Bailiffs will be regulated under new laws to "clean up" the industry and protect vulnerable debtors, the Government announced today.
New rules will stop late-night visits to collect debts, while restrictions on what property can be seized are being introduced.
Bailiffs will also be banned from entering homes when only children are present and they will no longer be able to set their own fees. New safeguards will also prevent them from using force against people who owe money, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Under the changes, bailiffs will also be forced to undergo a mandatory training and certification scheme and those who breach the new rules will be barred from the industry.
Justice Minister Helen Grant says: "For too long bailiffs have gone unregulated, allowing a small minority to give the industry a bad name. Too many people in debt have had the additional stress of dealing with aggressive bailiffs who often charge extortionate fees.
"These new laws will clean up the industry and ensure bailiffs play by the rules or face being prevented from practising. They will also make sure businesses and public bodies can collect their debts fairly."