Councils are allowing bailiffs to threaten public with aggression

27 December 2013

money Citizens Advice have accused councils of letting bailiffs threaten everyone and get away with needlessly aggressive behaviour when collecting council tax debts, adding that councils are actually worsening debts by adding on charges.

They also state that there is a huge difference in these costs in different parts of the country, almost like they're all making it up as they go along.

However, the bailiffs' trade body reckon the Citizens Advice report was based on "distorted facts".

The charity said that this year, they'd heard from 16,905 people worried about bailiffs enforcing council tax debt and over a third of these said they were being charged for visits bailiffs never even made. Around 40% reported that they were threatened with the removal of items that didn't belong to them. Further research suggest that a quarter of councils don't even hold any details on complaints about bailiffs.

The Civil Enforcement Association, representin bailiffs, said: "This is based upon distorted facts, the use of pseudo statistical analysis and highly emotive and inappropriate language." They added that this was a "self-selecting sample" of "unhappy individuals".

Councillor Sharon Taylor, who chairs the Local Government Association's Finance Panel, said: "Councils have a responsibility to their taxpayers to collect taxes so that important services like caring for the elderly, collecting bins and fixing roads are not affected. Bailiffs are only ever used by local authorities as a last resort to tackle persistent non-payment and councils only charge fees that cover the costs they incur in processing each liability order."

"Councils that use bailiffs to recover debts have a responsibility to ensure that people are being treated fairly and that resident complaints about unacceptable bullying or intimidation are taken seriously."

TOPICS:   Debt   Government


  • Tits M.
    If people spent their benefits and jsa on rent and council tax instead of sky, PlayStations and skol they wouldn't be in this mess. Merry Christmas
  • Daisy D.
    Many dole bludgers have top of the range smartphones, so they can answer the door and record the exchange. The Civil Enforcement Association won't object because of course their members are only doing their work in a legal, ethical manner and therefore have nothing to hide, and the layabouts may then be challenged over how they can afford an expensive phone. Everybody's happy.
  • shits m.
    I am too busy to get a job, I'm expected to sign on and watch Jeremy Kyle. C'mon let's be realistic and start work at midday, then maybe I will get one of those job things.
  • jokester4
    Unfortunately, I have had dealings with bailiffs due to multiple parking debts wrongly attributed to me for a car I'd previously sold. They lie, threaten, bully, damage property and don't listen to any reason - you could prove beyond doubt that they are chasing the wrong person or at the wrong house but they couldn't give a toss. Also, the bailiff: - Threatened to get a locksmith out, break in and steal my mother's possessions (none of which they are allowed to do. They can only get a locksmith out for council tax debts, which this wasn't) - Damaged my car by illegally wheel-clamping it The majority of bailiffs are simply bullies, liars and thieves with far too much power and almost no responsibility.
  • Bailiffs S.
    One Dodgy outfit come to mind when it comes to collecting Outstanding PCN's thats IBIS...don't know how they got the contract with the Council, then again the council in Brighton are as crooked as fuck. the Benders. btw the do enjoy there back gates getting smashed in
  • Kevin
    ' adding that councils are actually worsening debts by adding on charges' Well pay your debts and you won't incur any charges will you.
  • shiftynifty
    Get you Kevin....all rise for Kevin...fuckwit

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