Dukes Bailiffs Debt – Must you pay in 2022?
Are you being hassled by Dukes Bailiffs about a debt you have failed to pay back? Do you owe this money, but do not know how you’ll afford to repay it? Maybe you don’t even recognise the debt or believe you have already paid it off. They could even be threatening you with possible court action? If these questions are relatable, or you are having similar problems with debt collectors, read on to find out how to deal with your situation.
It’s not your fault. Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have risen this year from 830 to 2,006, so it’s safe to say that you’re not alone.
Deal with your debt today and feel amazing tomorrow.
Who are Dukes Bailiffs Limited?
Dukes Bailiffs Limited is a national debt collection and enforcement agency in the UK. The company assists in the recovery of unpaid invoices as well as commercial rate and High Court enforcement. They were established in 1993.
Beating Debt Collectors
There are several ways to deal with debt collectors and improve your finances.
Choosing the right way to tackle your debt could save you time and money, but the wrong one could cause even more harm.
It’s always best to find out about all your options from a professional before you take action.
Fill out the 5 step form to get started.
Why might Dukes Bailiffs be contacting you?
If Dukes Bailiffs are contacting you, then it is highly likely it’s because you have unpaid debts. Dukes Bailiffs recover debt for both public and private companies, so it could be that you owe a local council money or a private company.
Dukes Bailiffs have been known to collect-
- Council Tax debts
- Landlord debts
- Unpaid invoices
- Parking Ticket debts (Penalty Charge Notices)
They also work in High Court Enforcement, helping companies obtain and follow through with County Court Judgments, as well as Tenant evictions and evicting unauthorised trespassers.
They provide services to many councils and companies and although receiving contact from Dukes Bailiffs doesn’t mean you have a CCJ or court action against you, it might do. If you do not take it seriously it could result in more costs, more contact from enforcement agents and eventually some of your assets being repossessed.
You may not understand the extent of debt problems, but you can be assured that the debt collection industry is huge. Debt collectors and Bailiffs such as Dukes Bailiffs come in a variety of shapes and forms,with a number of debt collection agencies acting as an independent business, with others being a part of the original creditor (who you have the original debt with) such as credit card companies, banks or other financial institutions. You can even find debt collectors who work as sole traders.
Independent and sole trader debt collectors rely on the same business model that involves purchasing debt at a fraction of its face value, quite often a face value of as little as 20%, and they make money when they collect payments. They often don’t care much about your circumstances. As far as they are concerned it is you who racked up the debt and you should repay it. They do not generally want to find out about your hardships. They may not be particularly nice, and may resort to unfair practices to get you to pay the debt. The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2010) said that poor practices among debt collectors “appear to be widespread”.
Do you really owe this debt?
The first thing to find out is whether you actually owe the debt? If you are unfamiliar with the debt, you should get some information on where it originated and how much you really owe. It is highly likely that the original debt is different to the original charge, as various charges and interest may have been added. It could be substantially more than the value of the loan you took out.
If you want to find out more about the debt, you can write to Dukes Bailiffs Limited and request that they provide you with a copy of the original credit agreement. If they tell you they will not be able to provide this, you can stop payments and there is nothing else they can do, assuming they do not have a court order against you. It is their responsibility to provide you with the proof of the debt you owe.
Feeling like Chandler?
Is all this information starting to feel overwhelming? Don’t panic! There’s plenty of help available. You can get started below.
Can Dukes Bailiffs Limited Break into My House?
There are specific circumstances when Dukes Bailiffs can enter your house. Unlike normal debt collectors, Dukes Bailiffs are an enforcement agent and as such, provide enforcement services to other organisations for unpaid debts. That means there are times when they could enter your home.
If a Liability Order has been issued against you by a magistrate on behalf of the local authorities or if you are a business then there would need to be an unpaid fine from a Magistrate, County Court or High Court in order for them to gain entry to your home.
Can Dukes Bailiffs Take My Property?
Dukes Bailiffs can take items from your property assuming that a Liability Order is in place.
However, there are restrictions on what they can take from your property. They can only collect ‘Walking Possessions’. They are items subject to the ‘Taking Control of Goods Regulations’.
Normally, they will first take an inventory of all your possessions that they could remove, along with their estimated value. If you fail to pay the debt, these are the items that they will look to repossess later.
Once they’ve taken the inventory you can enter into a ‘Controlled Goods Agreement’, which should allow you to agree a payment plan with the enforcement agent so that you can avoid those items being repossessed.
What if you don’t want to pay?
You may not want to pay, lets face it, who does! However, it is your debt, therefore, you have the responsibility to pay it back. If the debt is yours, the best way to deal with it is to repay the debt if you are able to afford it.
However, if you can’t manage to repay it, or if paying the debt would stop you from taking care of other payments, such as your mortgage or rent, then you can make a payment arrangement with Dukes Bailiffs. They may even accept a partial payment to close off the debt.
The effect of debt collectors
Unfortunately, it seems to be commonplace for debt collectors to implement a wide range of tactics in an attempt to try and get you to pay the debt, even some which are against the law. The tactics often include putting you under pressure to pay debt, even when you can’t really afford it, or bullying/harassing you into paying up.
If you are being harassed by Dukes Bailiffs, it could cause issues in your life, even causing you to face mental health issues. In some cases, there are debtors who have contemplated suicide. Debtors have experienced feelings of complete despair, and that they are entrapped. As a consequence of these issues faced by debtors, the government was asked to take control and step in to get tough with these companies. They did take on the request, and put in some new regulations that are designed to help ensure that debtors have greater protection.
The new legislation has made a difference, there is no doubt about it, but there are still many issues around the debt collection industry and how some are treating those who are experiencing debt problems.
Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors and what the law states
The Office for Fair Trading (OFT, 2012) has put regulations in place for the debt collection industry. In summary, the rules state that, Dukes Bailiffs Limited have a responsibility to:
- Treat debtors fairly way and without using any underhand practices or any other actions which make the debtor feel under pressure or embarrassed.
- Be transparent with all information and ensure it is clear and not confusing to the debtor
- Be considerate to debtors who may be experiencing difficulty and be empathetic to their situation
- Consider the circumstances of the debtor, before deciding what to do next.
If you are being hassled by Dukes Bailiffs who are not sticking to these guidelines, then you may be able to report them to the OFT. In the worse case, they may decide to revoke the license of the debt collectors.
You can make a complaint about Dukes Bailiffs Limited, by using this online complaint form.
Understanding how Dukes Bailiffs Debt Collectors work
If you understand the way in which Dukes Bailiffs operate, you will have greater knowledge to be able to deal with them. These are some useful facts about debt collectors:
They may be on a bonus
The Dukes Bailiffs agents who keep phoning you are likely to be highly incentivised and there will be an assumption that they will collect a certain amount each month, otherwise they will face questions.
On top of the standard enforcement fees they collect, there will usually be bonuses for the amount they are able to take and these will go towards that bonus.
This is why they will do anything in their power to get some payments in, rather than having to record a “No Payment.” This will go some way to explaining their persistence to get the payment.
You need to stay strong and deal with debt collectors like Dukes Bailiffs. You now have the knowledge that most of the threats they make are empty, and you can turn it all around. You can speak to them, but don’t pay unless you can afford to.
They may use automated call technology
You may believe that you should not bother answering calls from Dukes Bailiffs, but if you do this, you might find that the agency just employs automated call technology that will keep phoning you every half hour, until you answer the phone. Even if you do answer the phone, there may not be anyone at the other side. They are just trying to intimidate you.
If this does happen to you, you should take down details of the nature of the calls with dates and times. Behaviour like this should not be accepted, as it is breaching the OFT guidelines. You can explain to the agent that you plan to contact the Financial Ombudsman.
You will be able to reach the Financial Ombudsman by phone on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
The good and the bad
Pleasant calls combined with abusive calls is a tactic often used by debt collectors and Bailiffs and it will often prove to be extremely effective. When you are faced with an approach like this, you will usually be faced with excessive calls, many of which may be aggressive and abusive, but mixed in with friendly contact.
This change in attitude can happen may even happen in one phone call. The agent will often start the conversation politely, but they soon change attitude when they realise that you can’t pay anything towards the debt. They may even be abusive at time. Relentless calls are fairly common too. The combined process is designed to try to wear you down, to make you reach breaking point so that you just pay up to get some peace!
It can be hard to stand up to such behaviour, which is the reason why they employ it in the first place. But again, you should be strong and try to deal with it in the best way possible. Report it to the OFT using this online complaint form if you feel that they are failing to follow the guidelines.
What if they discuss your debt with others?
If anyone else picks up the phone, then the debt collector may try to embarrass you by talking to others about the debt; basically anyone who picks up the phone. They may speak to someone from your family, a partner or in some cases, they have even been known to speak to colleagues about the debt. This sort of behaviour is illegal, and is both a breach of OFT guidelines, together with privacy laws.
You have the right to report this behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman on 0800 023 4567 or 0300 123 9123
Lies and deceit
If nothing else is working, a debt collector may go to extreme lengths in an attempt to collect the payment from you, and may even apply some abusive behaviour, which fall short of the law. They may say they are calling you up from the court, they are operating as a bailiff and they will visit your home to take some of your possessions, or they may threaten criminal prosecution. It’s hard to believe that debt collectors would use this form of tactic to try and get you to repay the debt, but it’s more common that most of us would ever believe.
You should never allow them to visit your property and if they turn up without a Liability Order, you would be able to refuse them entry. If they continue to threaten you, do not hesitate to call the police and inform them.
Don’t let them get to you
As we know, debt collectors such as Dukes Bailiffs can be relentless pursuit to get their money in doing so, their behaviour could even account for causing mental health issues and even suicide in some cases. There is no doubt that standing up to Dukes Bailiffs is difficult, and it requires strength and courage that can be difficult for a lot of people to muster up. Don’t despair though, you will be able to get help if you need it.
The main point is that you will need to deal with your debt issues, but you should always do this in a way that will cause you the least amount of pain and distress. Debt problems often seem like there is no way out, but there are always options to solve your debt issues.
Do you need professional help with your debt?
If you are facing debt problems, you may feel embarrassed and distressed, but you should know that there are lots of different types of help with debt available for this common problem. There are agencies who do not make a profit and charge nothing for the one-to-one support. There are not-for-profit agencies who can provide one-to-one help and support, and you will find commercial debt management companies who will provide a service, but with a charge. Obviously, the free debt help is the one to try first, and then the commercial agencies if you can’t get the desired help you need. These are a few agencies who can provide free help with debt:
- Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) will be able to provide you with debt help, and may even be able to ensure debt collectors stop contacting you, as long as you are taking steps to deal with your debt situation.
- Christians Against Poverty (CAP) will provide you with free debt help and advice.
- StepChange provides free online debt advice will offer help and advice in dealing with your debt and sorting your overall financial situation.
Despite the fact that there are plenty of warnings from professional organisations, as well as government guidelines, and other measures to try and deal with the tactics of various debt collecting agencies, the problem still very much exists. Enforcement agents are still hassling, and harassing debtors to the point of putting them on the brink of depression, and other mental health issues.
It is possible to deal with Bailiffs and enforcement agents though. You should never refuse to pay your debt, but you can spread repayments, and they should allow you to do so. You can report their unacceptable behaviour to the Financial Ombudsman, and in some cases, they could even lose their licence.