Debt collectors in the UK have been given new powers to collect debts at a time when consumers are facing growing economic tension and uncertainty. Under the new regulations debt collectors would be allowed to force their way into home, restrain residents and seize property in order to pay off credit card bills.
It is mind boggling that the UK government would allow bailiffs, debt collectors, to be able to break and enter or to physically grab or restrain a debtor but that is exactly what is allowed under the new regulations.
Allowed will be the breaking down of doors with just the sound of a radio or movement of a curtain as evidence that the debtor is hiding inside to avoid the debt collector.
In one case already an 89 year old woman returned home to find the bailiff sitting in her chair with a list of all her possessions that he planned to take to repay the debt for a parking ticket her son owed, who did not even live there. This is despite the fact that the debt collector is not supposed to enter a property without some evidence that the resident is inside.
I’m certain that only allowing bailiff’s to break-in while the resident is inside is a horrible idea. Imagine the trauma as your door gets kicked in and comes crashing down while you watch the debt collectors storming in. Someone is going to get shot. Someone is going to get hurt.
Giving debt collectors these powers is a mistake and a tragedy and one allowance under the law that I certainly hope does not come to America. But currently the UK government is confident that these new powers will not be abused by debt collectors.