What does the research show?
The research was commissioned by Citizens Advice and StepChange and carried out by polling agency YouGov.
The study polled 5,786 people in England and Wales, of whom 277 had been contacted by bailiffs over the last two years. This data was then extrapolated to give an estimate of national figures.
Respondents were asked whether they had witnessed or been affected by problematic behaviour from bailiffs:
- 18% reported “unsympathetic behaviour” towards people with an illness or disability.
- 17% had been threatened with a break-in.
- 11% had goods needed for their work (such as tools or a vehicle) removed.
- 6% reported forced entry into their home.
Citizens Advice also found that negative experiences with bailiffs had an impact on people’s mental health and finances, with seven out of 10 reporting increased stress and anxiety, while half said there were knock-on effects on their finances.