Debt and Money: The Bailiffs are coming

by EdwardHandsandLewis on July 24, 2013

By Frances Jacobs

If you owe money, your creditor can  recover their money  from you using different options. Bailiffs are one of those options.

Bailiffs can be used to make you pay  a range of debts , including  council tax arrears, business rates arrears, county court orders, high court orders, child support arrears, parking or road traffic offence penalties, criminal case fines, income tax arrears, VAT debts and rent arrears.

Bailiffs  can be instructed to :

– remove personal belongings  from a debtor and sell them to pay back the debts  due

– repossess items  belonging to  a  creditor, for example  they can repossess  a car you have missed instalment  payments on

– evict you from a repossessed property.

The process for a creditor to instruct a Bailiff is quite straightforward.  If  the creditor has  a county court judgement against you, they  can apply to court for  what is known as a ‘warrant of execution’ for the court to authorise bailiffs to  act on their behalf and legally take away your possessions.  The bailiffs must usually give you a warning notice that the warrant has been issued, asking for payment within seven days.   You  then  have the right to apply to court  to  suspend this warrant.  It will then be for a Judge to decide whether you should be given the chance to pay the judgement debt, for example, by way of instalments. This means  the warrant will be put on hold as long as you keep to the terms agreed by the court. If you fail to pay, the warrant will be re-activated.

The creditor will also sometimes accept an offer. This can be an offer to pay off only part of the debt, to pay off the whole debt in instalments, or to write off the debt entirely. It’s not too late for them to accept a reasonable offer once the  bailiffs reach  your house.

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