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If you make a claim against your debtor who owes you money in the County Court, the court can issue a County Court judgment (CCJ), which is an order enforcing repayment of the debt.

If the judgment debtor still fails to keep up with the repayment set out in the judgment, you can apply to the court for a Warrant of Execution. Warrant of Execution means the court can order the bailiffs to recover monies owed on your behalf. The cost of the warrant paid by you will be added to the debt amount.

What are Bailiffs?

Bailiffs are County Court appointed enforcement agents who are used to enforce County Court judgments. In April of 2014, the law governing bailiffs was modified. Tribunal Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (Commencement No. 9) Order 2013 was passed and changed the term bailiff to the enforcement agent. A bailiff is authorised to collect a debt on behalf of a creditor. A creditor is a person to whom you owe money. There are various categories of bailiffs, each of whom acts differently depending on the type of debt owed.

The Different Kinds of Bailiffs Are |

  • Certificated enforcement agents’ (also known as ‘civil enforcement agents’)
  • High court enforcement officers
  • ‘County court and family court bailiffs’
  • Bailiffs who enforce magistrates’ court fines and warrants for arrests (either ‘civilian enforcement officers’ or ‘Approved Enforcement Agents’)

What can a Bailiff do?

A bailiff can visit the debtors’ property if they do not pay their debts – such as Council Tax bills, parking fines, court fines and County Court, High Court, or family court judgments. A bailiff can also visit to serve court documents or give notices and summons.

A certified bailiff can arrest a debtor if there’s a warrant for the debtors’ arrest for breaking a community penalty order.  Bailiffs should give at least 7 days’ notice of their first visit to the judgment debtor.

Pay Before a Bailiff Visits

The judgment debtor should make the payment towards his debt before a bailiff visits his property to collect the debt

How to Deal with bailiffs?

A debtor has the right to not let the bailiffs in their property.

Bailiffs cannot enter the residential property:

  • by force, for example by pushing the debtor
  • if only children under 16 or vulnerable people (with disabilities, for example) are present
  • between 9 pm and 6 am
  • through anything except the door

However, Bailiffs have the authority to enter the debtors’ homes to collect unpaid criminal fines, income tax, or stamp duty, but only in extreme cases.

If the debtor does not let a bailiff in or agrees to pay them:

  • they could take things from outside the debtors’ home, for example, their car
  • the debtor could end up owing even more money

If the debtor does not let a bailiff in and does not pay them, they may take some of your belongings. They could sell the items to pay debts and cover their fees.

The extra time window is allowed for debtors to make the payment if they are vulnerable and seek debt advice.

Bailiff’s May Have to Give Identity Proof

A bailiff may be asked to present proof of their identity even if they visited before by the debtor, they could ask to see:

  • proof of their identities, such as a badge, ID card or enforcement agent certificate
  • which company they’re from
  • a telephone contact number
  • a detailed breakdown of the amount owed

Bailiffs must have a certificate unless they’re exempt or they’re with someone who does have a certificate.

To check a bailiff’s identity, a debtor can find out what kind of bailiff they are from their proof of identity and then:

  • check the register of certificated bailiffs if they say they’re a certificated enforcement agent (contact the County Court business centre if they have a question)
  • check the list if they say they’re a high court enforcement officer
  • contact the court that sent them if they say they’re a County Court bailiff, family court bailiff or a civilian enforcement officer

If they say they’re an Approved Enforcement Agent, check they’re from one of the following companies:

  1. Compliant Data-Led Engagements & Resolutions (CDER) Group
  2. Marston Holdings Limited
  3. Excel Civil Enforcement Limited
  4. Swift Credit Services Limited

Paying a Bailiff

A debtor can pay the bailiff on the doorstep, they don’t have to let them in. The debtor will get a receipt for the payment they have made. The bailiffs can guide the debtor if they can’t pay the money in one go and make arrangements for the benefit of both the creditor and the debtor. Weekly or monthly instalments can be worked out. The bailiffs have a right to reject the offer.

What Bailiffs Can and Cannot Take?

If the bailiffs enter the debtors’ property, they can take away their goods or personal belongings.

Once they enter the debtor’s premises Bailiffs can take |

  • Money
  • Vehicles
  • Equipment
  • Machinery
  • Stock
  • Furniture

However, Bailiffs are not allowed to seize certain goods that are |

  • Tools of the trade – items needed by the debtor to conduct their jobs or run business, up to the value of £1,350. Anything above that may be taken by the high court enforcement officer.
  • Goods leased or hired
  • Assets subject to third party ownership

What Fees Can Bailiffs Charge?

Bailiffs can charge the following fees if they start the type of action described. £75 for being instructed by the creditor, carrying out initial checks and investigations and receiving payments. £235 to cover visiting and entering premises and taking control of debtor’s goods. £110 to cover removing debtors’ goods, valuing them, and arranging for them to be sold. The cost of storing goods that the bailiff has removed from the debtor. The cost of hiring a locksmith if one is needed. If the judgment debt is over £1500 or if the goods are sold, further fees can be charged.


By using Shergroup’s expert enforcement team you will get to work with the enforcement agents you can see on “Call the Bailiffs” TV show. Our enforcement agents will work out the best possible solutions for your judgment and help in recovering your monies.

So don’t delay the enforcement of your judgment.  Use our online methods to send it to us or to contact us with any questions or concerns. We’re here to assist you in resolving your problem.

You can reach us |
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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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