Every year, tens of thousands of people experience unacceptable and sometimes aggressive harassment at the hands of bailiffs. As household budgets are squeezed, this is likely to increase. For decades Citizens Advice has called on successive governments to do something about these out of control bailiffs, but so far very little action has been taken.
Meanwhile our bureaux have seen a 38 per cent rise in problems with private bailiffs over the last five years. In the last year alone, two and a half times more people have sought online advice about bailiffs.
Evidence from our bureaux across England and Wales shows many cases of bailiffs overstating powers and behaving aggressively. In an analysis of over 400 cases of private bailiffs collecting debt, 39 per cent of private bailiffs threatened to force their way into people’s properties and 29 per cent threatened to seize goods belonging to someone else – neither of which they have the power to do.
Our campaign is calling for the following:
For more information on what reform has been promised and what has been delivered, as well as the action Citizens Advice has taken around bailiffs since the 1990s, download our bailiffs timeline [ 210 KB].
Need advice about bailiffs?
For more information on bailiffs, including what they can and cannot do, visit our dedicated self-help website Adviceguide.