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Bailiff Regulation

The response to the consultation paper Regulation of Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) is now available on the Security Industry Authority (SIA) website.

The consultation, conducted by the Ministry of Justice, set out three options for regulation of the bailiffs including a preferred option: regulation by the SIA.<br><br>To download visit the Ministry of Justice website.

According to the Ministry of Justice, the measure is designed to protect householders from unscrupulous bailiffs in England and Wales.

The new measures will mean, it is claimed, more training for bailiffs to stamp out what the government terms ‘cowboy practices’; qualifications to raise standards; and what the government calls a powerful independent regulator.

Justice Minister Maria Eagle said: "People have a right to recover their debts, but no-one should have the right to threaten, bully or intimidate people just to collect cash they are owed. Regulation of bailiffs is an important part of protecting householders in disputes over debts and fines and will ensure only licensed agents are able to enter a property. These rules will raise the level of professionalism among bailiffs by ensuring they are trained and know their legal limits. It will also ensure the public is protected by a properly regulated sector.’

The plans are announced in the response to the consultation paper ‘Regulation of Enforcement Agents’, published today. This document recommends that bailiffs in England and Wales should be regulated by one body, the Security Industry Authority.

The responses show agreement on the need for a statutory body to regulate the bailiff profession. It would deliver better value for money, set one standard for the industry and one set of training competencies leading to set qualifications.

Respondents also said that regulation would provide safeguards to ensure debtors rights were not violated.

The report also confirms:

The government will need to look in detail at the different complaints procedures.  This will not be a role for the SIA. 

A commitment to ensure that there is a common set of standards and a common system across the enforcement industry necessary to regulate Crown employees.

Enforcement agent powers are covered by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Extended powers of entry will not be brought in to force until the statutory regulation of the industry is in place.

The consultation paper Regulation of Enforcement Agents set out the options for the future regulation of enforcement agents and sought views on the evidence presented on all the options. The consultation closed in April 2007. The Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act received Royal Assent in July 2007. The measures in the Act bring together, in one place, the laws regarding seizure and sale of goods. Enforcement agent law is a mix of statute law, secondary legislation, case law, guidance and codes of practice.


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