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Tell a Bailiff That You Are Vulnerable – Letter Template

Vulnerable Debt Letter Template

For free and impartial money advice and guidance, visit MoneyHelper, to help you make the most of your money.

Introduction

If you need to tell a bailiff you are vulnerable, you can use our free letter template to get the message across clearly and professionally. Our free letters can be printed off and sent to your bailiff to inform them of your vulnerable situation. The rules for bailiffs are different when dealing with vulnerable people. Learn about them here and don’t forget to use our free letter to make them take a step back. 

Downloadable Resource

The download links below take you to a Google document template where you can make a copy or save in any document format you like. Note, you may have to login to your Google account.

Download – Single (for one person)
Download – Joint (for couples)

What are the rules for bailiffs and vulnerable people?

Bailiffs have restricted powers when dealing with vulnerable people and may not get involved at all. Instead, they could be forced to ask your creditor to regain control of the situation. If you are a vulnerable person, the bailiff must:

  1. Never visit your home if you live alone
  2. Give you more time to propose a repayment plan
  3. Allow you time to seek debt advice

Bailiffs are typically not allowed to impose the fixed enforcement fee of £235 either, as stated in Regulation 12 of The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulation 2014. 

What is classed as vulnerable to bailiffs?

You will be classed as a vulnerable person to bailiffs if you are pregnant, a single struggling parent, have a serious illness, are disabled, are too young or too old to deal with bailiffs easily or you have trouble understanding English.  

You might be able to claim that you are vulnerable temporarily. Examples would include a recent death in the family that has affected you, a traumatic experience, a victim of a crime or recently becoming unemployed. 

How to prove you are vulnerable to bailiffs?

You will need to prove any of the above circumstances to the bailiff. How you achieve this will depend on the reason you claim vulnerability. For example, you may need to give them a doctor’s note to show you have a disability or serious health issue. Or you may need a letter from the DWP to show you have recently been made unemployed. 

What happens after you have been declared vulnerable?

Paragraph 16 of the TCGNS 2014 states that when a bailiff agrees that the person is vulnerable, they are responsible for reporting the situation back to the creditor or company they were working for. They must explain that they will not be getting involved at this time and will ask the creditor to regain control of the situation. 

This means you will then receive communication from the creditor, usually asking you to pay again. You might want to find a debt solution rather than waiting for the creditor to use a bailiff again in the future. 

What if bailiffs don’t believe I’m vulnerable?

If a bailiff does not accept that you are a vulnerable person, you should write a second letter of complaint. It is also wise to speak with Citizens Advice who may speak with the bailiff on your behalf and get them to agree. 

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