Let us first start by understanding what bailiffs and reforms mean. A bailiff is a manager, overseer, or custodian who has been given some level of authority or jurisdiction. Bailiffs come in various shapes and sizes, with varying responsibilities and offices.
A bailiff (also known as an enforcement officer) is a person who holds the legal authority to collect an unpaid debt. Bailiffs should only show up after first informing you – they must give you at least seven days’ notice for their first visit, and you should have received a final demand letter informing you of the use of Bailiffs.
Work of a Bailiff
Simply put, a bailiff’s job is to reclaim your property after you have fallen behind on a payment plan. Your parcel will then be auctioned off to recover the money you owe. Bailiffs will make every effort to reclaim your possessions amicably, but sometimes, they may need to break down your door. They may also be able to execute some arrest warrants and reclaim your residence.
When it comes to reforms, they are defined as changes and improvements to laws, social systems, or institutions. Reform is an example of such a change or modification.
Although bailiff interactions are generally stressful, it is possible that in the future, these encounters will be far more sympathetic. Fortunately, if a bailiff is scheduled to visit your home, you may be able to avoid the visit by obtaining free bailiff advice. Thus, free bailiff advice can be of great importance to you.
Necessary bailiff reforms and changes that we can expect in the near future
- The widely publicized reform will increase consistency in debt collection by Civil Enforcement Agents while ensuring that businesses and governments can still collect debts fairly. Bailiff law is governed by various statutes and case law dating back to the year 1600 or earlier. However, as of April 6, 2014, bailiff law will be consolidated into a single piece of legislation and several sets of regulations. There will be uniformity in enforcement and fees regardless of whether the debt is for parking or council tax.
- New terminology: a warrant of execution will be referred to as a warrant of control, the bailiff will be referred to as an Enforcement Agent, and walk-in possession will be referred to as a Controlled Goods Agreement. Controlled Goods refer to goods taken control of, and exempt goods will be referred to as exempt goods. Goods that are exempt from regulation by description, circumstance, or both; premises are any place and include a vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or hovercraft; a tent or movable structure; and securities are bills of exchange, promissory notes, bonds, specialties, and securities for money.
- Concerning the debtor’s goods, co-owner means a person other than the debt with interest in the goods, but only if the enforcement agent knows that person has an interest in the goods or would know if he made reasonable inquiries.
- Is it possible for the Enforcement Agent to charge anything else? The Enforcement Agent may claim ‘Permissible Disbursements,’ which are limited to the following: storage fees after removal, locksmith charges, court fees on application, auctioneer fees, and premium costs – following a Court application. Other fees or expenses, such as credit/debit card fees, arprohibiteded.
- What are the new charges going to be?
Fees will be charged due to the enforcement agent rather than the council, which is a significant departure from the previous regime.
- The compliance fee is £75, due as soon as the warrant is handed over to the bailiff company. The enforcement fee is £235, plus 7.5% of the total debt if it exceeds £1,500 – This is payable when the Enforcement Agent first visits the relevant premises. The sale fee is £110, plus 7.5% of the total debt if it exceeds £1,500. This is due when the first attendance is made to transport goods to the point of sale.
- Another change that we will see is the recovery of auctioneer fees. The enforcement agent may recover the associated costs when goods are sold at public auction.
- If goods are sold, the Enforcement Agent must provide an itemized list of the goods and a statement of the sum received for each item, the proceeds, the application of profits, and the recoverable disbursements.
- What exactly are the new stages?
- The first stage will be known as the “Compliance Stage.”
- The second stage will be called the “Enforcement Stage.”
- The third stage will be called the “Sale or Disposal Stage.”
- What exactly is “vulnerability”? The regulations do not preclude enforcement; instead, they seek to ensure that escalation does not occur unless advice is obtained: “A vulnerable customer is unable to understand, engage in, or participate in the recovery process due to their situation; personal circumstances or the conduct of creditors and their agents.” There is a provision to rewind the process to the Compliance stage.