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Debt Collection

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government plan to take to consider the welfare of children in households which bailiffs have been instructed to visit. (197357)

The Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 will set out, through the provision of regulations, the training required by bailiffs to allow them to deal with all householders, including vulnerable debtors and others present at the premises in an appropriate manner. For example, withdrawing from the premises when only minors are present.

This training will ensure that all agents have a thorough working knowledge of all relevant areas of enforcement law and the associated national standards.

This training will be underpinned by the regulation of all enforcement agents who are not Crown employees via an enhanced and extended certification process. Granting of a certificate will be at the discretion of a county court judge, and will be dependent on the agent lodging application fees and securities, proof of their suitability to hold a certificate and the successful completion of a criminal record check.