Creditors appoint bailiffs to recover any money that is owed to them.
Also known as enforcement officers, they can either be court officials or work for a private bailiff firm.
If you’re struggling and unable to pay your debts in full, a bailiff has the power to take control of your assets and sell them to recover the debt for your creditor.
To do this, they must be in possession of the correct authorisation; for example, a Warrant of Execution or a Writ of Control.
What types of debt can a bailiff recover?
Firms can use a bailiff to recover certain types of debt, including the following:
- Income tax, National Insurance, and VAT
- Council tax
- Business rates and rent
- High Court Judgements
- County Court Judgements
- Magistrates’ court fines and compensation orders
- Parking fines
- Child support
- Maintenance payments
What can a bailiff legally recover from a limited company?
A bailiff is only allowed to take items that belong to the limited company and not goods leased or on hire-purchase.
A limited company is considered a separate legal entity, meaning a director won’t be pursued unless they have signed personal guarantees.
Bailiffs are permitted to take money, office equipment, stock, or machinery, so if you receive notice from a bailiff, it’s crucial that you seek professional advice and act quickly to settle your debt.
Can a bailiff take goods or items on their first visit?
A bailiff is not permitted not to take your goods away on their first visit.
Their role is to get you to pay your debt, and it’s much easier for them if you pay the money – in full or in installments – rather than having to take your goods and then sell them.
During their first visit, the bailiff is permitted to look around your premises and draw up a list of assets that they believe at auction will cover the value of the debt.
It’s important to remember that bailiffs can also include items outside of your premises that belong to you or the company, for example, a vehicle.
Once this check has happened, the items on the list will automatically become controlled goods, which means that you will be unable to sell them, remove them or give them away.
The bailiff may secure these controlled goods at your property rather than take them away, and you may be able to carry on using them under a Controlled Goods Agreement while you pay off the debt.
However, they will come back and take those goods away if you fail to keep up with or miss any payments.
It’s essential first to seek professional advice, so contact us today.
If you are experiencing problems with company debt or personal debt, please get in touch. Our initial consultation is confidential and FREE.