Citizens Advice see bailiff complaints soar
Tonight (Wednesday 18 July) the powerful docu-drama ‘Killed By My Debt’ will air on BBC One.
As part of the Taking Control coalition, and alongside Jerome Rogers’ family, Citizens Advice is campaigning for bailiffs to be properly regulated.
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Jerome Rogers' experience of heavy-handed bailiffs is a tragic example of a widespread problem.
“Aggressive enforcement practices can cause greater financial distress for those already in trouble and can lead to serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
“The piecemeal reforms of 2014 have failed. Since then, Citizens Advice has seen a 25% rise in bailiff problems - helping 42,000 people with 98,000 issues last year. We frequently see blatant violations of the rules, such as bailiffs refusing offers of payment and even entering people’s homes unlawfully.
“It is inconceivable that there is not an independent bailiff regulator already. The Ministry of Justice must use their promised call for evidence to take strong action and look specifically at how this could work. Without it, far too many people will continue to live in fear of the bang on the door.”
Last year, Citizens Advice helped 42,000 people with 98,000 separate issues with bailiffs - on average each having at least two problems.
The most commonly encountered problem was bailiffs refusing payment for the sum of money owed, with 17,000 issues in the last year.
Citizens Advice has seen a 74% increase in people who have a difficulty complaining to bailiff firms since 2014/15.
Notes to editors
- The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
- The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
- Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.