Unfair treatment by bailiffs is putting people in Ipswich at even greater risk of financial difficulty, warns Ipswich Citizens Advice.
This year to date the charity helped well over 100 people with bailiff issues, including problems related to enforcement action for arrears and fines.
Ipswich Citizens Advice says some of the tactics used by bailiffs are pushing some people further into the red.
Examples seen by Ipswich Citizens Advice include bailiffs arriving at a house looking for payment at 6 a.m. when the resident, a mother on her own, couldn’t reach anyone for help or support due to the early hour. This just meant she felt under increased stress and pressure until she could contact someone to help her deal with the situation.
Nationally, Citizens Advice helped people with over 80,000 bailiff problems last year. The charity is part of the Taking Control campaign calling for fundamental reform of bailiff laws in England and Wales. It wants a new independent regulator set up to cover all bailiffs, as well as a restructuring of bailiff fees to incentivise good practice.
Nicky Willshere, Manager at Ipswich Citizens Advice said:
“Bailiffs can cause severe distress and should only be used as a last resort.”
“We’ve helped people who have experienced problems such as bailiffs turning up unannounced at their homes or with difficulties trying to arrange an affordable repayment plan. These tactics not only create emotional turmoil but can also push people further into debt if they are rushed in to making on the spot decisions.”
“Creditors must make sure they are treating people fairly by helping them work out how to manage and repay debts rather than making their financial issues worse.
“Anyone struggling with debt can get free and confidential advice from Ipswich Citizens Advice and we would encourage people to come to us before their debts or other financial problems escalate to court action.”