ARP Enforcement Agency is a partnership of seven local authorities who recover Council Tax arrears and other local authority debts. If you fail to make payments or have avoided contact with ARP, recovery action will take place – i.e. send bailiffs – and additional costs will be incurred.
ARP Enforcement Agency (ARP)
ARP Enforcement Agency were previously known as ARP Bailiff Services. ARP are a partnership of five local authorities that provide Debt Recovery and Debt Enforcement Services across the following areas:
- East Suffolk Council
- West Suffolk Council
- Fenland District Council
- East Cambridgeshire District Council
- Breckland District Council
On ARP’s website, they state there are three main stages of Debt Recovery.
Compliance Stage – This is where ARP will write to customers informing them of the debt, request of payment and the issue of an enforcement notices. They claim they will make every attempt to contact the customer in relation of the debt, including letters, email, telephone or text message.
Enforcement Stage – At this stage, the case will be passed on to an Enforcement Agent (otherwise known as a Bailiff). This will be when a customer has defaulted on a payment, or not replied with the specified timescales. This will include a visit from the Enforcement Agent to enter an agreement to recover the debt instalments, or take control of goods and remove these for potential sale (see below).
Sale or Disposal Stage – At this stage, the goods will be passed on to Auction for sale to cover the outstanding debt.
Can ARP Enforcement Agency Send Bailiffs to My House?
In some cases, if court action has been taken and your debts are still due then the courts may appoint Bailiffs to recover property and assets to the value of the debt.
Can ARP Enforcement Agency Break into My House?
The chances of ARP Bailiffs being able to enter your property are quite rare. They can only do this if a Liability Order has been issued against you by a magistrate on behalf of the local authority. If you are a business then there would need to be an unpaid fine from a Magistrate, County Court or High Court.
It is the law that enforcement agencies are only able to enter a property if they have been inside the property before. They are then able to use what is known as ‘reasonable force’ to re-enter. This could involve the use of a Locksmith to help them gain entry. They can only try and gain entry during the hours of 6am to 9pm.
What Can They Take?
There are restrictions on what can be removed from your property by ARP bailiffs. If you have given them entry of they have gained entry by other means, then they can remove what is known as ‘Walking Possessions’. These are those which are subject to ‘Taking Control of Goods Regulations’. They will make an inventory of any of those possessions in your home and estimate the current value. You can enter into a ‘Controlled Goods Agreement’ with them which will give you time to pay the outstanding debt.
If you fail to pay them, then they can return to your property and remove items. There are certain items which ARP Enforcement Agents cannot take. These include essential items such as bedding, refrigerators, medical equipment, cookers and other items.