Bailiffs not above the law.

12th April 2019.

MPs on the Parliamentary Justice Committee  are looking to regulate bailiffs.

The committee has called for bailiffs to be independently regulated to put a stop to them breaking the rules to collect debts.

The Parliamentary Justice Committee says a regulator is required to make sure people in debt are treated fairly.

It added that debt enforcement is “under-regulated” because reforms in 2014 which ensured debt collectors were not acting aggressively were not legally-binding and there was no independent regulator to enforce them.

Chair of the Committee, Bob Neil said “We were surprised that no regulator is already in place. The system is confusing, particularly for the most vulnerable people in society. Complaints are important and must be investigated properly”.

Mr Neill said: “We’re calling on the government to consult on whether new powers should sit with an existing body or a new one, and how it should be funded.”

The committee calls the existing system in England and Wales of individual certification “a rubber-stamping exercise”.

It is recommending:

  • A new regulator with powers to bar bailiffs from operating
  • An independent complaints body
  • Mandatory body cameras for all enforcement agents

 

The committtee’s call  follows a sharp rise in the number of cases of bailiffs  being accused of using intimidating behaviour;  threatening to break into peoples’ home, even for debts where the law does not support such action.

The Citizens Advice Bureau has recorded a 16% rise in the number of complaints regarding problem bailiffs year-on-year ending 31st March. Its chief executive said the government should “introduce these reforms as a matter of urgency”.

Ms Guy said: “It’s excellent to see MPs from across all parties call for a regulator to crack down on the bailiff industry. They’ve also rightly called for a complaints process to be established, so problems are dealt with independently of the bailiff industry and outside the court system.

“All eyes will now be on the Ministry of Justice, which must introduce these reforms as a matter of urgency.”

In November, the Civil Enforcement Association which represents civil enforcement agencies operating in England and Wales responded to Citizens’ Advice’s report that called for tougher regulation. Chief executive Russell Hamblin-Boone said: “It is of great concern that Citizens Advice fails to make a distinction between laws that are broken and laws that people simply don’t like.

“For example, in the [Citizens Advice] report it is assumed that a threat to force entry to a property or to remove goods required for work purposes is breaking the regulations. That is simply incorrect and depends on the circumstances. It is shocking that agents are being accused of acting illegally based on such flimsy evidence.”

Increasingly bailiffs are used to collect council tax arrears. A survey in 2016 by StepChange Debt charity found that 51% of clients who were contacted by bailiffs were being chased for council tax arrears.

On Wednesday the Government said it would improve the way council tax debt is recovered.

It said it was bringing in new guidance to help end aggressive repayment enforcement tactics following concerns from charities, debt advice bodies and local councils.

Peter Tutton, head of policy at StepChange debt charity, said: “Enforcement by bailiffs is intrusive and places disproportionate costs on people in the most vulnerable circumstances.

“It is also key that the committee have recommended oversight of the fees charged by bailiffs to ensure these are proportionate and just.”

Do you have a problem with late payments?

The Credit Protection Association can help!

Formed in 1914, CPA has been providing credit management services to SMEs for over 100 years.

At the Credit Protection Association, we provide first class credit information that can help you avoid being over extended to customers who are at risk. Our monitoring service can flag up warning signs long before the end, giving you the chance to adjust and reduce your exposure. We provide recommended credit limits and credit scores on a traffic light system and can help you set appropriate credit policies for your customers.

We regularly publish lists of the latest insolvencies but by then it is too late. Our credit reports however predict approximately 96% of company insolvencies long before they arrive.

Companies in trouble usually have very bad bad cash flow and they try to deal with it by delaying payment to their suppliers, increasing your exposure to them.

If you supply to businesses on credit help us help you identify the risks.

Can you use a third party collector?

You may be concerned about using a third party collector.

There are rogue actors in the industry.

However CPA, having been working for SMEs since 1914, prides itself on providing Ethical, Effective, Economical and Efficient service.

We are members of the Credit Service Association and signed up to the code of practice

As a third party collector, we can also get your payments prioritised over those who are not as hot on collections. When you customer receives a letter from the Credit Protection Association regarding their outstanding account, they are going to want to get that resolved as a priority. Our overdue account recovery service can get your unpaid invoices to the top of their “to do” list and get your invoice paid.

Over the years we have collected billions in overdue invoices for our customers.

Our debt recovery and credit management services give our members the financial freedom needed to grow and prosper, while our new Late Payment Compensation department could unlock hidden potential and offer the compensation needed to springboard your business to success.

CPA is passionate about late payment

The Credit Protection Association has been protecting smaller firms against poor payment practices for over 100 years.

We are passionate about breaking the late payment culture that holds back the UK economy and threatens many SMEs with cash flow difficulties being the single biggest killer of Britain’s small businesses.

If you were regularly paid late we can help. Those former customers used you to boost their own cash-flow, regularly paying you late.

As a result you had extra costs, you had the distraction of having to chase payment, you had opportunity costs because your capital was tied up in their late invoices.

Under little used legislation, you are entitled to compensation for those late payments.

Now you can boost your own cash-flow.

CPA can help unearth the those hidden treasures.

We have the technology to reveal the compensation you are due and we have the extensive experience and expertise to then turn those claims into cash.

Yes, CPA can help you boost your business cashflow.

Don’t let your bankers control you,  contact CPA today.

Read our blog here on how to crack down on the late payment culture.

Read our blog here on how to give late payers the slap they need.

visit our late payment compensation page

See our full blog and FAQ on late payment compensation

Ready to speak to an advisor?

For help or advice on credit management, entirely without obligation.

Call us today

0330 053 9263

The Credit Protection Association is a credit management company established in 1914. If you supply goods or services on credit then we can help you!

Keep up to date with the latest news by following us on social media:-

CPA on Linkedin

CPA on facebook

CPA on twitter

See all our latest news here!

How many excuses are there for non-payment?

Discover how to improve your cashflow in 3 steps.

Read our blog – Debt collection agency

Read our Cash Flow Advice

Read about our overdue account recovery service

Read our blog – What is credit management?

Read our blog -What is a credit management company?

Read our blog -Credit Management that works!

Read our blog – How to select a debt collection agency

click to see read about our successes