HUNTINGDON MP Jonathan Djanogly has unveiled new measures to tackle unsound and unsafe bailiffs to protect those in debt.
The Justice Minister hopes to add to the National Standards that define acceptable behaviour for bailiffs with the view to making the procedures law as soon as possible after the consultation in Spring.
The additions include leaving when only a child is home, to discuss debts with only the person owing money, and to not behave in a threatening manner or use unlawful force to gain entry into homes.
Mr Djanogly said: “Bailiffs are an important part of the justice system so the few unscrupulous bailiffs must be stopped from putting people in harm’s way or taking advantage of the vulnerable. We want to bring an end to the rogue behaviour that can make people’s lives a misery.
“Whilst I know the majority of bailiffs are responsible, too many are not. We often hear stories, and see evidence, of people being mistreated by heavy-handed bailiffs. We are working with the bailiff industry, and other groups, to make sure that cannot happen anymore, but also that people can still collect their debts fairly.
“What we have announced today is the first step towards tackling this issue, which will be followed shortly by proposals for a new regulatory regime.”
Bailiffs must also avoid causing embarrassment to a debtor and have been told they have a duty of care to the elderly, people with disabilities, single parents, and other vulnerable people as part of the new measures.
INFORMATION: The revised National Standards is available on www.direct.gov.uk with guidance on bailiffs for debtors and creditors. This guidance also provides information on where people can go for help if they feel they have been a victim of unacceptable behaviours by bailiff.