Guide to Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers

CALL 0800 1804 933

Bailiffs and Enforcement Officers

A Bailiff or, Enforcement Officer has legal powers to collect debts. There are two main types of bailiff involved in debt enforcement, each with different powers.

County Court Bailiffs are directly employed by the Court and controlled by the Court Manager. They are responsible for enforcing county court orders (CCJs) up to £5,000. Court orders over £5,000 must be transferred up to the High Court for enforcement by a High Court Enforcement Officer. Court Orders over £600 may be transferred to the High Court depending on the wishes of the claimant.

High Court Enforcement Officers have authorisation to enforce higher value judgments known as High Court Writs. High Court Enforcement Officers have greater powers than County Court Bailiffs. They work for privately operated businesses rather than the Court and are paid based on successful collection of debts. High Court Enforcement Officers must belong to a professional body and follow a set code of conduct.

Bailiff Procedure

Bailiffs must follow a set procedure. Bailiffs are now required to send you a letter before they visit. This letter is called a ‘notice of enforcement’. The notice of enforcement gives you seven working days’ warning before the bailiff visits your home or business premises. If you don’t pay the debt within the 7-days, the bailiff will visit you.

When they visit on the first occasion, they’ll usually try to enter your premises peacefully and make a list of your assets. In most cases they won’t remove any assets on their first visit, they will usually leave you with a ‘controlled goods order’. The controlled goods order will set out the payment terms the bailiff will accept. If you don’t make the payments detailed in this order, the bailiff will return to remove the assets they previously listed and arrange for them to be sold.

Once a bailiff has made a list of your goods and taken them into control you could be arrested if you hide, remove or deliberately damage any of these goods.

What debts do Bailiffs collect?

In most cases, bailiffs only become involved in collecting debts once a creditor has taken you to court and obtained a County Court judgment (CCJ). In addition to enforcing CCJs, bailiffs might be instructed to collect other types of debt, without the need for a CCJ including:

  • Self-Assessment Tax
  • National Insurance
  • VAT and PAYE
  • Business Rates
  • Council Tax
  • Child maintenance arrears
  • Criminal fines
  • Parking penalties issued by a local authority

Can Bailiffs force entry?

In most cases a bailiff can only enter your house peacefully through a front or back door. In most cases they must apply for a warrant from a judge before they’re allowed to use force.

However, Bailiffs CAN use force to enter your home or business premises:

  • To collect HMRC debts – Tax and VAT
  • To collect criminal fines
  • To remove goods that are subject to a controlled goods order

When can the bailiffs visit?

A bailiff can visit you at home anytime between 6am and 9pm, on any day of the week. They should avoid Sundays and certain religious festivals unless it’s unavoidable. They are only allowed to visit outside these times if they get a warrant from a court allowing it. If you run a business that is only open outside of these hours, they can visit your business premises at any time during those hours.

Where can the bailiffs visit?

Bailiffs can attend any property in England or Wales where you live or run a business from. Bailiffs can also visit someone else’s property if they have good reason to believe your goods are stored there. They should not call at your workplace, unless you are Self-Employed.

What CAN bailiffs take?

A bailiff will look for any assets that can be sold if you don’t pay the debt. They’ll be interested in any goods which can be sold easily for a good price at auction. Bailiffs will usually look to remove:

  • Vehicles – cars and vans
  • Electrical equipment – PC’s, Laptops, IPAD’s etc
  • Business assets – stock, tools, machinery
  • Jewellery
  • Furniture

What can a Bailiff NOT take?

  • Basic household items such as a cooker / microwave / fridge / washing machine
  • Phones – landline or mobile
  • Beds and bedding
  • Dining tables and chairs
  • Medical or care equipment
  • Goods owned by someone else
  • Goods you’ve bought on a HP, where the final payment hasn’t been made
  • Fitted furniture – kitchen units / fitted wardrobes
  • Tools and equipment that are essential for your job (to a maximum value of £1,350)

Cars and Vans

Vehicles will often be the bailiff’s first target. They are easy to find, move, sell and are usually the highest value item someone owns. Bailiffs are allowed to take any vehicles parked on a public road; this includes your car or van. Most bailiffs tend to use number plate recognition cameras to identify cars as they drive round. It is simple for them to get details from the DVLA to identify vehicles that you own.

Some bailiffs will even argue they are within their rights to remove (or clamp) a vehicle which they know is subject to a hire purchase agreement. If this is the case, you can make a complaint on the basis that the car belongs to the hire purchase company, not you.

Bailiffs should not remove:

  • Vehicles displaying a disabled badge
  • Vehicles that are subject to a logbook loan (where the final payment hasn’t been made)
  • Vehicles that are essential for your job (e.g. a taxi) if it is worth less than £1,350
  • Vehicles parked on someone else’s private land, unless they have a court order allowing this.

For more information about our Business Finance solutions contact us today.

CALL 0800 1804 933
Neil Batty
Neil BattyManaging Director
Neil established Anderson Brookes in 2001. He has over 20-years’ experience helping Business Owners and Company Directors that are struggling with debt.

Contact Neil for immediate help on 01204 255 051 or, email at the above address

About Anderson Brookes

I already have a CCJ is it too late to take advice?2018-02-18T19:23:32+00:00

No. Call us straight away on 0800 1804 933, in most cases we can prevent CCJ’s from being enforced by bailiffs if we are instructed early enough.

Can you help with Bailiffs?2018-02-18T19:23:03+00:00

Yes. If we are instructed early enough, we are usually very successful in stopping bailiffs from removing assets. We have written a useful guide to the powers of bailiffs on this website; please visit our Help Guide section. Whilst the Help Guide is very useful, it is no substitute for specific personal advice. Please call us now and speak with a qualified Adviser.

In most cases, we are able to speak directly with the bailiff; once they understand your circumstances, they may allow us extra time to put a repayment plan together. If the bailiff is not receptive to our requests, we may be able to help you get a Court Order blocking bailiff enforcement action for around one month. This should give us all the time we need to put a formal repayment plan in place.

Where can I check out Anderson Brookes?2018-02-18T19:20:15+00:00

Before discussing your financial affairs, we believe that you should check the credentials of the individual or organisation you intend speaking with. We are no different:

Anderson Brookes Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority; our FCA registration number is 669796. You can confirm our details on the FCA website

Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd is a firm of Insolvency Practitioners. Brendan P Hogan is licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association; licence Number 101680. You can confirm the licence details at

Anderson Brookes Ltd and Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd are both registered at 4th Floor, Churchgate House, Bolton, Lancashire BL1 1HL

How are Anderson Brookes Regulated?2018-02-18T19:21:02+00:00

Anderson Brookes Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd is a separate company. Brendan P Hogan is Licensed to act as an Insolvency Practitioner by the Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA).

Can you provide advice over the phone?2018-02-18T19:22:25+00:00

Yes. Although we are based in Bolton, Lancashire, we deal with clients throughout the UK. Most of the work we do can be completed over the phone. You will not need to visit our offices; we can however, arrange to come and see you at your home or business if you prefer.

Do you offer a Free Consultation?2018-02-18T19:21:54+00:00

Yes. We offer a Free Consultation in all cases. We will ask questions to help us understand your circumstances and provide you with a specific recommendation. Should you decide to move forward with any recommendation we have made, we will confirm any costs involved in writing, before accepting your instructions. In some cases, there will be no charge made by Anderson Brookes for the services we provide.

Do I need an appointment?2018-02-18T19:24:00+00:00

No. You do not need to arrange an appointment, simply call us on 0800 1804 933 and we’ll be able to help. If you prefer, we can arrange to call you at a time convenient to you.

Questions about our Debt Solutions

Can Anderson Brookes help with Corporate Insolvency?2018-01-20T07:50:03+00:00

Absolutely. One of our greatest success stories involves the provision of restructuring and insolvency advice to the Directors of a company turning over in excess of £35 million pa.

We are equally at home assisting sole-traders and self-employed individuals.

Can you help with debts in a Limited Company?2018-01-20T07:49:10+00:00

Yes. Providing debt advice to the Directors of limited companies is our specialist area. There are a wide range of debt solutions available to limited companies struggling with cash-flow problems. Our aim is make sure Directors understand all their options before taking any action.

Do you only offer formal insolvency advice?2018-01-23T18:09:11+00:00

No. In fact, most of the people that call us for advice do not need a formal insolvency procedure. Before recommending any specific debt solution, we will help you consider all the options available to you. This will include providing you with self-help guidance and advice on informal debt solutions.

As you would expect, in the event that you do need insolvency advice our Licensed Insolvency Practitioner will be able to act on your behalf. Unlike some of our competitors, we would not need to refer you to an external company having recommended an insolvency process.

Can you help with Personal Debt?2018-01-20T07:47:58+00:00

Yes. Although we specialise in helping with small business debt problems, many of our clients are also suffering with personal debts (credit cards, loans, bank overdrafts etc). We will make sure our advice covers all your financial affairs.

In order to provide advice in relation to personal debts, firms must be licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Anderson Brookes Ltd is directly Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. *Before taking advice from any individual or organisation, it is essential that you verify that they are authorised to provide regulated advice. If you have already spoken with an Adviser but are unsure of their status, please feel free to call us on 0800 1804 933 and we will explain how to properly check them out.

For more information about our debt solutions contact us today.

CALL 0800 1804 933


“The service I received from Anderson Brookes was excellent. I’d already made the decision to cease trading but I didn’t know how to deal with my legal responsibilities as a Director. I went through the process of Creditors Voluntary Liquidation (CVL). Anderson Brookes helped me through every stage”.

Mr L C. Managing Director of #### Cash & Carry Ltd.

“I write to you having recently used your company to arrange an IVA. Throughout this process I was stressed to the point of being unwell and encountered many obstacles, all of which Khalid walked me through. I am now beginning to start the process of getting myself on the right track, and this is largely thanks to Khalid’s pragmatism.”.

Mr L. A., sole trader

“Neil helped me through the process of Liquidating my company. Although closing-down the company was quite stressful, it was surprisingly quick and Neil made sure I knew what to expect at each stage. I have recommended other business owners to Anderson Brookes and always received great feedback”.

JP, Director of XXX Ale House Limited

“Why my company ran into cash-flow difficulties, I was introduced to Neil at Anderson Brookes. We discussed lots of different options but I decided to place the company into Liquidation. The problems are now behind me and I’ve been able to set up a brand new, debt-free company”.

Miss G H - Director of #### In Exmouth Ltd

“Anderson Brookes helped me arrange a Business IVA. I was a sole trader and my plumbing business had run into financial problems. I was able to repay my debts through a voluntary arrangement over 5-years. I’m pleased to say; the business has been trading very successfully now for the last few years”.

Mr A C - trading as ‘### Plumbing & Heating’

“Just thought I would let you know that business is going extremely well I have no credit commitments, new car, new van and 2 good holidays a year and I really do owe all of that to you. I really appreciate your help in turning my life around. I would hate to think about where I would be if I hadn’t met you”.

Mr T. C. - Self-Employed Engineer

“I was introduced to Neil at Anderson Brookes as I needed help with a financial problem. It turned out that I just needed to have all the options explained. Within a month of taking advice, the problem was behind me. I’m happy to recommend Neil and Anderson Brookes to anyone that needs advice on debt”.

Miss L.H. - Informal Debt Settlement

“You were very helpful and professional.  It was a very stressful time, thanks to your work and management, I was able to relax again.”

Mrs S. T. - Sole Trader


Our professional and friendly team are on hand to provide you with the help and guidance you need at this difficult time.

CALL 0800 1804 933



Anderson Brookes Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales; the company registration number is 4213701. Anderson Brookes Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA); our FCA registration number is 669796. You can confirm our details on the FCA website Data Protection: our ICO registration reference number is Z5595675. Anderson Brookes Ltd does not administer ‘debt relief orders’, ‘debt management plans’ or handle ‘client money’. In the event we believe a debt management plan or debt relief order may be the most suitable debt solution we will provide you with the contact details of a reputable, non-fee charging organisation. The Money Advice Service are an independent service, set up by government to help people make the most of their money, they give free, unbiased money advice to everyone across the UK – online, over the phone and face to face. You can visit Money Advice Service at

Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales; the company registration number is 10324159.  Laura J Prescott and Brendan P Hogan are licensed to act as Insolvency Practitioners in the UK by the Insolvency Practitioners Association. Licence Numbers 15010 and 13030 respectively. Our VAT Registration Number is 249 5912 70. Data Protection: our ICO registration reference number is ZA201949. Anderson Brookes Financial Services Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales; the company registration number is 08660228.  Data Protection: our ICO registration reference number is ZA123471. All group companies are registered at 4th Floor, Churchgate House, Bolton BL1 1HL

Anderson Brookes Insolvency Practitioners Ltd operate a complaints procedure. In the first instance, please call 01204 255 051 or email to request a copy of the complaints process. If we are unable to deal with your complaint to your satisfaction, your complaint should be made to the Insolvency Complaints Gateway by visiting their website and completing and submitting their online form. Alternatively, you can print the form from their website and send it by post to The Insolvency Service, IP Complaints, 3rd Floor, 1 City Walk, Leeds, LS11 9DA or contact them by telephone on 0300 678 0015 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm).

Some of the services provided by Anderson Brookes are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Some of the debt solutions we provide advice on are only available in England and Wales; Anderson Brookes does not provide services outside England and Wales. Anderson Brookes is a commercial, profit seeking organisation; depending on the services provided, fees may be payable. Any fees applicable will be confirmed to you in writing before any chargeable work is completed. Anderson Brookes operates a complaints policy; if you are not happy with the way we have  dealt with you or your case, please ask us for a copy of the policy.