COVID-19: We have answered some of our customer's most frequently asked questions

Coronavirus Affects Bailiff Collections

If you’re struggling to repay creditors, it’s common to worry about a letter from bailiffs or debt collection agencies. However, due to the coronavirus crisis, you shouldn’t expect to see many of these professionals anytime soon.

Writing in a letter to government ministers, the chief executive of the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) confirmed that enforcement activity would cease during the pandemic:

“enforcement agents are not enforcing debts”, he stated. “In order to reduce the burden on families many local authorities are suspending or significantly reducing debt collection services.”

“In the last week, since the CIVEA guidance was published and government advice updated, there has been a complete suspension of enforcement visits, whether to recover unpaid court fines, penalty charge notices, council tax or non-domestic business rates.

“Where a skeleton staff continues to operate remotely, local authorities have requested that a Iight-touch communication is maintained. This is primarily identifying vulnerable people and offering extensions to repayment plans and payment holidays”.

During this time, it has been reported that bailiffs – especially those furloughed – are working with the NHS as volunteers. Moreover, these individuals are using their vehicles to support deliveries.

How does this affect my debt?

If you’re worried about a visit from a bailiff or debt collection agency, this information suggests that should no longer happen – at least for matters covered by CIVEA. However, make no mistake, this doesn’t mean that your financial situation has been forgiven.

Instead, as the guidance above illustrates, you may be offered a payment holiday or extension on your repayments. Still, it’s good to know that in these uncertain times, the temporary suspension of bailiff activities should grant some breathing room.

We’re still open – and ready to provide financial advice

The coronavirus crisis will eventually be resolved. When this does, bailiffs will get back to work again. This is the perfect opportunity to get ahead and start sorting your debts now. National Debt Service is still open and ready to provide the support you need.

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