Bailiff Advice Guide

A free resource with all the information you need to handle bailiffs properly.

Key Facts

Your Rights

The Law


Bailiff Debts

Bailiff Companies


The UK's First Bailiff Relief Charity.

We are a charity that helps people who are facing bailiff action.

Our aim is to aid the prevention or relief of poverty amongst persons who are in debt.

Repayment Plans

Formal debt solutions as a form of debt repayment.

There are several ways to find solutions to a debt problem which can act as a settlement with your creditor and ultimately stop bailiff action but you need to act quickly to prevent bailiffs taking your belongings and selling them.


Bankruptcy is a form of insolvency that you can apply for if you cannot pay back the money you owe or if you have so little money that it would take years to repay the debt.  To go bankrupt you have to go to court and pay a fee of £705.00.  Your name and details are published in the Individual Insolvency Register which is a national register of people, organisations and companies who have gone bankrupt.

If the value of the things you own does not add up to the total amount you owe you can apply for bankruptcy.  That is to say the value of your unsecured debt is more than the value of what you own.  This might include a house, a car or all of your belongings.  If your belongings are worth more than the debt you owe your bankruptcy application may be refused although there is no minimum amount of debt for applying for bankruptcy.

One of your creditors may also declare you bankrupt even if you don't want them to.  You must owe that creditor at least £750.

Speak to one of our advisers today to find out more about bankruptcy and if its the right option for you.

Debt Management Plans

A debt management plan or DMP is an agreement between your creditor and you to pay back the money you owe.  The arrangement is informal and can only be used to pay back non-priority debts such as credit card debt, bank loans or store card debt.

The DMP requires you to pay monthly a set amount and this is distributed equally between all of your creditors.

Debt management plans are a managed debt solution and therefore looked after by a third party.  You do not need to deal with the creditors directly.  You can cancel the DMP at any time as it is not legally binding, however, your creditors may still want to recover the debt from you.

Debt Relief Orders

If you do not own your own home, do not have any spare income and you owe less than £15,000 you may be able to deal with your debt using a debt relief order or DRO.

You need to speak to an adviser to set up a DRO.  A DRO means that you will not have to repay the money owed for most of the types of debt included in your DRO. There is also no way for your creditors to force you to pay the money you owe.

After 1 year, your debt will be written off although you are still responsible for repaying the debts that are not included in your DRO.

Applying for a DRO is quite simple but you do have to apply through and approved intermediary called a DRO adviser.  There is a fee of £90 for setting up a debt relief order.

IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangements)


Unlike debt management plans and IVA is a legally binding arrangement between you and your creditor or creditors.  You must pay back the debts you owe over a set period of time and the IVA must be set up by an insolvency practitioner.

There are costs associated with setting up and IVA and there are risks to consider as well.  Not all debts can be paid using an IVA.

IVAs are most commonly used for the following kinds of debt:

  • Bank and building society loans and overdrafts
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Store cards
  • Catalogues
  • Charge cards.
  • Council tax arrears
  • Tax debts
  • Electricity and gas debts.

An IVA is a form of insolvency and your name will appear on the individual insolvency register.

Administration Orders

This is not the same as when a company 'goes into administration'.  An administration order for an individual is a legal agreement between you and your creditor to pay back the money you owe over time.  Administration orders are approved by the court and you and your creditor do have to comply for the duration.

In order to be granted and administration order, you must have no more than £5000 total debt, two or more concurrent debts or an unpaid County Court Judgement.


The UK's First Bailiff Relief Charity.

We are a charity that helps people who are facing bailiff action.

Our aim is to aid the prevention or relief of poverty amongst persons who are in debt.