Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the news that the law will be changed to give vulnerable people stronger protection from aggressive bailiffs.
Under new laws to clean up the industry, bailiffs will be banned from entering homes when only children are present and at night. New safeguards will prevent bailiffs from using force against people who owe money and they will also no longer have free reign to fix their own fees, as new set costs are brought in.
Until now there has been insufficient legal protection against aggressive bailiffs. These new laws, and a mandatory training and certification scheme which they must pass before going into business, will change that. Businesses will still be able to collect debts fairly, but bailiffs who do not follow the rules will be barred from the industry.
Commenting Mr Metcalfe said: “At the moment there is very little to stop unscrupulous bailiffs from abusing their position and making life a misery for vulnerable people here in South Basildon and East Thurrock. It is terribly stressful to find yourself in debt and the last thing people in that situation need is harassment from debt collectors.”
“We need a system which allows the majority of responsible bailiffs to get on with doing their jobs fairly, but which stops abuse and gives real protection. That is exactly what these changes will create.”
Conservative Justice Minister Helen Grant MP added: “For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees.”
“These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly.”