Figures released by the Money Advice Trust have revealed a two year 16% increase in the use of bailiffs by local authorities.
Their research, based on Freedom of Information requests, showed that:
- Council Tax debts were passed to bailiffs 1.27 million times
- Parking related debts were passed to bailiffs 715,000 times
- Housing benefit related debts were passed to bailiffs 40,000 times
“Two years ago our original research on local authority bailiff use led to widespread calls for councils to improve their debt collection practices. We had hoped the situation would have improved since then. Instead, more than half of councils are using bailiffs even more than before to collect unpaid debts.”
Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust
In 2012/3 local authorities instructed bailiffs on 1.84 million occasions compared to 2.14 million in 2014/15.
Back in February analysis by Citizens Advice went on to estimate that numbers of council tax arrears would increase by 20% in 2014/15 compared to the previous financial year.
The Money Advice Trust research showed that Barking & Dagenham was, by proportion to its size, the heaviest user of bailiffs, instructing them on 34,041 occasions.
Only three areas being Charnwood, Wyre and the Isles of Scilly didn’t instruct any bailiffs during 2014/15.
If you want to see the activity for your local council then visit the interactive map at Stop The Knock and click the ‘view map’ option.
If you need help regarding any matters concerning bailiffs then please get in touch.