Dealing With Repossessed Car Bailiffs
When bailiffs come to repossess a car they do not have the right to take a car which is parked in a driveway or in a third parties driveway without your permission. Cars are often repossessed illegally by bailiffs from a person’s driveway, you have the right to stop a car being repossessed in this case. Bailiffs do have the right to repossess a car if it is parked on the road.
Once a car has been repossessed, the car will be sold at a repossessed car auction and then the lender will contact you to recover losses.
Below is a list of rights you have against bailiffs who come to repossess a car.
The bailiff can only seize goods which belong to the debtor. However, the bailiff can seize goods, which are jointly owned even if the other joint owner is not the debtor. The bailiff has the right to repossess the car if payments are in arrears.
Goods which cannot be seized
The bailiff cannot seize the following:
- Goods which belong to another person
- Fixtures and fittings
- Goods on hire-purchase
- Goods which are rented
“Such clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment or provisions as are necessary for satisfying the basic domestic needs of the debtor and his / her family.”
“Such tools, books, vehicles, and other items of employment as are necessary to the debtor for use personally in their employment, business and vocation.”
If the Bailiff is collecting a Fine the following goods cannot be seized:
“The clothes and bedding of the debtor and his/her family. The tools and implements of the debtor’s trade.”
Most bailiffs do not have the right to force their way into your home to seize your goods. The only exception is that bailiffs from the Collector of Taxes (Inland Revenue) can get a warrant to force entry, but this is very rare.
All other bailiffs have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they cannot use force to enter your home, for example, by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter your property through an open door or window (front and back) and can climb over fences and gates, but cannot break them down.
You do not have to let a bailiff into your house. A bailiff cannot force their way past you if you answer the door. If all your doors and windows are securely closed they will not be able to gain peaceful entry to your house unless you let them in.
Bailiffs are well aware of their limited powers and may use a variety of different means to gain entry peaceably. They may attempt to walk in as soon as a door is opened. They may ask if they can use your telephone to check if an arrangement is satisfactory with their office. They may simply ask you if you would prefer to discuss matters inside. You do not have to go along with any of these methods.