Did you recently get a letter from Bristow and Sutor stating that a home visit is scheduled for a bailiff? Undoubtedly, it’s terrifying when you can’t remember Bristow and Sutor is one of the chasing creditors behind you. However, this particular organization can follow you for unpaid debts, Council Tax, Benefits over Payments, business rates and so on.
So, if you have a number of debts or dues in the form of business rates and Penalty Charge Notices, then you can receive a knock on your door from Bristow Sutor. Don’t know how to deal with the bailiff agents or how to tackle Bristow & Sutor? Here’s what you might require during or before you confront Bristow & Sutor. Let’s start with their background.
Bristow and Sutor: Who are they?
Basically, Bristow and Sutor is a bailiff agency or an enforcement company. They are mostly active across Wales and England. Founded in 1977, Bristow & Sutor has earned a huge reputation in collecting Council Tax over the years. The company likes to operate locally with internal agencies for better and controlled activities over a precise collection.
Mostly they collect the following overdue or debts:
- Business Rates
- Council Tax
- Penalty Charge Notices
- Sundry Debts
Sundry debts, also known as tenant arrears and housing benefits, are regulated by Credit Security. It’s an institution under Bristow and Sutor. However, the company provides unmatchable assistance with their clients, who are currently busy with debt recovery or collection.
The company aims to provide help to the public and private sectors across the United Kingdom. Be it Council Tax recovery or traffic penalty charges, they can be after you for debt recovery purposes. If you have received a letter from Bristow & Sutor, then don’t overlook it and seek help from those agencies who can save you from the bailiff consequences.
What can Bristow and Sutor Do?
In case, you don’t pay off your debts even after receiving multiple warnings and deadlines, Bristow and Sutor might contact you. Your creditors might have employed the company when you don’t pay attention or are unable to pay the debt.
The agents of the company owe the legal power to sell your assets to clear off the debt once your creditors have dragged your debt issues to the court. Beforehand, you can pay off the debt to Bristow and Sutor, in order to avoid the bailiff.
In-General Proceedings Set by Bristow & Sutor
The bailiff agency pursues the entire procedure in the following three segments: Compliance, Enforcement and the Controlled Stage. At the beginning of the process, the debtor simply receives a Compliance notice regarding how much the debtor owes.
Additionally, the notice also mentions that the debtor has to take action associated with the debt repayment within the next seven days’ period. You have to pay off the debt to the creditor that has been mentioned in the letter. Moreover, you have to pay an additional £75, as a debt collection charge for Bristow Sutor, along with the debt in full.
After seven days, from the day the notice has been issued, if you haven’t done anything towards the debt repayment procedure, then you enter the Enforcement stage. Bristow and Sutor might pursue another compliance notice, known as Notice of Civil Enforcement. This order clearly states that they would dispatch bailiff agents to your home if you don’t make any repay arrangements. In addition to this, you would encounter £235 as a fee, and a charge of 7.5% of what you owe, if the debt is more than £1500.
The final act that is taken by the bailiff agency is the Controlled Goods Arrangement. In this step, Bristow and Sutor agents would visit your home to seize your assets and goods. It can be your car, jewellery or anything that can pay off the debt in full.
If you agree to abide by the Controlled Goods Arrangement, then you can avail an additional seven days to pay back the debt in full. But, you need to provide them extra £110 in addition with the 7.5% of the debt, over £1500. Keep in mind that you have to repay the debt in full.
Do you Really Owe Money from Bristow Sutor?
Anyone can make a mistake. If you think that you don’t owe any money from Bristow and Sutor, then check your Council Tax and other relevant debts. In case, you don’t find anything related, then you can immediately contact Bristow & Sutor, and ask the professionals to explain the charge against you.
They would promptly look into the issue and contact the local council to check whether the unpaid tax bills are named after you. If you haven’t paid the tax and other debts, then the concerned party would make the bailiff agents chase you, until and unless you repay the debt.
Will Bristow & Sutor Visit your Home?
When the debtor has already been warned with court orders and Country Court Judgement, then a bailiff company can visit the debtor’s home. However, there are some exceptions. Bristow and Sutor can’t enter your home forcefully to collect the Council Tax and similar debts that you owe. If you’re burdened with debts such as income tax, stamp duty and unpaid criminal fines, then the bailiff might conduct a home visit. But, that doesn’t go without notice, at all.
Bristow Sutor would inform you about the planned home-visit. However, the agents might apply reasonable force to enter your household premises. For example, if you lock up your home they can take help from a locksmith.
Will they Break into Your Home?
Well, Bristow and Sutor would rarely enter into the debtors’ premises. The chances of invasion into your property are quite positive if the bailiff agents have received a Liability Order signed by the Magistrate and issued by the local authority. In case, you’re running a business, then the unpaid fine can cause Bristow and Sutor to intrude into your property.
Are Bristow and Sutor Liable to Remove Goods?
Yes, if you have still not paid the debt you owe, then Bristow Sutor can remove goods from your home. The law permits them to seize your vehicles parked at your property. So, if you have received the letter about a home-visit from Bristow & Sutor, then keep your cars safe; otherwise, they can drive your car off the road.
On the other hand, Bristow Sutor doesn’t touch the goods that are not in your name. But, if you possess goods jointly with someone else, then they might have the authority to seize those goods, as well. Or else, you have to prove the agents that the specific goods are not yours.
What Can Bristow and Sutor Take Away from your Home?
Things that might tempt the bailiff agents are restricted as per the court orders. However, the list under the approved and controlled goods arrangement is not short, either. Bristow and Sutor might take away the following goods from your house:
- Gaming consoles
- Luxury items
- Goods that you jointly own
- Fine china
Things that Bristow and Sutor Can’t Take or Remove
Well, the company doesn’t hold the authority to take away your daily essentials with them. Some of the things that they can’t touch are:
- Medical essentials or equipment such as cooking utensils, cookers and refrigerators
- Assistance dogs
- Kitchen appliances
- Goods that are necessary for your work; however their values have to be within £1350
What does Bristow Sutor do with Seized Items?
After you fail to repay your outstanding debt and sign the Controlled Goods Arrangement, Bristow and Sutor employees might remove those goods. Afterwards, they conduct a valuation and showcase them for auction. Through the auction, Bristow Sutor collects the money that was owed by you as debt. You would also receive the notice regarding the date and place of the auction of your items.
Should you allow Bristow and Sutor in your Property?
Practically, you should not allow the bailiff to enter your home. The agents can’t enter forcefully if you have children under 16 or people with disabilities. Additionally, they are liable to enter your home from 6 a.m to 9 p.m.
If you restrict the agents from invading into your home, then you might receive extra charges. In addition to this, you have to affirm that you will pay off the debt in full, within the deadline that Bristow and Sutor have mentioned. You can talk to your financial advisor or a certified debt service provider who can rescue you from bailiff tragedies.
Are Bristow and Sutor Legal Enforcement Authorities?
Yes, they are legitimate, and they are governed by the Civil Enforcement Association. As other enforcement agencies, Bristow and Sutor do follow a strict code of conduct to deal with the debtors. Apart from the Civil Enforcement Association they are active members of the Credit Services Association, Citizens Advice, Cyber Essentials, The Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation.
What are the Charges Imposed by Bristow and Sutor?
You have already known about the charges at every step of the proceedings by Bristow and Sutor. During the Compliance period, you are supposed to pay £75. If it continues to the first enforcement stage, then you have to pay £190.
Next, the second enforcement would charge you with £495. If it leads you to the disposal or sale of the goods, then you need to pay £525. In case, the owed debt exceeds £1500, then the debtor has to pay 7.5% of the debt at the sale and first enforcement period.
In addition to the charges, Bristow and Sutor might charge you with the fees for removing and storing the goods, hiring locksmiths and the court.
Can Bristow Sutor Take Away the Car?
Yes, they can seize your cars and vehicles under certain considerations. If you require your car to study or work conveyance, and its value is less than £1350. Additionally, Bristow and Sutor would spare your vehicle, if it’s the only medium of conveyance for you.
However, these conditions don’t apply for the debtor who is accused of not paying Business Rates. Moreover, the agency would leave your car untouched, if you are in the following circumstances:
- You’re not the car owner
- The car is used to transport persons with disabilities
- Any company owns the car
- This is an emergency mode of transport
- The car is your permanent motor-home
- The car is a hire-purchase one
Ways to Register Complaint Against Bristow & Sutor
If you have realized that Bristow and Sutor are conducting actions that are outraging the law, then you can take actions against them. Council Tax Advisors suggest the sufferers complain against them in the local authority. You can write a letter to the local authority by stating how they’re treating you. Additionally, you have to send a copy of the letter to Bristow Sutor.
What if Bristow and Sutor Collected your Goods?
We understand that Bristow and Sutor have taken away your goods. However, the good news is that you can regain them in one of the following ways:
- Pay off the debt in full to Bristow and Sutor before they make an arrangement to sell all your goods.
- Moreover, you can contact your creditors to prevent Bristow & Sutor from selling your goods and return them, accordingly.
- You can get those items in your possession again, which Bristow and Sutor have taken away, without the right approvals.
- Lastly, you buy those goods from the auction.
Should you Remove the Clamp Issued on your Car by the Bailiff Company?
No, you should halt there. It’s a criminal offence when you try to remove the clamp from your car. If you do so, then a lump sum of fine or imprisonment is the penalty charge that you might receive.
If you don’t want to give your car away, then you can consider hiding it. Provide no traces of your car to the bailiff company by parking your car at your friend’s car park, garage or on a private car park area. Don’t ever park your car at your home premises or any public highway. They can’t take away your car from a private piece of property, without legitimate court orders.
Rights of Bristow and Sutor
Bristow and Sutor are Enforcement Agents, and they are entirely valid organizations to collect debts, Council Tax etc. However, these are the on-ground rights of Bristow and Sutor as per mentioned by High Court Bailiff norms.
- They can contact you from different phone numbers. Along with reasonable calls, you might receive letters, too.
- Bristow and Sutor agents might express their eagerness to visit your home. If they do so, don’t let them enter at any cost.
- If the debt is regarding the unpaid Business Rates, then the agents are liable to visit your business premises, as well.
- They only forcefully enter your home to inspect goods. If you don’t repay the debt within the deadline, then they can seize your goods and assets for debt recovery.
- If you don’t settle for a debt repayment plan, then you have to face court actions. However, bailiff agents can’t threaten you about imprisonment, if you don’t pay off the debt.
How to Prevent Bristow and Sutor?
You can restrict Bristow Sutor activities from the very beginning. Don’t entertain their letters or take them light-heartedly, as well as don’t panic. Either you can manage to repay the debt to the concerned authorities or, it’s wiser if you take the right decision after consulting with your financial advisor.
On the other hand, if you’re unable to pay the debt in full and the debt is way more than £5000, then you can apply for an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. IVA makes your debt repayment easier and the bailiff agents wouldn’t knock on your door. Besides IVA, Debt Relief Order and Bankruptcy are two popular options.
Well, the thing that you shouldn’t do is ignore Bristow & Sutor. If you don’t reply to their phone calls and letters you will get in more trouble. So, open up to your financial experts and act accordingly, before charges and complications increase against you.
So, Where Can You Make the Payment?
If you have finally decided to pay off the debt, then you might have to address Bristow and Sutor for payments, instead of the Council Tax and other creditors. Use the case number to visit the official website of Bristow & Sutor. However, don’t hesitate in asking for advice on your current finances from recognized financial institutions.