Are there laws surrounding what goods can and cannot be repossessed?

Most aspects of being an enforcement officer are carefully legislated to protect all parties involved in the process and the repossession of goods is not exempt from this. There are firm laws that dictate what can and cannot be taken in terms of goods to cover an outstanding debt and Able Investigations always works within these laws to protect everyone involved.

What can a Certificated Enforcement Officer take?

If the action began after 6th April 2014, then there are several things that an enforcement officer can repossess in order to sell and recoup money against an outstanding debt. These include jointly owned items and goods that have been bought with a personal loan, store card, credit card or other types of credit account.

Any cash, cheques, bonds, stock, shares or pawn tickets that is present can be taken by the enforcement officer as part of the repossession. Items debtors are wearing such as jewellery can be taken but only if agreed and they are handed over to the officer – they cannot physically take them off the person.

What can an enforcement officer not take?

There are a number of items that are termed as exempt and these cannot be taken by an enforcement officer.

Items or equipment such as tools, computer equipment or even books that are necessary for work, education or study cannot be taken. This is up to a total value of £1350 unless the debt is for an unpaid business rates case, under which situation work-related items are no longer exempt.

Any items that are being paid for under hire purchase or a condition sale agreement cannot be repossessed unless the order is for these items and the non-payment of this debt. Vehicles cannot be repossessed if they are used for work in the police, fire or ambulance service, if they have a British Medical Association or similar emergency badge on display, are being used for health reasons or if they transport a disabled person. Goods that are also your home such as a houseboat or static caravan cannot be repossessed.

An enforcement officer cannot take anything that belongs to a child such as toys or any domestic pets. Food is also exempt from the repossession order as well as any animals, food or hazardous materials on a public highway that would cause a risk if they were moved.

Essential domestic items

The final section refers to the items classed as for ‘basic domestic needs’ and can include items such as:

  • Refrigerator
  • Washing machine
  • Cooker or microwave
  • Beds and bedding
  • Clothes
  • Landline telephone or mobile if there is no landline
  • Equipment related to medical conditions
  • Lighting and heating equipment
  • Anything required for the care of under 18s, disabled or elderly people

However, this section doesn’t include “luxury” items such as a television, DVD player, stereo, non-work computer, designer clothing.

If you need help with a repossession order or need an enforcement agency in Bristol to handle the case on your behalf, then contact Able Investigations & Enforcement Solutions on 0845 370 7401 or fill in our contact form for the best advice and legal guidance.

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