Bailiffs Proposed changesJanuary 24, 2013
Following recent consultation the government is proposing to change the law governing the actions of bailiffs
If new laws proposed by the government today are passed they would mean:
– Bailiffs will be banned from entering homes at night or when there are only children present
– Bailiffs will be allowed to visit debtors only between 6am and 9pm
– There will be set costs and bailiffs’ will not be able to set their own fees
– Bailiffs will have to undergo training and a certification scheme, and could be barred if they do not follow the rules
– Landlords could not use bailiffs to seize property for residential arrears without going to court
– Bailiffs will be trained to recognise vulnerable people and ensure they get assistance and advice
Justice minister Helen Grant said: ‘For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees.
‘These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly.’
The changes will be made by enacting parts of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, and creating new laws through the Crime and Courts Bill, now in committee stage in Parliament.