Stop fake, aggressive bailiffs by knowing your rights
How can you tell a real bailiff from a fake one?
It can be hard to do unless you have explicit experience of working around them and know your fundamental rights. For many though, it can be a tough call, especially if somebody’s banging on
your door in an aggressive manner and forcefully telling you they have a legal right to be there.
Take the case of Steve Harris, for instance. Based in Derwenthorpe, York, he’s a business owner who runs minibus firm Anytime Travel.
He was recently mentioned in York’s local press, though, speaking of how frightened he was when he received a call from bailiffs demanding £640 for non-payment of his business rates.
In the call, Steve was told (at 5:30pm on a Friday) that bailiffs would be at his home within the hour to collect property to the value of his bill if he didn’t pay. The bailiff claimed he had a court order issued by Northampton County Court on behalf of City of York Council.
Steve goes on to detail how the man on the phone said that “there was no need to be in, as the bailiffs had a locksmith and had the right to break in and remove items.”
Steve explains how frightened he was at the prospect, even though he was certain he didn’t owe any outstanding money. After declining to pay the money to the man on the other end of the line, he responded with “We’ll see you in an hour.”
Steve was so frightened that he even moved his teenage daughter to a friend’s house for two nights in case anything happened. His daughter had recently lost her mother after a fight with motor
neurone disease, and Steve was concerned at the prospect of a bailiff turning up to frighten her.
The call turned out to be bogus, with Steve advising business owners in his area not to fall for such scams. In response, Action Fraud said it has noticed a rise in reports for ‘bogus bailiffs’ looking to claim debts that simply don’t exist.
It’s wise to stay vigilant and know your rights. For instance, bailiffs aren’t allowed to enter your home by force as the bailiff speaking to Steve claimed. He also would have been breaking the law if he entered with only a child under 16 or a vulnerable person present.
You have rights when a bailiff is demanding money from you. They have to follow strict laws. Find out what your rights are and start down the path to becoming debt-free by speaking to the Get
Bailiff Advice team today.