned about  the agent visiting because I am currently away from home on a course.  

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Wantage

My previous council tax debt is being dealt with by a bailiff firm. I  have paid them over £20 per week for the last 16 weeks to repay the debt with the intention to settle the debt with a final payment of £80 in the 20th  week. Initially they wanted the debt paid back at a higher single rate over 20 weeks  but I told them I could not afford this, but could pay what we had agreed. The bailiffs have accepted the last 16 payments, but then wrote to me and  told me I was in arrears and sent a bailiff to my home. They added this charge to the debt, so I now owe much more again. I have tried to speak  to them, but they have been unhelpful and hung up on me.

As reported to a  StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Penistone and Stocksbridge

I was very dissatisfied with a High Court Enforcement Officer. He  arrived at my property at the time I was having a telephone debt advice  session. I did not let him in, but he then proceeded to knock on my  neighbours' houses and I then saw him coming out of one of my neighbour's. He also threatened to take my car, even after I  explained that it was on hire purchase. My mother who is disabled lives  on the same street as me and she is unaware of my situation which was a  real concern for me as I didn't want her to find out about my debts  this way. 

As reported to a StepChange Debt Charity adviser

Plymouth Moor View

I have been suffering from mental health issues for most of my life from  childhood right through to now. I have recently fallen behind with my  council tax and have have how ever kept up my payments, however I have  received a call telling me now that my payments up being changed from  twenty pounds to 55 pounds and have to find 200 pounds in five days or  I'm going to loose my belongings. They are fully a where of my mental  health issues and continue to intimidate me despite the fact I now pay  them when I should and haven't missed a payment. This has now made my  mental health deteriorate again when I had been doing so well up to this  point I don't know what more they can take from me as I only have my  life life to take.

Reading West

This is about council tax. I received letter from council saying I owed  £113 for 2016/17 and £107 for court charges, even though I had not  received any court letter. I paid balance of my council tax and the  court charges on 29th March 2017. The council decided to use the £113  for the April council tax which is beginning of April 2017/18 and sent  £107 to the Bailiff who started coming to my house to embarrass me and  saying I owed £310 for their admin charges when it was the council's  fault for not telling them I paid and did not use the money for the  purpose of what I paid it for. I did not receive any letter from the  council to state that I was taken to court and they obtained a judgement  letter without my notice. I was not sent the judgement letter nor did I  receive a letter saying I was being taken to court.

Reading West

This is a parking permit issue. The bailiff came to my house without any  form of identity, I didn't know where they came from or on behalf of  whom they came because they did not show me any ID. After telling them  they can take whatever property it is that will compensate the amount  owed, they wanted to take my family's important documents to which I  disagreed with. They began to assault me and one elbowed me and pinned  me down to a bin. I did not receive a letter before they came nor a  letter to say that I was taken to court or the judgement letter. I  wasn't shown the judgement letter when they came. They took my  children's possessions despite telling the bailiffs that they were using  the laptops for their exams. They took all electronics that could have  been used to record the ill treatment they showed me and I was unable to  contact anybody to let them know what was happening. They took 4  laptops, mobile phones belonging to my children, my IPod, Tablet, IPhone  5 and 6s, desktop computer, 55inch Samsung TV, important family  documents all to compensate for the £512.

Reading West
Swindon North

A bailiff knocked on my door at 6.45 am! I was in bed & asleep at  the time; answered the door in a somewhat sleepy/confused state of mind.  Let him in, as it was cold & windy outside (doing him a favour)  then felt intimidated as I was wearing just a dressing gown &  slippers and he, quite a well-built man 20+ years younger than me,  became rather forceful in his approach. I am in my 60s with depression  & don't need this "dawn raid" approach.

Reading East

Nearly visited by a bailiff after two letters from the repo men, and  many letters from TV licensing after registering as not needing a tv license 8-10 times, The bailiffs refused to listen to me and court  action was going to be taken against me for needing a tv license  something which I didn't need, very unfair treatment. In the end after  going online I had to phone tv licensing twice to stop the bailiffs  coming to see me after tv licensing had sent me several letters of fines  for not registering. They obviously didn't look into the fact that I  wasnt watching tv therefore didn't need one. The bailiffs refused to  listen like everyone else.

Reading West

Bailiff kept shouting at me for no reason while I was holding a young  baby who started crying. Partner speaks little English and bailiff  forced him to sign an agreement which he didn't understand. The Bailiff  listed a huge number of items including items obviously owed by my two  children. The property is part furnished but the bailiff was not  interested and said he will also take the landlords items. He said he  would be back this evening to empty the house. I had an arrangement  which was being regularly paid but then was late with a payment so he  immediately visited. I was very upset and have been shaking all day  after him shouting at me.

Wolverhampton North East
Sutton and Cheam
West Ham
Chippenham
Gillingham and Rainham
Battersea
Clacton
Reading West
Croydon Central
Neath
Mitcham and Morden
Amber Valley
Christchurch
Christchurch
Hereford and Herefordshire South
Basildon South and Thurrock East
Suffolk Coastal
Preseli Pembrokeshire
Broxtowe
Peterborough
Macclesfield
Rossendale and Darwen
Cambridgeshire North West
Portsmouth North
Sittingbourne and Sheppey
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
Torbay
Slough
Wigan
Tamworth
Leeds Central
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Denton and Reddish
Scarborough and Whitby
Birmingham Yardley
Huntingdon
Doncaster North
Dover
Cardiff North
Bradford West
Congleton
Bradford South
High Peak
Tyneside North
Plymouth Moor View
Wigan
Slough
Streatham
Tynemouth
Sussex Mid
Brigg and Goole
Sheffield Heeley
Truro and Falmouth
Lewisham West and Penge
Brent Central
Manchester Central
Surrey South West
Brent Central
Southend West
Leeds East
Boston and Skegness
Suffolk West
Thurrock
Huddersfield
Somerton and Frome
Bedford
Stoke-on-Trent South
Aldershot
Wolverhampton North East
Holborn and St Pancras
Lincoln
Burton
Scunthorpe
Blackley and Broughton
Stone
Dagenham and Rainham
Maldon
Swansea East
Bethnal Green and Bow
Rhondda
Greenwich and Woolwich
Liverpool Wavertree
Manchester Central
Nottingham East
Gower
Streatham
Suffolk Coastal
Worsley and Eccles South
Kensington
Putney
Manchester Gorton
Stratford-on-Avon
Harwich and Essex North
Calder Valley
Colchester
Dagenham and Rainham
Liverpool Wavertree
Louth and Horncastle
Wellingborough
Coventry North West
Slough
Harlow
Leicester South
Bedfordshire Mid
Durham North West
Norfolk North
Warwickshire North
Milton Keynes South
Cornwall South East
Thurrock
Brent Central
Huntingdon
Tamworth
Wigan
The Wrekin
Durham North West
Macclesfield
Broadland
Brentford and Isleworth
Washington and Sunderland West
Birkenhead
Hull East
Stoke-on-Trent Central
Wyre and Preston North
Faversham and Kent Mid
Castle Point
Beckenham
Solihull
Esher and Walton
Hull West and Hessle
Cannock Chase
Ilford North
Dorset Mid and Poole North
Bedfordshire North East
Swindon South
Calder Valley
Dudley South
Bassetlaw

About the Taking Control campaign

Concerns over the impact of the bailiff’s knock at the door have been long raised by debt advice agencies and other charities, based on the experiences shared with us by people in financial difficulty week in, week out.

In recent years, some limited progress has been made in improving bailiff law, resulting in the 2014 bailiff reforms in England and Wales, known as Taking Control of Goods.

However, these reforms have had only limited success – and people contacting debt advice charities continue to report widespread problems with the behaviour of bailiffs and bailiff firms.

Our organisations – AdviceUK, Christians Against Poverty, Citizens Advice, Community Money Advice, Institute of Money Advisers, Money Advice Trust, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, PayPlan, StepChange Debt Charity, The Children’s Society, Toynbee Hall and Z2K – have all seen the impact of continued problems in the bailiff industry on the front line of the services they provide.

Our Taking Control campaign aims to highlight the experiences of our clients with bailiff action in the last four years, with recommendations for further reform.

The Ministry of Justice has now published the one-year review of the reforms but have not yet carried out a promised three-year review.  Following the launch of our campaign, the Ministry of Justice has announced that they will shortly be launching a new call for evidence in a “crackdown on rogue bailiffs.”

It is more important than ever, to tell the Ministry of Justice why we need bailiff reform and the campaign will be responding to the call for evidence.

As part of the campaign, we are inviting people who have been visited by a bailiff since April 2014 to share their experience. The BBC docudrama “Killed by my debt” illustrates the experience of an individual, Jerome Rogers, affected by bailiff action to collect his debts. If you want to support our campaign, after watching Jerome’s story, you can email your local MP and email the Minister for Justice to ask them to act.

Read our March 2017 report, Taking Control: The need for fundamental bailiff reform, or get in touch to find out more.

Read our “One year on” report which highlights the progress our campaign has made so far.

Have you been visited by a bailiff since April 2014?

If so, we would like to invite you to share your experience – anonymously – to help inform policy makers as they consider the case for further reform to bailiff law.

Select your Parliamentary constituency below – or if you don’t know your constituency, entering your postcode below and we will find it for you (please note your postcode will not be stored).

Check

Enter your postcode and click check

200 word limit. Remaining 200.

Click submit to send us your experience, anonymously. Please note there is no way that this message can be replied to.

If you need help with debt or are worried about a bailiff visit, seek free advice from an independent debt charity as soon as possible.

Terms & Conditions

Where to find more information and understand your rights

The law on bailiffs is complicated. For more information about your rights, start with the National Debtline golden rules about bailiff action.

The National Debtline website gives more information to help you understand your rights and how best to deal with bailiff action depending upon the type of debt you have. There are links to fact sheets with advice about different debts and you can also find a fact sheet on how to complain about a private bailiff with sample letters you can use.

You can find a suite of information and advice about bailiffs at Citizens Advice. This explains what a bailiff is and the process they must follow. You'll also find information about how you can prevent or stop bailiff action, what to do if a bailiff is due to visit, what you need to do if you've received a bailiff's notice, and how to complain.

The bailiff help and advice at StepChange includes a video which gives advice on dealing with bailiffs. You will also find information about bailiff rights and powers, fees and costs, what goods can be taken and how to deal with bailiffs.

Remember

If you need help with debt or are worried about a bailiff visit, seek free advice from an independent debt charity as soon as possible.

Are you a debt or money adviser? Can you help our campaign?

The organisations behind the Taking Control campaign – AdviceUK, Christians Against Poverty, Citizens Advice, Community Money Advice, the Institute of Money Advisers, Money Advice Trust, the Money & Mental Health Policy Institute, PayPlan, StepChange Debt Charity, The Children’s Society, Toynbee Hall and Z2K – have all seen the impact of continued problems in the bailiff industry on the people we support.

The Ministry of Justice had committed to a three-year review of the reforms in April 2014 but, so far, nothing has been published. Our Taking Control campaign aims to highlight our clients’ experiences of bailiff action, to support further reform that ensures all bailiffs and bailiff firms follow the best practices. Our recommendations include:

As part of the campaign, we need the help of local advisers who regularly see the impacts of bailiff action on the people they advise. We would like you to:


Let us know how you can help

Please fill out the form below (you can unsubscribe at any time by emailing info@moneyadvicetrust.org).

MoJ CALL FOR EVIDENCE

Response to the Ministry of Justice call for evidence on bailiff reform

As a result of our campaign and growing concerns over the impact of bailiff action, in November 2018 the Ministry of Justice launched a call for evidence on bailiff reform.

The organisations that make up the Taking Control campaign came together to issue a joint response to this call for evidence in February 2019.

Drawing upon evidence compiled from across the advice sector, the response outlines the systemic issues in the bailiff industry that go beyond a 'few rogue bailiffs'.

The campaign’s response calls on the Ministry of Justice to:

Find out more about the need for bailiff reform and what the campaign is calling for in our two-page response summary.

Read our full response to the Ministry of Justice's call for evidence.

Read our press release.

Download infographics

Terms and conditions

These Terms and Conditions govern your use of: the Taking Control website, www.bailiffreform.org (the “Charity Site”) which is run by Money Advice Trust (the “Charity”, “we” or “us”).

Please read them carefully as they affect your rights and liabilities under the law. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions, please do not register for any part of or use the Charity Site.

1. Use of the Charity Site

1.1 The Charity Site is provided to you solely for general information purposes only and is subject to these Terms and Conditions. By using the Charity Site you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. References to these Terms and Conditions include the Privacy Policy.

2. Amendments

2.1 We may update these Terms and Conditions from time to time for legal or regulatory reasons or to allow the proper operation of the Charity Site. Any changes will be notified via a suitable announcement on the Charity Site. The changes will apply to the use of the Charity Site after we have given notice. If you do not wish to accept the new Terms and Conditions you should not continue to use the Charity Site. If you continue to use the Charity Site after the date on which the change comes into effect, your use of the Charity Site indicates your agreement to be bound by the new Terms and Conditions.

3. Taking Control campaign

3.1 The Charity Site has been created by the Charity as part of the Taking Control campaign for fundamental bailiff reform, launched by charities AdviceUK, Christians Against Poverty, Citizens Advice, Money Advice Trust, StepChange Debt Charity, The Children’s Society and Z2K in March 2017.

3.2. Any citation of the report Taking Control: The need for fundamental bailiff reform, should be referenced as “AdviceUK, Christians Against Poverty, Citizens Advice, Money Advice Trust, StepChange Debt Charity, The Children’s Society and Z2K (2017), Taking Control: The need for fundamental bailiff reform” with a link to the report.

3.3. Users of the Charity Site are invited to share, anonymously, their experience of bailiff visits since April 2014, which is then moderated and may be added to the clickable map of Parliamentary Constituencies on the Charity Site.. No personal data will be stored. Any postcodes entered are solely used to match users to their Parliamentary Constituencies via the TheyWorkForYou API. No postcodes are stored by the Charity Site.

3.4. Users are asked not to include personal information or any information that could lead to their being identified from the information they share. Submitted information may be moderated by The Charity to remove or redact information that could identify the user, references to individual bailiffs, references to individual bailiff firms and/or inappropriate language. Any information submitted will be published on the Charity Site at the Charity’s discretion, and the Charity reserves the right not to publish information that is submitted.

3.5. By submitting their anonymous experiences, users are agreeing to the fact that this information may be published by the Charity elsewhere in the future.

4. Intellectual property

4.1 The content of the Charity Site is protected by copyright, trade marks and other intellectual property rights.

4.2 Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited except by express agreement with the Charity.

4.3 You may retrieve and display the content on a computer screen, store such content in electronic form on a storage device or print copies of such content for your own use, provided you keep intact all and any copyright and proprietary notices. You may not otherwise reproduce, modify, copy or distribute or use for commercial purposes any of the materials or content on the Charity Site without authorisation from the Charity.

5. Disclaimer

5.1 It is solely your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, completeness and usefulness of all opinions, advice and other information provided through the Charity Site.

5.2 The Charity Site includes links to other web sites or material produced by third parties which are beyond the Charity’s control. The Charity is not responsible for content on any site outside the Charity Site or any content provided by third parties.

5.3 We are not responsible for your use of the Charity Site and whilst we try to ensure that material included on the Charity Site is correct, up to date, reputable and of high quality, we do not make any warranties or guarantees of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the Charity Site or the information, services or related graphics, or that the information is correct or appropriate to your particular circumstances or the circumstances of those people who you advise. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

5.4 In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising out of or in connection with the use of this Charity Site and to the extent possible in law we exclude all liability in this regard.

6. Availability of the Charity Site

6.1 Although we aim to offer you the best service possible, we make no promise that the information on the Charity Site will meet your requirements or help you to reduce your debts. We cannot guarantee that the services will be fault-free or available at all times. If a fault occurs with the Charity Site you should report it to contactus@moneyadvicetrust.org and we will attempt to correct the fault as soon as we reasonably can.

6.2 Your access to the Charity Site may be occasionally restricted to allow for repairs, maintenance or the introduction of new facilities or services. We will attempt to restore the service as soon as we reasonably can.

7. Applicable Law

7.1 The Charity Site is intended for use within the United Kingdom. These Terms and Conditions will be subject to the laws of England and Wales. We will try to resolve any disagreements quickly and efficiently. If you are not happy with the way we deal with any disagreement and you want to take court proceedings, you must do so within England and Wales.

8. International Use

8.1 We make no promise that materials on the Charity Site are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the United Kingdom, and accessing the Charity Site from territories where its contents are illegal or unlawful is prohibited. If you choose to access the Charity Site from locations outside the United Kingdom, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.

9. Miscellaneous

9.1 If you breach these Terms and Conditions and the Charity chooses to ignore this, the Charity will still be entitled to use its rights and remedies at a later date or in any other situation where you breach the Terms and Conditions.

9.2 The Charity shall not be responsible for any breach of these Terms and Conditions caused by circumstances beyond its reasonable control.

9.3 The Charity Site is owned and operated by Money Advice Trust, 21 Garlick Hill, London EC4V 2AU.

9.4 If you have any queries please contact contactus@moneyadvicetrust.org.

Privacy notice

Introduction


The Trust (“we” or “us”) take the privacy of your information very seriously. This notice explains how and for what purposes we use the information collected about you.

The Trust looks after the information it holds about you, and respects your privacy. We take appropriate security precautions to prevent your information being lost or falling into the wrong hands.

We make sure that the information we hold is as accurate as possible; we do not hold more information than we need; and we do not hold it longer than we need to.

We keep records of all personal data that we process ensuring we have identified and documented a legal basis for processing the data.

We do not share your data with anyone else without your permission, except when we believe it is the only way to prevent harm to you or other people. If we do disclose information without your permission, this is authorised by a senior member of staff, and we will explain our reason to you at the earliest opportunity.

This privacy notice details the way in which we will treat your information, your rights in relation to it, and how we will ensure that your data is kept safe, secure and in your control. It will do this for all the ways in which you choose to access our service.

If you have any queries about this notice or anything to do with how we treat your data, please get in touch with us by using the contact details at the bottom of this notice.

 

Information collected

If you sign up to one of our newsletters or fill out one of our enquiry or order forms, we will retain this information. This will not be sent to any other organisation. Should you wish to be removed from the newsletter/s at any point please either unsubscribe from the link in the most recent newsletter, or contact using info@moneyadvicetrust.org.

If you contact us to enquire further about our services, we will retain this information. This will not be provided to any other organisation and will only be used for the purposes in which we have told you it shall be used. You can contact us at any time to request your information to be removed.

 

Use of this information

Use of this information: We will use some of this information in order to:

We may collate anonymous data which is shared with our partner agencies, funders and the government. This is to enable us to demonstrate demand and use of the site.

 

Information automatically collected from your computer

Log files/IP addresses: When you visit the site our web server automatically records your IP address. This IP address is not linked to any of your personal information. We use IP addresses to help us administer the site, to collect demographic information and to find out such things as how many people are visiting particular pages on our site. Our website may also use a website recording service which may record mouse clicks, mouse movements, page scrolling and any text keyed into website forms. Data collected by this service is used to improve our website usability. The information collected is stored and is used for aggregated and statistical reporting, and is not shared with anybody else. We may also gather other non-personal information (from which we cannot identify you) such as the type of your internet browser which we use to provide you with a more effective service.

Cookies: For a comprehensive overview of how we use cookies please refer to our Cookies Policy.

Use of this information: We will use some of this information in order to:

We may collate anonymous data which is shared with our partner agencies, funders and the government. This is to enable us to demonstrate demand and use of the site.


The Trust and how we treat your data

The Trust is committed to good practice in the handling of personal data and careful compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act (1988) (references to the DPA shall include, to the extent applicable, the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679.

The Trust is committed to good data management in order to protect people from harm. This means:

The Trust also ensures that it takes into account the legitimate concerns of individuals about the ways in which their data may be used. In particular, The Trust aims to be open and transparent in the way it uses personal data and, where relevant, to give individuals a choice over what data is held and how it is used.

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) creates new rights for how organisations treats individual’s data and these are detailed below.

The Trust complies with all relevant DPA legislation and also ensures that the principles of the GDPR are incorporated into the service that we provide.


The right to be informed

The Trust will ensure that all individuals understand why their data is being obtained, how it is being used and how they can access it. We shall provide this information in a manner that is concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible. This information is provided for all ways in which you may communicate with us.


The right of access

The Trust wants all people it helps to understand how they can access their personal data, and will ensure that they are able to do this easily and quickly. Please contact if you wish for further information on this.


The right to erasure

The Trust wants you to be comfortable about the data that we hold about you and we provide the facility for you to request the deletion or removal of your personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

You have a right to have your personal data erased and to prevent processing in the following circumstances;

The Trust can refuse to comply with a request for erasure where the personal data is processed for the following reasons;

The Trust has a policy of anonymising your data six years after last contact. These records are used for statistical purposes by the Trust. Anonymised records will be held indefinitely.


The right to restrict processing

If you wish for us to no longer process your data, then we will ensure this happens. You may wish to do this if:

If the Trust has disclosed the personal data in question to third parties, we shall inform them about the restriction on the processing of the personal data, unless it is impossible or involves disproportionate effort to do so.

The Trust will inform individuals if it decides to lift a restriction on processing.


The right to data portability

Should you wish for your data to be provided to you in a machine readable format (e.g. CSV) so that another organisation can process this data, then the Trust will facilitate this where possible. Please contact the Data Protection Officer for more information by email: DPO@moneyadvicetrust.org.


The right to object

You have the right to choose how we use your data, if you object, then please let us know.


The rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

The Trust does not used automated decision making in any of its processes.


Direct marketing

The Trust only uses personal data for direct marketing in the following instances:

Permission will be obtained when the contact details are provided together with details of how an individual’s details will be processed and what to do if they decide they want them removed.

The Trust must stop processing personal data for direct marketing purposes as soon as it receives an objection from an individual. There are no exemptions or grounds to refuse. The request must be dealt with immediately and be free of charge.


Transferring your information outside of Europe

As part of the services offered to you, the information you provide to us may be transferred to countries outside of the European Union (“EU”). By way of example, this may happen if any of our servers are from time to time located in a country outside of the EU or one of our service providers is located in a country outside of the EU. These countries may not have similar data protection laws to the UK. If we transfer your information outside of the EU in this way, we will take steps with the aim of ensuring that your privacy rights continue to be protected as outlined in this privacy notice. If you use the site while you are outside the EU, your information may be transferred outside the EU in order to provide you with those services.


How to contact us

The Data Protection Officer for the Trust is the Head of Compliance and Risk. You can contact them by emailing DPO@moneyadvicetrust.org or by writing to Money Advice Trust, Tricorn House, 51-53 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8TP.