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How Do You Beat Debt Collectors ?

If you have found yourself in debt problems then it is possible that your creditors may threaten you with debt collectors and bailiffs. It is therefore important for you to know exactly what your rights are and how to manage the situation.

What is the difference between a Debt Collector and a Bailiff?

A debt collector is someone who is sent by a debt collection agency at the request of one of your creditors. However it is worth remembering that they are not bailiffs and as such will have no legal power against you. Should they threaten or harass you in anyway then you are within your rights to contact the police.

A bailiff is a person appointed and sent by the courts to help collect the debts that you owe. If the debt collection agency wishes to apply for a warrant to be able to legally collect the debt and seize property then they must apply to the County Court. If they do not then they will have no authority to do so. Bailiffs should always be able to provide you with identification or authorisation when requested.

Do I have to let them in?

It is important to remember that you do not have to let a bailiff into your home and they are not allowed to break in. However you should be aware that once a bailiff has entered your property then they can revisit and can do so forcibly. You should therefore make sure that windows and doors are not left open as initially they are allowed to enter your property this way and will then be allowed to return. It is also worth noting that they cannot visit if someone under 18 is alone or even if a person under 12 is present.

Can they take items?

Yes they can, but not items that you need for work or items such as the cooker, washing machine, fridge and freezer and some items of furniture. They will be able to take items such as TV’s, stereos, games consoles, DVD players etc. If these items are owned or jointly owned by the person in debt then the bailiffs can take them. Please note that they can also take vehicles such as cars and motorbikes.  

If you feel at any point that the collector has harassed or acted in a threatening manner then you should complain to the company themselves.