Call for private bailiffs in Lincolnshire to be kept in check
EAST Lindsey Citizens Advice Bureau (ELCAB) is calling on the government to introduce a 'licence to enforce' in response to rising problems with private bailiffs.
Latest national figures reveal that in 2007/08 Citizens Advice Bureau dealt with more than 40,900 problems with private bailiffs – rising dramatically to more than 56,300 in the last year.
In the last 12 months Citizens Advice has also seen a surge in people seeking online help to deal with bailiffs.
ELCAB bureau manager Sue Waltham said: "We see lots of cases in East Lindsey where bailiffs aren't abiding by the law and are being overzealous when they come to collect debts. "People are frightened in their home, worried that the next knock at the door will be the bailiff."
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Evidence from Citizens Advice reveals bailiffs frequently overstate their powers and often behave aggressively to those in debt.
Ms Waltham added: "It's absurd that there are no official sanctions to keep bailiffs in check.
"We want to see a licence introduced for bailiff firms so if they're found to be acting outside of the law then their licence is revoked.
"The local authority has their part to play too by making sure debts for council tax and unpaid parking fines are only referred to bailiffs as a very last resort."
Anyone who is struggling with debt can get free, impartial advice from East Lindsey Citizens Advice Bureau or visit www.adviceguide.org.uk