Frequently Asked Questions

Adrian, Ilford

I had a bailiff turn up at my house demanding £460 for a £60 parking ticketand he was only giving me 7 days to make payment or he would come in to remove my goods.... It's become apparent that John is either a magician or a very hard working,


What is a bailiff?

Someone authorised by a County Court judge to take away or disable your property and sell it to offset this sale amount against money you owe to a creditor. Priority debts could include things like unpaid rates or council tax, parking fines, speeding tickets, etc. In effect, you owe money to the government. The bailiff needs to have a 'warrant', or a 'warrant of execution' from the court to collect a debt.

Always ask to see the actual warrant and ask that the bailiff identifies himself. A debt collector is different and should not pretend to be a bailiff. Debt collectors do not have authority to seize or disable your property. A debt collector is a debt collector appointed by a private organisation (eg a credit card or loan company) and a bailiff is a bailiff appointed by an arm of the government (eg the council or the tax man).

What shall I do when a bailiff comes to my house?

Whose side is the policeman on, mine or the bailiff’s?

Through a certain way of using words it is possible to give you the impression that the policeman is there at the behest of the bailiff. This is not the case. The policeman is there to keep the peace and nothing else.

What will the bailiff do if I let him in?

If the bailiff gains entry peaceably on his first visit, he is allowed to come back at any time later, then force his way in to collect your items during later visits.

What if the stuff he’s taking isn’t mine?

He’s not allowed to take things that you don’t own, but it is reasonable for him to assume that if it’s in your house, then it’s yours. Whoever it does actually belong to would have to prove it, and prove it straightaway, which could be difficult or impossible as some items may be so old that the receipt or bank statement may have long since been disposed of.

The bailiff is not allowed to take things that you need for your work or business. So, if you’re web designer, he can’t take your PC. If you’re a fitness instructor, he can’t take your gym equipment. The bailiff also can’t take things you need for the activities of daily living; items such as beds, fridges, clothes, showers, etc. Luxury goods such as your DVD player or your Wii all are totally OK for him to take.

How can I question all the levies and fees the bailiff is charging me?

A bailiff’s fees are always added to the original debt plus the court fee. If you had paid the bailiff company by making a telephone call and dictating your credit or debit card details, you would have paid a lot less than the amount the bailiff is demanding from you when he visits. It is possible to question and get a full breakdown of all charges and fees from the bailiff firm, but if you are standing belly-to-belly with the bailiff as you’re reading this, then it’s not a viable option as he’s already attended and therefore will charge you his attendance fee in any event.

Is it possible to complain about a bailiff’s behaviour?

Yes, it is. Both his internal procedures and practice manual and also the National Standards for Enforcement Agents say that he must be justifiable, lawful and proportionate in his dealings. There are quite a few avenues that could be explored, but I can advise you of the best one once I know more about you and your personal situation. The best way for you to deal with a visit from a bailiff is to remember that he is just doing his job and for you to remain calm and dispassionate during proceedings. I know this will be hard, but if you start yelling or getting physical, you’re not doing yourself any favours should the time come to complain about the bailiff’s behaviour.

Who is John Galt? is not a heartless, soul-less impersonal organisation. I am personally responsible and accountable for running this business. My name is John Galt and the buck stops with me. My mobile number is 07909 588 519. I've been where you are now and I can help you.

I don’t aspire or pretend to be a solicitor, a barrister or any kind of legal representative and I don’t go to court for you. I’m just an average Joe who has been hammered by bailiffs in the past. I learned everything I could by reading and researching bailiff law, sitting in on court cases and I’ve even spent time with bailiffs actually on the job, i.e. going with them to see what they do and how they do it. This width and depth of my experience enables me to be an experienced, competent consultant to you for all your bailiff problems.

How much is your fee?

My fee for bailiff mediation is a once-only £125 regardless of how much work needs to be done (no VAT is chargeable). If your case later becomes an official court complaint and you are subsequently awarded financial damages by a judge, you keep all of it – I don’t want a cut.

By paying me £125, you get the services of an experienced specialist, an expert who takes personal pride in his success rate and who takes immediate action at all hours of the day and at any day of the week.

I am so confident about my ability that I offer a money-back guarantee: If I can’t reduce your bailiff bill by more than my fee to you, then I will refund you the money you paid me - as long as you haven’t lied to me about your situation.

Why should I hire you and not a solicitor?

Why should I use you, not a solicitor?

- Solicitors charge by the hour (about £150+ VAT or more). I charge a flat fee of £125 for the entire job.

- Solicitors don't offer a money back guarantee. Win or lose, you have to pay them. My services are guaranteed: if I can't save you more than £125, you get your money back.

- Solicitors usually don't have experience of the ins-and-outs of bailiff law. I do. It's my speciality.

- No solicitor I know has been out on the job with bailiffs to see first-hand what they do and how they do it.

Do you do home visits?

No. It isn’t necessary or practical. All consultations are carried out over the telephone, by text, email, fax or post. The benefit to you is that this keeps my fee reasonable and affordable for everyone who needs me anywhere in England and Wales. (N.B. bailiff law is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland, so advance apologies, but I can’t help you if your bailiff’s warrant originated from there.)

What documents do you need to get started on my case?

It will vary from case-to-case, but generally, the basics are this:

1. Any paperwork showing the amount owing, the bailiff company, the case number and individual bailiff name (so I know who we are dealing with).

2. Proof of Housing Benefit, Tax Credit and Job Seeker's Allowance (if applicable).

3. Proof of any prescription medicines you are taking (if applicable).

4. Proof of your identification, eg passport or photo driving licence (so I know who I am dealing with).

5. Any paperwork regarding the original fine or bill that was not paid (so I know the defaulted account number in order to draft up the appropriate letters or faxes to the courts and/or the bailiff firm).

6. Payment of my fee using the “Make a Payment” button on every page of the website.

What other services do you offer?

Using trusted partners such as lawyers, accountants and insolvency practitioners, I am able to offer you consultancy services in all manner of debt-related issues such as bankruptcy, IVA, guaranteed bank accounts for those with bad credit, reclaiming illegal or unjustifiable bank loan or credit card charges, debt management programmes, removal of CCJs, etc.

Basically, if you’re in debt, call me before you call your creditor!

A full list of services is available by clicking here.

To get immediate help with your bailiff problem call John Galt on 07909 588 519 .

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