Charity gives advice on dealing with bailiffs

Citizens Advice in Richmond.

Dozens of Richmondshire residents have been given advice on dealing with bailiffs, a charity has revealed.

In the last two years, Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire helped 77 people in the district with bailiffs, for debts such as council tax arrears, parking fines, and magistrates’ court fines.

The charity is throwing its weight behind a campaign for an independent regulator to crack down on bad-behaving bailiffs.

The charity has offices in Richmond, Northallerton, Malton and Selby.

New figures from Citizens Advice England and Wales and and debt charity StepChange reveal 850,000 of the 2.2 million people contacted by a bailiff in the last 2 years were victims of bailiffs breaking the rules.

Of the people affected by, or who witnessed a bailiff breaking the rules, 1 in 5 (18%) had seen unsympathetic treatment of someone with an illness or disability, 1 in 6 (17%) had a break-in threatened, and 1 in 10 had tools or a vehicle required for their work removed.

Rule-breaking bailiffs often cause people more stress, anxiety and financial hardship, according to the research, published on Tuesday. When someone had a negative experience with a bailiff:

  • 7 in 10 reported increased stress and anxiety
  • 1 in 2 experienced knock-on effects on their finances, with 1 in 6 people (17%) taking out additional credit to pay the bailiffs

Carol Shreeve, chief officer at Citizens Advice Mid North Yorkshire, said the government must step in and regulate the industry to prevent people suffering at the hands of bailiffs who flout the rules.

“It beggars belief an industry that can cause so much damage is not properly policed by a regulator.

“We see first-hand the widespread harm the actions of bailiffs and the companies they work for inflict on people and their families. It must stop.

“The evidence is clear; the Ministry of Justice has no other option but to establish an independent bailiff regulator.”

If you are having problems with Bailiffs we urge to you to contact our Richmondshire Office on 01748 823862 or visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/