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Deal with money worries before the bailiffs

If you skip a couple of bills or owe money, it can be worrying. But with research showing councils’ use of bailiffs has increased by 16% in two years, it’s always better to tackle any debt fears early on. It may be simpler than you think.

Some £2.1 million debts have been passed to bailiffs in 12 months, according to new research from the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline.

Do you know what a bailiff is?

Bailiffs are enforcement agents who are instructed by creditors (the people you may owe money to) to retrieve any debts

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The ‘Stop the Knock’ research has revealed council tax debts are the most common type of debt passed on bailiffs, with 1.27 million occasions recorded during 2014/15.

Parking-related debts were passed to bailiffs 715,000 times and Housing Benefit overpayments on 40,000 occasions.
If you are worried, don’t panic. There are alternatives, which are free and confidential.

Dealing with debt

If you’re having major money worries, the last thing you may feel like doing is talking to a stranger about them. But it could be the best thing you do.

There are a number of free, confidential places you can go for advice. Debt advisors are trained to help you come up with ways to pay off your debt and can help you prioritise them. Having a repayment plan in mind will help make life clearer and easier.  

National Debtline run by the Money Advice Trust is one place you can go for free, impartial help.


Visited by a bailiff?

Don’t worry. It’s not too late to get help. Debt companies are also well placed to explain your rights when this happens, so you should still approach them.

If you fail to pay money that you owe, you may be registered with a County Court Judgement (also known as a CCJ).

A CCJ sets out how much is owed, how the money should be repaid and the payment deadline. You will need to fill out the form explaining your incomings and outgoings so the Court can see how much money you have to pay off your debt.

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  • InsureLearnerDriver / 28 August 2015

    It's important for a payment scheme to offered up to those who have trouble with money. having a bailiff shaking you down can be a very worrying thing. The council should be more focused on getting the money, whilst respecting the people.