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National Debtline

Advice you can trust

Bailiff action

Business debts

The law on bailiffs is complicated. This page gives more information to help you understand your rights and how best to deal with bailiff action for business debts.

Golden rules

This short guide lists the 'dos and don'ts' to follow when dealing with bailiffs collecting business debts.

This covers the golden rules to follow if a bailiff calls and includes:

  • bailiff entry rights;
  • making payments; and
  • how and when to complain about a bailiff.

Suspending a bailiff's warrant

This fact sheet tells you what to do if you have a county court judgment and receive a bailiff's 'warrant of execution', or are visited by a county court bailiff.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • suspend a bailiff's warrant on a county court judgment; or
  • make an application to the County Court to reduce payments that the court has said you must make.

Business rates

This fact sheet tells you about business rates and how the council can take action to recover money you owe.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • work out your options for dealing with business rates arrears;
  • see how the debt can be enforced by the council; and
  • deal with bailiffs if the council use them to recover the arrears.

Business property leases

This fact sheet tells you what your business landlord can do if you do not pay your business rent.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • work out our options for dealing with business rent arrears; and
  • deal with bailiffs if your business landlord decides to use them to recover rent arrears.

Income tax debt

This fact sheet tells you about income tax returns and what Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) can do if you do not pay you tax on time.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • see how to negotiate with HMRC if you have income tax arrears;
  • understand how income tax debt can be enforced by HMRC; and
  • deal with bailiffs if HMRC use them to recover arrears.

High Court enforcement

This fact sheet tells you about how the High Court can become involved when creditors take action to recover money you owe.

Use this fact sheet to:

  • see if the debt you owe could be enforced in the High Court; and
  • understand your rights if High Court Enforcement Officers visit you.