Citizens Advice is today calling on government* to create a new independent regulator for bailiffs to prevent harm caused by those who break the rules.
New research carried out for Citizens Advice shows 850,000 of 2.2 million people contacted by a bailiff in the past 2 years believed the rules had been broken.
People who are visited by bailiffs are more likely to be vulnerable.
Among CA clients at national level, half of those visited by bailiffs live in local authority or housing association housing. One in three has a long-term health condition or disability, and more than a quarter are single parents with dependent children.
In 2017/18, CARBS helped 42 clients reporting bailiffs refusing offers of payments, entering homes when they ought not to and charging disproportionate or inappropriate fees**.
Reformed standards for bailiffs’ conduct have been in place since 2014. Regrettably there has been little improvement. The government must urgently respond to the call for a new independent regulator.
* Time for action on bailiff regulation as charities reveal rules are broken every minute Citizens Advice, 13/11/18
** However, Money Advice Trust reports a big increase in instructions to bailiffs by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in 2016-17. Find out more here