Several people are going through difficult financial situations these days and finding it hard to balance their income and debts. In such a case having a bailiff visit your home can prove to be a really stressful situation. Bailiff is authorized personnel who are hired by a creditor for collecting debt. In order to perform their job, they should have a warrant, also called warrant of execution, which is issued by court. Dealing with Bailiffs visiting your home can become easier if you are aware of your rights as then you can handle the situation peacefully.
If you owe some debt then it is possible that local authorities might authorise a bailiff for taking your goods away after liability order is issued. However before they visit your home, generally you will be notified by local authorities by sending a warning letter about 14 days prior. It is suggested to get in touch with an experienced financial advisor as soon as you receive any such notice.
Bailiffs are generally authorised for visiting you home during daytime, except on bank holidays, Sundays or any religions festivals. If they come on any of these days then it can be considered as harassment.
You have the right to check their identity proof, as well as copy of original orders issued by the court in which it is mentioned that you owe money. You can also ask for copy of letter authorising them to take away your belongings and ensure that these documents are valid.
It is your decision to let them in and they usually cannot force their entry. However, this will vary depending on the situation and the kind of debt they are collecting. In case the front door is locked, they can enter your home through an open window or unlocked door. This is termed as peaceful entry; in which case they can access the entire home and every room. So you should try to keep the doors and windows locked to restrict their entry.
If they are able to gain entry in your house then they are allowed to take your belongings. Anything which is yours can be taken away for settling the debt. Besides your belongings, even your vehicle can be taken away by them. For stopping them to take away anything, you will be required to prove that it is not yours.
In case bailiffs visit your home and behave inappropriately, then you have the right for making a complaint or take legal action against them. However, such rules are quite complex and depend on various factors like the type of debt or by whom the bailiffs have been authorized.
If a bailiff visits your home for a single debt then you should be aware of your rights to deal with the situation in a peaceful manner. However, if you are facing multiple debts then it might be the right time for assessing the financial situation you are in, so that appropriate action can be taken for clearing your debts.