Vulnerable people will be protected from aggressive bailiffs but businesses will still be able to collect debts fairly under new laws to clean up the industry.
Bailiffs will be banned from entering homes when only children are present and at night and new safeguards will prevent them from using force against people who owe money. They will also no longer have free reign to fix their own fees, as new set costs are brought in.
Until now there has been insufficient legal protection against aggressive bailiffs but that will change with the new laws and a mandatory training and certification scheme which they must pass before going into business. Bailiffs who do not follow the rules will be barred from the industry.
Justice Minister Helen Grant said:
‘For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees.
‘These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly.’