Can I avoid enforcement by moving house?

Can I avoid enforcement by moving house?

No. Moving house will not resolve the debt that you owe your local authority and enforcement agents (bailiffs) can trace and visit you at a new address to recover the debt owed from a previous address.

It is important to remember that late or non-payment will result in enforcement fees being added, meaning that if you move without notifying those whom you owe, the amount you will eventually need to repay will only increase with the time it takes for an enforcement agent to trace you and visit your new residence. These fees are fixed and set out in legislation. Your possessions at your new property may also be taken into control and sold at auction to resolve the outstanding debt.

Enforcement agents have more powers than standard debt collectors and can visit your home between the hours of 6:00 am and 9:00 pm or, in the case of a business, at any time during trading hours. This can be on any day of the week, although agents will take account of certain public holidays and religious days, where this is reasonable. You do not need to be at home for an agent to visit. You will still be given at least seven days’ notice and an opportunity to resolve your debt before an enforcement agent visits.

Remember, that if an enforcement visits, any dispute you have with your creditor (the authority that you owe money) is no longer being considered. When your case is passed to the court, your creditor has closed the case. Enforcement companies are not instructed to deal with disputes regarding the original debt and it is not their responsibility to raise a dispute on behalf of a debtor. If you are dissatisfied with the actions of the enforcement agent, you can submit a complaint to the enforcement company. However, this may not prevent enforcement action from continuing while the complaint is being considered.

There can be circumstances when an Enforcement Agent may visit your property after you have moved in to discuss a debt registered at your new address that belongs to the previous occupant. For advice on what to do if an enforcement agent thinks you are someone elseor if your housemate receives a notice of enforcement, please visit the CIVEA blog.

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