Before you make a complaint to CIVEA, please read the following information carefully otherwise there may be a delay in your complaint being considered. You should also refer to the FAQs section of the CIVEA website which provides some useful information about the enforcement process.

How to raise a complaint

CIVEA can only deal with complaints which relate to certain types of debt. Please read this information carefully otherwise your complaint could be delayed if you send it to CIVEA and it is not a matter we can consider.

What do I need to send to CIVEA?

Send a brief outline

of the matter you wish to complain about and explain why you are unhappy with the company’s response to your complaint.

Provide copies

of the correspondence between you and the enforcement company regarding your complaint.


photographic or video evidence which supports your complaint

Provide copies of any other

relevant documentation

A completed and signed

complaints procedure leaflet which provides CIVEA with the authority to access your records with the enforcement company

If the complaint

is being made by a third party, CIVEA will require the written authorisation from a debtor, or the person subject to the complaint.

The documentation can be sent to CIVEA by email to or in writing to the following address:

PO BOX 745

What happens next?


Please be aware that CIVEA cannot give advice on enforcement issues. If you have questions at any stage contact the free advice services listed on your ‘Notice of Enforcement’ or seek legal advice.

It should also be noted that raising a complaint will not put a hold on further enforcement action, nor do CIVEA have the authority to intervene in the enforcement of a warrant, prevent the visit of an enforcement agent or prevent the seizure of goods.

A certificated enforcement agent is an individual who has been granted permission by a judge to seize goods when enforcing civil debt including non-payment of council tax, business rates, parking and other traffic offences, fines from magistrates’ courts, child support awards or failure to pay commercial rent.

A debt collector is an individual who recovers money owed under contractual transactions such as credit card debt, loans and the purchase of household goods or vehicles. Such an individual can seize the goods concerned - in certain circumstances, but cannot seize other goods unlike a certificated enforcement agent.

If you are unhappy with the enforcement company’s response:

If you are dissatisfied with the enforcement company’s response, CIVEA can consider the complaint if:

  1. The type of debt the enforcement company is collecting does not originate from a Local Authority or Transport for London. These include the following types of debts:
    • Non-payment of Council Tax
    • Non-Payment of Non-Domestic Rates
    • Unpaid Penalty Charge Notices issued by a Local Authority or Transport for London

    In such cases, your complaint must be escalated to the Local Authority or Transport for London who has instructed the enforcement company to act. If you remain dissatisfied with how the Local Authority or Transport for London deal with the complaint, you can ask for your case to be referred to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO). This is a free service and is independent of the Local Authority, Transport for London and CIVEA. You can find further details about the LGSCO here.

  2. The complaint does not relate to High Court enforcement. CIVEA is unable to consider complaints about the enforcement of a High Court Writ, or the actions of a High Court enforcement agent, county court bailiff or debt collector. While some of our members also employ High Court Enforcement Agents, there is another professional organisation which represents them. You can find details of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association here where you can also find a full list of their own members and ways to contact them.
  3. The enforcement company is a member of CIVEA. A full list of the members of CIVEA can be found here.
  4. The complaint was raised with the enforcement company or agent no more than six months from the date of the incident or the last response received from the company or agent. If there has been a long delay in the complaint being sent CIVEA, it may be difficult for us to investigate the complaint because the evidence and information we require may no longer be available.
  5. The matter is not subject to an EAC2 complaint against an enforcement agent which has already been submitted to the County Court.
  6. You are not seeking compensation from the enforcement company. Claims for compensation is not something CIVEA can consider and such matters should be referred to the County Court.

First steps

If you wish to complain about an enforcement agent or enforcement company, you must first raise your complaint directly with the company concerned. Each member company has its own internal complaints procedure and you will need to complete this process first. In most cases, companies will respond in full within 10 working days.

Here are some tips on how to make a complaint.

  • It can be best to put your complaint in writing. If this isn't something you feel comfortable doing, you could ask a friend, carer, family member or an advice organisation to help you. If you do make a complaint over the telephone, make a note of the date and time of your call and who you spoke to.
  • If you are sending a complaint in writing, write "complaint" at the top of your letter and include important details like the reference or account number, your name and address. 
  • Keep things brief and to the point. Set out the facts clearly and in a logical order. Say why you're not happy and what you expect the company to do about it. This will make it easier for them to consider the details.
  • Send copies of any relevant paperwork that you believe supports your case. Keep a copy of any letters between you and the company in case you need to refer to them later.

What CIVEA is unable to do

Where to get free advice and information: (go to

Citizens Advice (go to or phone 0345 404 0506/0344 411 1444 for England or 0344 477 2020 for Wales)

AdviceUK (go to

Money Advice Service (go to or phone 0800 138 7777) 

StepChange Debt Charity (go to or phone 0800 138 1111)

National Debtline (go to or phone 0808 808 4000)

Call charges may apply. Other free advice is available.

0844 893 3922

PO Box 745

If you wish to make a complaint against a member of CIVEA, please go to our complaints page and follow the procedure detailed there. Your email will be acknowledged within 5 working days.

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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Contact us

You can contact us by email, letter or telephone.