Vulnerable people have certain legal protection when bailiffs are taking action against them.
What is Vulnerable?
A person is deemed vulnerable if it is considered unreasonable for that person to deal with the bailiff problem themselves.
The law does not define exactly what a vulnerable person is however, this is a good guide as to what counts as a vulnerability:
- An older person
- Disabled person
- Someone who is seriously physically or mentally ill
- Someone who is suffering a recent bereavement
- Single parent
- Pregnant women
- Unable to understand written or spoken English.
Rules for bailiffs taking action against vulnerable people.
Firstly there are items that are restricted and a bailiff cannot take if the person is vulnerable. These are:
- Items needed for medical care. This can be for the care of anyone in the home.
- Items needed for the care of anyone under the age of 18.
- Items needed for the care of an elderly or disabled person.
- Assistance animals such as guide dogs or hearing dogs.
- A vehicle displaying a blue disabled badge.
The law says that bailiffs must:
- Ensure that a vulnerable person has the opportunity to get help and advice to deal with the bailiff's action before they take goods or charge fees.
- Not take certain belongings necessary for older or disabled people.
- Not take goods where the debtor is a child under the age of 16.
- Not make a controlled goods agreement with anyone under 16
- Not enter a home or premises when only a child under 16 or vulnerable person is present.
- Not take goods when a child under 16 or vulnerable adult is the only person in the home or premises.