Summary: This article aims to clarify what happens to any goods seized by a bailiff, what a walking possession agreement is, and what happens if the amount raised by the bailiffs does not cover the full amount of debt.
A bailiff is only allowed to enter someone's property to seize goods if they have a Warrant of Execution from the court. They are also not allowed to force entry, and this includes forcing their way past individual on their doorstep. If they are let in, however, they have a right to claim any goods (apart from those essential to day to day living, such as a bed).
What happens to my belongings taken by the bailiff?
The bailiff has a duty to get the best price possible for the items in order to pay the outstanding debt, and any fees the bailiffs have added themselves. The items will usually be placed into an auction, although in certain circumstances, a private sale may be arranged if it will raise more money.
Can I stop a bailiff taking my possessions?
A bailiff is entitled to take any possessions not deemed to be essential. They may be prepared to a Walking Possession Order, or agreement. The debtor will pay a daily fee to retain their goods. If they do not clear the debt owed in full by a specified date, the bailiff will then seize the goods, however on this occasion, they are allowed to force entry. A walking possession arrangement may be useful for those who need a few extra days to raise the money owed.
Can I get my possessions back once take by a bailiff?
All items seized are put into auction, and the only way of getting them back is to buy them back at the best possible price to the bailiff.
What happens if the money raised does not cover my debt?
After auction, the bailiffs will take the amount owed for their costs first. If the remaining amount is not sufficient to cover the outstanding debt to the creditors, then that amount will still be due. It is possible to ask the courts for a breakdown of the sale and how the money was used. It is also possible to take action against the bailiff if there is a suspicion that they did not get the best price possible. If the debt isn't fully cleared, the creditor may continue to pursue the outstanding amount, or they may decide to write off the remaining debt.