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Bailiff changes "a small step in the right direction", but problems remain

4 April, 2014

Ahead of the introduction of a new system of bailiff regulation and fees, Mike O’Connor, chief executive of StepChange Debt Charity said:

“The central purpose of the new regulations was to address abuses within the bailiff system and while these reforms are a small step in the right direction, there are a still a number of problems. The new fee structure means that some people risk having substantial sums applied to relatively small debts, the Ministry of Justice’s own assessment predicts that some bailiff firms will see their profit margins double and financially vulnerable consumers still have no way to stop the bailiff process.

“We are particularly concerned with the use of bailiffs to collect council tax debt. At a time when we are seeing increasing numbers of people falling into arrears and support for council tax is being withdrawn, a number of financially vulnerable people could see £310 added to their debt simply by bailiffs making one visit to their property. At a time when people are struggling to cover their essential costs we need to ensure that for those people in a difficult situation, things are not made worse through aggressive enforcement”.

Read more about the new system of bailiff regulation and fees.

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