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i The advice on this page applies to residents in England and Wales only.

Bailiff and enforcement agents advice

Bailiffs’ fees and costs. What can a bailiff charge?

Bailiffs’ fees are added to the debt total when a creditor calls them in. These charges vary and are added at different times in the process.

What do bailiffs charge?

Extra fees are added to your debt when a bailiff (or enforcement agent) is involved.

  • £75 is added when the first ‘Notice of enforcement’ letter is sent
  • £235 +7.5% of the debt’s value (over £1,500) is added when the bailiff makes their first visit
  • £110 +7.5% of the debt’s value (over £1,500) is added if the bailiff comes back to take things
  • Other storage and auction costs are added if they remove and sell your things

As an example

  • You have a debt of £500
  • You refuse to make payment and the bailiff takes your goods
  • The total fees added will be at least another £420
  • Your £500 debt is now at least £920

Bailiffs’ costs are the same for all types of debt. Except for High Court Enforcement Officers who are used for High Court writs. These have higher fees.

Bailiff fees are fixed in law.

  • The bailiff cannot charge you more than the standard amounts
  • The bailiff cannot keep adding more and more fees

Debts before April 2014

Fees for debts where bailiffs got involved before April 2014 have different fees.

They may be higher.

Need help and advice on a bailiff debt?

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What happens if I do not pay a bailiff?

The goods that they take into control are removed and sold if you do not pay.

  • The bailiff takes the goods listed in the inventory
  • They cannot take any extra goods which were not in the inventory

They can apply for a warrant to force entry if you refuse to let them in.

This adds extra costs to your debt.

You can be arrested for trying to physically stop a bailiff taking your goods.

Once your goods are removed:

  • They are taken to storage
  • You are sent a letter with the estimated value of the goods
  • Your goods are sold, usually at a public auction
  • You usually have 10 days between removal and auction
  • Money raised from the auction pays off:
  • The debt and
  • The bailiff’s fees
  • Any left over money is refunded to you

The people you owe can take further action if the auction does not raise enough to clear your whole debt.

This could include:

Bailiffs coming? We can give you debt help

A letter or visit from a bailiff is sign that you need free and impartial debt help.

We can:

  • Give expert advice
  • Find ways to deal with the bailiff debt
  • Support you

Use our online debt advice tool for free advice.