Internet searches around how to deal with bailiffs have increased by a massive 569% in the past year, as the cost of living crisis continues.
Many people are aware that bailiffs have the power to visit on any day of the week, between 6am and 9pm and can seize items to help recoup debt.
However, what some people don’t know is that there are certain restrictions on bailiffs which mean they can’t take everything you own.
They must leave any items which are deemed essential for a reasonable standard of living.
This includes required furniture such as beds and chairs.
Vehicles, which are a popular target for bailiffs, can also be protected from being taken and DebtBuffer has created a helpful guide to explain more.
Camper vans are protected from bailiffs if it's your main home
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- Bailiffs are not allowed to remove a vehicle if it is displaying a disabled badge, or if it is clearly used by a disabled person. If you are eligible for a blue disabled badge, make sure it is displayed inside your vehicle.
- They also can't take a vehicle that is part of a Motability Scheme.
- Bailiffs are not allowed to claim a vehicle which acts as someone's main home. This can include a caravan, houseboat, or similar.
- If your vehicle is essential for your job and is worth less than £1,350 it will be safe from being taken away. This can be good news for people such as taxi drivers.
- DebtBuffer also states a vehicle can't be taken if it is subject to a logbook loan where the last payment to the finance agreement hasn't been made. A logbook loan is a loan that is specifically secured against the vehicle itself.
Car being taken away
DebtBuffer's guide also provides advice on legal steps you can take to prevent bailiffs gaining access to your car before it is listed as part of your debts.
You can park your car in a locked garage, or move it to a friend's driveway (with their permission).
However, it's not enough to just park in a nearby street. Bailiffs can drive around your neighbourhood to try and spot your car and, if it's on a public highway, they can clamp or seize it.
If you move your car, make sure it's to private land.
DebtBuffer has also warned people to make sure car keys are hidden from sight when a bailiff comes to investigate the property.
Also, buying a cheap personalised registration can make it less likely for your vehicle to be spotted by Automatic Number Plate Recognition.
Bailiffs can use these cameras to spot vehicles parked nearby to the debtor's home.