What do I do if an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) thinks I am someone else?

What do I do if an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) thinks I am someone else?

With a backlog in the courts, there can be circumstances where people have moved since a court hearing took place and this results in an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) attending a property to speak with someone who is no longer living at the address on the court order or warrant.

Every effort is made to validate the details provided by the courts, but enforcement agencies are only given a name and address. If there is no response to correspondence the only option is to visit the premises listed.

If you receive a visit from an enforcement agent, he or she needs to satisfy themselves that they have the right person at the right address. Sometimes enforcement agents are deliberately given the wrong information. For example, someone might claim that they have moved away when they haven’t. An agent is required to check that this information is correct.

If you are not the person they are looking for, the agent will ask for proof from a council tax bill or tenancy agreement. The agent will usually accept this evidence and continue tracing the person. It helps you if you have a forwarding address because then you are less likely to get more visits for the previous occupant’s debt.

Will this stop once I prove I am not who owes the debt?

If you provide proof that you live at the address, the case will be referred back to the creditor so that the records can be updated. Proof of residence can be a copy of an up-to-date utility bill, tenancy agreement or council tax bill. You can post or email these or take a photo on your phone and send them to the enforcement company.

If tracing inquiries suggest that the person named on the court order does still live at your address, or if you have the same family name as the person named on the court order, an enforcement agent may still visit you. Likewise, if a business is named on the court order, and the business is still registered at your address, an enforcement agent will visit.

Whilst it may be frustrating to have an enforcement agent arrive looking for someone that is no longer at the address, it is important to remember they are professionals acting according to the court’s instructions. If you have nothing to hide you have no cause for concern and should be able to co-operate with the enforcement agent.

The work undertaken by CIVEA members is essential to funding local services such as adult social care, leisure facilities, refuse collections, and police and fire services. Uncollected tax and fines mean less money for these services and higher bills for law-abiding residents who do pay in full and on time.

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For general enquiries only, you can contact us by email (admin@civea.co.uk), letter or telephone.

If you have a complaint or concern about one of our members, please go to our complaints page for advice

CIVEA is unable to discuss complaint matters over the telephone and complaints should be sent in writing. This is to ensure that the details of your complaint are accurately recorded and understood which makes it easier in addressing your complaint thoroughly. Please advise if you have a disability, so that we can make reasonable adjustments.

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