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Costly Mistakes When Bailiffs Come Calling

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No one likes to get into debt. However, sometimes life happens, leaving you with huge bills that you cannot pay immediately. Tired of waiting for you to make payments, your creditors, including the local council, might retain the services of a bailiff office.

Gleaning from companies such as MS Webb & Co., bailiffs are legally authorised to seize and auction off some of your property to offset the debts that you owe. Typically, they will serve you with a 14-day notice, letting you know of a pending visit, which can happen between 6 am and 9 pm. If you are not able to resolve the matter before they show up at your doorstep, here are some pointers to help you make the visit less inconveniencing:

Don’t Incur Additional Costs

In addition to the amount that you owe, you will be on the hook for any charge that the bailiff service incurs when handling your case. While the fees depend on the type of bailiff service, the law often lays down the actual rates. However, you will be charged for the letters they send you as well as any home visit they make.

You will also cater to the cost of transporting the goods seized from your premises. You will meet the costs of advertising the sale of your products as well as the related auction costs. Moving the goods to a different house will incur additional transportation charges if found out. Bailiffs have a legal right to seize your assets regardless of their location.

Don’t Thwart Their Efforts

Bailiffs are often under instructions to recover a debt that you owe, and as such, they have the power of the court working for them. When they appear, you are not legally obligated to let them in. Except when collecting VAT or income tax, bailiffs cannot force their way into your property. However, they can enter your home without your permission as long as they do not break down your front door.

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They can come in through an open door in what is legally termed as a peaceful entry. Once they are inside the house, they can force open doors to access locked rooms inside the house. However, they can break into other buildings on your property as long as they are not attached to the house. If you feel that the bailiffs are wrong, do not get into a physical confrontation. Instead, report the matter to the police, make a complaint against them, or take court action.

Don’t Let Them Take Leased Items

If you are still making payments on items such as your car, be sure to supply them with this information as they are appraising your possession. Typically, bailiffs seize luxury items, such as cars, TVs, and bikes. They will take goods that you co-own with another person. However, they will not take something that you need for work or something valued below £1,350. They will also not seize anything that you need for domestic needs, such as your stove, fridge, or furniture.

If you are falling behind on tax arrears or VAT, the local authorities or debtors can authorise bailiffs to seize your property after the issuance of a liability order. Finding ways to settle your bills or making payment arrangements can spare you a visit from these professionals. Each bailiff visit carries a cost implication that you will have to bear on top of what you currently owe. However, bailiffs are required to follow a strict code of conduct while enforcing a liability order.

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