Will an IVA stop a Bailiff?

Will an IVA stop a Bailiff?

An IVA can be used to stop action from a bailiff. However whether it is the right solution for you will depend on a number of factors.

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When is a Bailiff Used?

A bailiff is most commonly used to collect outstanding council tax, court fines, utility arrears and HMRC debt. A commercial bank or lender is unlikely to use this collection option.

These types of creditors will normally only resort to using a bailiff after all other attempts to collect an outstanding debt have been exhausted.  If they do an application has to be made at the Court for a warrant of execution.

Once the warrant is issued a bailiff can then visit your home and has the power to arrest goods. In other words take things that you own and sell them to pay the debt you owe.

Do not ignore a payment demand from a bailiff. Ultimately they do have the power to seize your goods up to the value of the debt that you owe.

Is an IVA the Right Solution for you?

All court actions including the use of a bailiff must be stopped after an IVA has been put in place. However whether it is the right solution to deal with your problem depends on a number of things.

Most debts can be included in an IVA including utility and council tax arrears. However court fines cannot. If the bailiff is collecting an outstanding court fine you owe an IVA cannot help.

You also need to consider how much debt you have in total. An IVA is normally only suitable if you owe at least £8000. You will also be obliged to maintain a monthly payment of at least £100 for 5 years.

If the amount a bailiff is chasing for is only a few hundred pounds an IVA is unlikely to be right for you unless you have other debts.

What can you do while your IVA is being implemented?

It is important to understand that an IVA cannot be implemented overnight. The solution will take 4-6 weeks to set up.

You will therefore need to speak to the bailiff. Explain that you are in the process of proposing an IVA and ask them to put your account on hold for a month to allow time for this to happen.

If they refuse to stop their action it might be possible to apply for temporary protection from the Court in the form of an Interim Order. However this costs £160 which you would have to pay.

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8 thoughts on “Will an IVA stop a Bailiff?

  1. Maggs says:


    Please help. My husband has an iva but a bailiff working for one of the creditors which is in the agreement has still turned up and has threatenened to come back and remove goods. Can he do this??

    1. Hi Maggs

      As long as the debt in question is included in the IVA and the IVA has been agreed then all legal actions from the creditors must stop. This is the case even if the individual creditor in question did not actually agree to the IVA. If the majority agreed then they are all legally bound.

      As such continued action from a bailiff would now be illegal. If this is happening you must inform your husband’s IVA company straight away.

      It would also be a good idea to speak to the actual creditor directly. Make sure they understand that the IVA has been approved and as such they are legally bound to it. Tell them that unless they stop this action you will escalate a complaint to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) against them for harassment.

  2. Stuart Owens says:

    This is happening to me also. The debt is under my wife’s name. We are both under an IVA. The creditor has already tried going through court to gain the money, on 2 previous occasions. We have been in a IVA for almost 4 years now. What can we do to stop the harassment from them?

    1. You must speak to your IVA company about this Stuart. If one of your creditors is still trying to enforce their debt with a bailiff their actions are illegal. My advise would be to contact the original creditor directly to ensure they are aware. The threat of a formal complaint normally helps.

  3. Tracy says:

    I have a parking fine. Will starting an IVA stop bailiff action to collect this?

    1. Hi Tracy

      Most parking fines can be included in an IVA. This is the case even if bailiffs are currently being used to collect the debt. Once the IVA is in place the action being taken by the bailiff must stop.

  4. Sammyt says:

    I have just had my Iva approved and a bailiff has text me to say he will be visiting this week. He said an Iva can’t stop him coming because magistrates warrants can’t be included in the Iva, can anyone help?

    1. Hi Sammyt

      If the debt for which a bailiff has been instructed is civil (ie anything other than a court fines, CSA Arrears, Benefits / Tax Credit Overpayments due to fraudulent claims) then once your IVA was approved the debt is included and the bailiff action must stop. This is the case even if the debt was for council tax arrears and a liability order was issued. You should speak you your IVA company about this and get them to contact the bailiff company on your behalf.

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