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This section shows our Stop The Knock findings from a previous year. View our latest research here.

In November 2017, research by the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, showed that local authorities in England and Wales referred 2.3 million debts to bailiffs in 2016/17. Use the map to select your local authority. If you are a councillor or council officer, read our six steps for improving debt collection practices and let us know if you are interested in finding out more.

If you need help with debt, seek free advice from National Debtline or Business Debtline.


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  • Bailiff Use

    Local authority bailiff use rose 14% between 2014/15 and 2016/17 - with 62% of councils using bailiffs more, but 38% actually using bailiffs less.

    • decreased since 2014/15
    • no comparison available
    • increased since 2014/15
  • Signposting

    97% of councils signpost residents in financial difficulty to free debt advice

    • Signposts residents to free debt advice
  • SFS or CFS

    61 local authorities told us they had adopted the Standard Financial Statement (or Common Financial Statement)

    • Has adopted the Standard (or Common) Financial Statement
  • Vulnerability Policy

    56% of local authorities have a formal policy in place for dealing with residents in vulnerable circumstances

    • Has a formal vulnerability policy in place
  • Exempt CTS

    23 local authorities in England told us they have a policy of exempting recipients of Council Tax Support from bailiff action

    • Has a policy of exempting Council Tax Support recipients from bailiff action
  • Council Tax Protocol

    50 councils in England told us they have adopted the Citizens Advice/LGA Council Tax Protocol, with a further 38 considering this

    • Has adopted the Citizens Advice/LGA Council Tax Protocol
    • Considering adopting

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