By Frances Jacobs
If you owe money, your creditor can recover their money from you using different options. Bailiffs are one of those options.
Bailiffs can be used to make you pay a range of debts , including council tax arrears, business rates arrears, county court orders, high court orders, child support arrears, parking or road traffic offence penalties, criminal case fines, income tax arrears, VAT debts and rent arrears.
Bailiffs can be instructed to :
– remove personal belongings from a debtor and sell them to pay back the debts due
– repossess items belonging to a creditor, for example they can repossess a car you have missed instalment payments on
– evict you from a repossessed property.
The process for a creditor to instruct a Bailiff is quite straightforward. If the creditor has a county court judgement against you, they can apply to court for what is known as a ‘warrant of execution’ for the court to authorise bailiffs to act on their behalf and legally take away your possessions. The bailiffs must usually give you a warning notice that the warrant has been issued, asking for payment within seven days. You then have the right to apply to court to suspend this warrant. It will then be for a Judge to decide whether you should be given the chance to pay the judgement debt, for example, by way of instalments. This means the warrant will be put on hold as long as you keep to the terms agreed by the court. If you fail to pay, the warrant will be re-activated.
The creditor will also sometimes accept an offer. This can be an offer to pay off only part of the debt, to pay off the whole debt in instalments, or to write off the debt entirely. It’s not too late for them to accept a reasonable offer once the bailiffs reach your house.
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