Bailiff Enforcement Notice

The bailiff enforcement notice is usually issued by enforcement officers who are authorised by law to collect outstanding debts on behalf of creditors, including county courts. Bailiffs work in close collaboration with courts but they may also be employed by the civil enforcement agencies.

NOTE: The Insolvency Experts can offer specialist advice to company directors dealing with bailiffs in regard to a business debt. If you are an individual who is seeking advice on matters related to bailiffs, we would recommend seeking guidance from the Citizens Advice Bureau, available here.


Once an enforcement officer visits your residential or business premises, you need to ascertain whether they are certified by checking on the register maintained by the Ministry of Justice. Always remember to ask for a proof before accepting a bailiff notice. A CCJ-County Court Judgment-is usually issued by a court of law to enforce the settlement of an outstanding debt.

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4 Key Questions on bailiff enforcement notices

How should do you deal with a bailiff notice?

If you have failed to settle a debt, you may receive a notice of appointment with bailiffs indicating that the enforcement officer will visit your home or commercial premises to collect the outstanding amount. Please never ignore the notice of enforcement. However, you need to consult certified and experienced financial experts and attorneys, at The Insolvency Experts, we provide trusted advice to any client who has received a notice of appointment with a bailiff.

If you fail to act on the notice of enforcement, the enforcement officers can visit your residential or business premises within seven days. The bailiffs may also charge you a collection fee. The first important thing to do when you receive the enforcement letter is to check whether the enforcement officers are valid and then whether you have an outstanding debt. Always take the time to check the identity of the bailiff by asking to see:

  • Identity proof like enforcement agent certificate, ID card or a badge.
  • The identity of the firm they work for
  • Contact details such as office number and email address
  • A comprehensive breakdown of the outstanding debt and the claimant


How should you work out when the bailiff is likely to visit?

Once the bailiffs issue you with a notice of enforcement, they will wait for at least seven days before they visit your business premises or home. The day you receive the notice is not counted. Other days excluded include bank holidays, Sundays and the day of the visit. For instance, if you receive the enforcement letter on Tuesday, the bailiffs will wait until the Thursday of the next week to visit your premises.

You need to affirm whether the claimant is a known creditor to you. You should not accept the notice of enforcement if you have already settled the amount indicated or it belongs to someone else. If you are not sure whether you are liable for any debt, you can contact The Insolvency Experts to help you verify the validity of the notice of appointment with a bailiff and provide you with further expert advice.

If you do not owe the debt, bailiffs should not take action against you. Always take the time to gather sufficient evidence to prove that you have no obligation to settle the debt. Once you contact our experts, they will help you to draft and send a letter to the enforcement agency indicating that you do not owe any money.

Take the time to ensure the enforcement letter includes all of the necessary details. If the notice has errors, you can file a complaint and wait until a new notice is sent. The bailiff enforcement notice can only be valid if it is:

  • Written in an acceptable legal style
  • Showing your correct contact details; name and address
  • Sent to you in the form of a letter through email, fax, post or, if there’s no letterbox, pinned to your front door
  • Coming from a certified enforcement officer. You can visit the Justice website to check if a bailiff is registered
  • Showing the amount of debt owed and showing the correct amount


How should you deal with the debt owed?

Even if you owed the amount indicated in the bailiff notice, you can still challenge it. However, that may not be the ideal alternative if you wish to stop the enforcement officers from visiting you as soon as possible. If you can afford to settle the debt, you can contact the bailiffs to pay.

Such a decision will not only help you to stop the officers from visiting your premises but will also save you from incurring additional fees. If you pay, you need to ask the enforcement agency to send you an official receipt indicating that you have settled the debt in full. You may need to produce a payment proof in future.

If you cannot settle the whole amount or anything at the time you receive the bailiff enforcement notice, contact The Insolvency Experts for further assistance. Our financial specialists and attorneys will help you to negotiate with the enforcement officers to either allow you to pay a small amount for clearance or pay in installments.

Even if you have received the notice of enforcement but you are not in a position to agree on a settlement plan or pay the bailiffs, do not allow them to access your premises. You can stop bailiffs from accessing your premises or taking some of your items by:

  • Locking or parking your vehicle in a garage or far away from your residential or commercial premises.
  • Closing and locking all doors
  • Informing all occupants not to allow the enforcement officers to access the premises


How can I get help with dealing with a bailiff enforcement notice?

Once you receive a notice of appointment with a bailiff, you need to verify whether the notice of enforcement is valid. You need to first check whether the details of the claimant and the outstanding debt are correct. If you are not sure, you can contact The Insolvency Experts to help you ascertain the validity of the bailiff notice.

We have a highly trained and certified team of specialists to help you verify the notice of appointment with bailiff and advise you on how you can negotiate a favourable payment arrangement with the enforcement officers. Contact us by phone on 0300 303 8284, or alternatively email or request a callback on our Contact page.

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