Bailiffs and debt management

17 July2021

A bailiff may be brought in to collect your debt if you're really behind on your debt repayments and you and your original lender have been unable to reach an agreement.

The thought of bailiffs can be daunting, because they have certain rights when it comes to reclaiming what you owe. They can take some of your possessions - except things that are essential for your day-to-day life, or needed for you to make a living. They can even enter your house without permission if you leave a door or window open.

You may not be able to meet your current monthly debt repayments, but it may still be possible to reach an agreement with a bailiff. After all, they want to collect your debt - and making smaller payments is generally seen as better than making no payments at all.

Dealing with bailiffs with debt management

It's rarely too late to contact your original lenders to try and reach an agreement.

It may help to explain that you are having trouble with your current payments and you would appreciate it if you could make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time.

If you're not sure how to do this, a professional debt management company could help.

Arranging a debt management plan will involve figuring out how much you can spare each month to put towards your unsecured debts. You should be able to commit to this figure each month, and it should be as much as you can realistically afford - so that your lenders can see that you're offering as much as you can.

Your lenders might also agree to freeze interest and charges on your debts - but remember that if they don't, repaying debts over a longer period of time will give interest more time to build up, meaning you may pay more overall.

If your lenders accept this new figure, a bailiff simply shouldn't be necessary anymore. This is because you will be making active steps towards tackling your unsecured debts, so your lenders will know you are doing as much as you can.

Your debt management plan will end once all of your unsecured debt is paid off, and you can relax knowing you're free of it - and won't be contacted by bailiffs regarding that debt.

If you'd like to know more about debt management, there's lots of information on this page.

A note about debt management

There are disadvantages of a debt management plan. It will damage your credit rating, for example.

If you are being contacted by bailiffs it is likely that you are having quite severe debt problems. If they're too severe, a debt management plan may not be suitable. This is because debt management plans are designed to help people who are struggling with their debt repayments, but would be able to make smaller (but still reasonably sized) payments - and able to repay what they owe in the foreseeable future.

You may need to consider an alternative solution, such as bankruptcy or a legally binding IVA. These solutions are suitable for people with more severe debt problems, who can't see themselves being able to repay their unsecured debts in any realistic amount of time.

Filling out the solution finder might help you decide what's right for you.

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Tags: bailiffs, debt management, debt, debt problems, court, debt repayments, repay debt

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