How to deal with bailiffs when you don’t have a guardian angel

It’s not unusual for people to look for help from above when the bailiffs come knocking.

It can be such a terrifying event to be put through, especially if the bailiff that’s been sent out to you is acting unreasonably and is making demands beyond their remit.

Amazingly though, some people are getting their prayers answered by their local churches. BBC2’s ‘The Debt Saviours’ was aired in early October 2018, and chronicled the case of Holly Pelham, a 25-year-old from Leigh, who was helped from her bailiff woes by a local religious charity.

Holly, who had spent her early years in care, was petrified of bailiffs and a potential prison sentence due to an unpaid council tax bill.

I grew up in care and, at 17, I was put in a flat and left to figure out all the bills on my own. The debt started after I’d been living with my ex-partner. I thought she’d been paying the council tax, but she hadn’t,” Holly explained to Centre Manager of the Leigh Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre (CAP), Helen Bolton.

I soon started getting letters saying I owed hundreds in council tax. Bailiffs were knocking on the door, threatening a warrant for my arrest. I was so scared – I rarely left the house. I’d always have the curtains closed, the door would be locked.

Helen, whose centre is also run in partnership with Sports Village Church, worked hard to support Holly and get her on the road to recovery. Holly’s debts and budget were handled by more than 300 staff at CAP’s head office in Bradford.

Holly, with their help, became debt-free and her life has improved dramatically. Her self esteem has risen, according to Helen, and she’s become a more active member of the local community.

It’s certainly an uplifting story. However, sadly, for every single person like Holly who is lucky enough to get assistance from a literal guardian angel, there are scores more whose mental health and daily lives are being blighted by the scourge of regular visits from bailiffs, reasonable or otherwise.

You don’t have to live in fear, though. You have rights; if a bailiff is acting aggressively toward you or making unreasonable demands, they shouldn’t be. They have to follow strict rules and regulations. Bailiffs can’t enter your home by force, for instance, or if only children under 16 or vulnerable people are present.

Find out more about your rights when the bailiffs call round and work towards becoming debt-free right now. Contact Get Bailiff Advice now to find out how.

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