When someone is trying to collect your outstanding debts, it is important you know excatly who they are, what company they are working for and your rights.
Most people assume that it is a bailiff that comes knocking on your door to collect a debt owed to your creditor, when in fact it may be a debt collector. A debt collector and a bailiff are very different – a debt collector is sent on behalf of your creditor or a collection agency to try to collect monies owed or set up a payment plan. They do not have any legal power to enter your home, remove goods or demand cash payment. You do not have to answer the door to them and if you ask them to leave, they must do so. A debt collector usually works on commercial debt such as loans, utility bill arrears and credit card bills etc.
A bailiff does in fact have legal power to recover monies owed and can seize assets of value to help cover these debts. They are usually only sent after court action has taken place and they mostly seek to recover debts such as CCJs, child maintenance arrears, HMRC debt, parking fines etc.
Both bailiffs and debt collectors are bound by regulations on acceptable conduct, so make sure that you know what they legally can and cannot do. See our quick guide for more details.
Knowing your rights when dealing with a bailiff or debt collector
Bailiffs or debt collectors appearing on your doorstep to recover a debt can be a scary and daunting experience. Knowing your rights will go a long way to help you deal with the situation.
Worried about a bailiff or debt collector visit?
At this stage, if you are worried about your debts or an impending visit from a bailiff or debt collector, talk to one of our advisors on 0333 939 7919 or complete our contact form and we’ll call you back.