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Unless a crime has been committed or someone is in immediate danger, the police are unlikely to intervene in civil disputes. However, we’ll put you in touch with the groups and organisations who can help. Complete the sentence below to get the advice you need to resolve your dispute as quickly and amicably as possible.
I’m having a dispute with a bailiff about the law on them collecting civil debts
Bailiffs, also known as ‘enforcement agents’, work on behalf of the courts to collect debt. They have the power to take your possessions, sell them and give the money to your creditor if you've failed to maintain payments.
‘Debt collectors’ don't have the same powers as bailiffs, so always make sure they're legitimate by asking to see their proof of identity. This could be:
If you're suspicious that a person is acting as a bailiff but won't produce ID when asked, they could be committing fraud. In this case, contact the company they say they work for.
There are rules that set out what a bailiff can and can't do. For example, a bailiff:
In some circumstances a bailiff may have permission to use reasonable force as entry. This means they can forcibly open a door or cut a padlock. It does not mean that they can physically force their way past you or climb over walls or through windows to gain access.
Please note, you should not ignore the debts. They will not go away. It's better to try to negotiate with the creditors.
You may also find these resources useful:
Know your rights about bailiffs
Tough new laws against aggressive bailiffs
Bailiff powers when they visit your home
This information is provided courtesy of Ask the Police.