Up until very recently, enforcement officers are still being spotted collecting debt up and down the country. Even with social distancing rules in place and many people being unable to go to work, the government has to put a freeze on debt collection. Many people have been left unable to pay bills or able to buy food, yet belongings are still being taken from peoples home to make up for unpaid debt.
Although civil enforcement offers have been told to wear gloves, they are still entering peoples homes to collect outstanding debts – therefore risking the health of themselves and others in the name of debt collection. It has been found that The CEA, which is representative of more than 1,800 bailiffs, warned their employees to wear rubber gloves during visits but did not stop them from making repossessions. This, as a result, is not only morally questionable but serving as a real health hazard during the current global pandemic.
With many of the debt collection being in relation to council tax and parking fines, millions of people each year find bailiffs at their door. However, should they still be operating during this time?
Not only are people worried about the health hazards of bailiffs coming into contact with multiple people each day, but others have warned that due to the current economic climate people simply can not pay what they owe.
Calls for government backing on a scheme aimed to help those in debt have been made. However, the government is yet to respond to the letter sent by a body of people including charities and economists.
On the other hand, one spokesperson is quoted in saying that these enforcement officers are in fact not reclaiming unpaid debts, but aiding the National Health Service. They are supposedly helping the community by delivering essential supplies to residents that are unable to go out themselves. However, absolute clarity on this information has not yet been found.
The spokesperson said the following in regards to this:
‘The only activity relating to unpaid bills they are still carrying out was to offer extensions’
He added: ‘Where people are being contacted it is to extend payment plans or offer payment holidays.’
Get in touch to have your say on the above, or if you have any further information on just what enforcement agents are doing at this crazy time.