The government is to clamp down on bailiffs and debt collection agents following revelations of bullying, intimidat...
The government is to clamp down on bailiffs and debt collection agents following revelations of bullying, intimidation and harassment - often for debts that do not exist, reported The Sunday Times (Money, p1).
Consumer affairs minister Kim Howells said any evidence that the industry employs intimidation tactics would result in an immediate investigation by the Office of Fair Trading.
He said: 'The use of credit is more widespread than ever and the government is working hard to try to help people in financial trouble. I am very concerned that while we are trying to help, the credit industry is resorting to unacceptable behaviour. It will not be tolerated.'
The National Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaux has compiled a report detailing cases of intimidation by bailiffs. It is calling for an end to 'bullyboy Britain' following an increase in the number of complaints about intimidation, harassment and excessive charges. Some of the powers given to bailiffs are enshrined in laws that are nearly 800 years old.