Knowing Your Rights When Dealing With Bailiffs

Posted on: 15 December 2015

If you owe money to someone such as a child support agency, council tax or criminal case, there is a good chance that the authority will authorize a bailiff to come to your home and take possession of your goods to help pay the debt. Once the bailiff has gained the proper authorization, they don't have to worry about going back to court for further clarification or permission. To help you better understand the whole process and what they can or cannot do, check out the information below.

You are notified of their visit.

One of the things to remember about these visits is that you are often given advance notification of their arrival. Depending on what type of debt it is, you might be given a few days or you might be given a couple weeks. If you do get a notice in the mail about them coming to your home, you better pay attention to it. Procrastinating isn't going to help matters.

They cannot just enter your home.

If you have your doors and windows locked, they cannot break into your home to gain access to it. However, they are allowed to enter if your doors are unlocked. They have to enter by peaceable means. They cannot break into your door or window in an attempt to come in. That goes against the peaceable entry rule. Make sure to keep your property locked if you don't want them helping themselves inside. Once you let them in, they have the right to proceed to the next step.

Know what they can and cannot take.

If they have made their way into your home, they are allowed to take anything that belongs to the person listed on the warrant. They aren't allowed to take property belonging to your spouse or your children. They also cannot take items that have liens on them because you don't own them free and clear. Their goal is to get as much as they can to pay your debts off. While you are better off trying to make an arrangement with the respective party, some people neglect to do so and end up at this point in the process.

If you get notice of any debts owed, you need to take the time to get your affairs in order and see what you can do to pay them off or make a payment arrangement on them to prevent additional problems. For more information, contact a lawyer.