What is a Walking Possession Agreement?
When a debt remains unpaid after the various early stages of recovery action have been gone through, a creditor may resort to using bailiffs to recover the debt. Bailiffs can use a variety of means to try and secure payment, one of which is the seizing of your goods to sell at auction.
The first stage of this process is a visit by the bailiff to your home, during which he may be able to negotiate a payment plan to clear the debt. If for any reason this isn’t an option, he has the right to compile a list of the goods and possessions that are legally able to be taken, and which will be worth selling at a public auction.
He may decide to take these goods away straight away, and there is nothing you can do to stop this. However, it’s common to leave the goods at your home under what’s known as walking possession. This means that although the bailiff has formally seized your goods, and can return at any time to take them away, you can continue to make use of them in the meantime. You can not, however, sell them or otherwise dispose of them once the bailiff has listed them on the walking possession.
In order to have the goods left in your home, you will be asked to sign a walking possession agreement which is a last-gasp attempt to come to a payment agreement. If you then break the terms of the walking possession agreement by missing a payment, it’s very likely that the bailiff will return to take the goods away if you don’t bring your payments back up to date after being warned of seizure by letter.
There’s one very important thing to note about walking possession agreements. Under normal circumstances, a bailiff cannot force entry into your property (although he can enter through an unlocked door or window without your permission). Once a walking possession agreement is in place though, they can make a ‘forced entry’ to your property by such means as pushing past you when you open the door to them, or placing their foot in the door to stop you closing it.
If you’re threatened with bailiff action, or you receive a letter from them, it’s vital to get professional advice before matters progress any further, as not only is bailiff action distressing, the fees they are allowed to charge for their actions will only serve to make your debt problems even worse.
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