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By PP1977
#27932
I think this may be a tricky one to answer but just some background knowledge I was declared bankrupt last November at the time, I had arrears with my gas and electricity company which was written off with the bankruptcy.

Tuesday just gone I had a panicked phone call from my fiance's sister (who was looking after our dog at our house) explaining that someone had broken into the house. Needless to say I arrived home to find a bailiff, two electricians and a handful of police who eventually left because it was a civil matter.

After heated discussions with the bailiff, he explained he had a warrant of entry, that he had come to fit a smart meter and that I owed the energy company over £1000. Now bearing in mind I am waiting for a final bill from the energy company as I have switched my suppliers, the debt that he was talking about was a debt that was written off in my bankruptcy.

I called the official receiver whilst in the presence of the bailiff, she asked me to enquire as to how he entered the property to which he replied 'I picked the lock' she then instructed me that she was sure what he had done was illegal and that he must have lied to get the warrant as there was no court in the land who would grant a warrant for a debt written off in a bankruptcy. The bailiff tried to tell me the warrant was for money owed to the energy company after the bankruptcy which I informed him I am waiting for a final bill and I was confused as to why they would send a bailiff round with a warrant for the amount owed. He then drove off.

I'm left not really knowing what to do now? The official receiver asked me to phone the energy company about what happened. They explained the warrant was for the debt that was written off, that the warrant would be ripped up and that we wouldn't be bothered about it again. I have to wait for a letter to say to that this conversation had taken place between me and the energy company but what should I do when I receive the letter?

This has put my relationship under further strain, it wasn't great to start with after the bankruptcy and I am worried about the bailiff coming back again? I know the energy company said they wouldn't be bothering me about it again but they weren't even supposed to be causing an issue about this debt in the first place? If anyone has advice it would be greatly appreciated..
#27938
Hi there PP1971. Welcome to the forum

Sorry to hear about this experience with the bailiff. It sounds very strange indeed. There is just no way that the energy company should have gone to court to get this warrant for a debt included in bankruptcy and there is no way that the court should have granted it. As such I have to conclude that what happened to you is really unusual and the result of a catalogue of errors.

I would trust the energy company when they say that the warrant will be ripped up. Given the debt was included in your bankruptcy it must be according to the law. I would be confident that the bailiff will not return. They now know that the debt is not enforceable and they should not have been there in the first place.

I believe that you should file a strong complaint to the energy company. You should demand that they pay you compensation for the stress caused and any damaged to your property. I would be contacting their complaints department and telling them that you will go to OFGEM (the energy regulator) and/or the press unless they issue a formal apology and make amends.
#27960
This is an absolutely terrible thing to have happened PP1971. The energy company should never have continued to get the warrant and then employed the bailiff. I think you must make a very strong complaint. It is totally outrageous and they should not be allowed to get away with it!!
#27962
Thank you for the reply Geraldine and Hayden. Everyone I've spoken too including the OR have all said that they have never heard of anything like this ever happening. I'm confused myself as to how it has got to the stage it has with them.

The baliffs are trying to say that the warrant was issued for the money I owe now whilst the energy company are saying that the money I owe them would just come as a final payment as usual when switching energy suppliers, they are accepting no blame and are pushing it all onto the shoulders of the bailiffs. They are also trying to say that they didn't even know about the bankruptcy even though the OR said that she has sent paperwork out to them 3 times since the bankruptcy last november.

I think OFGEM is a really good recommendation as I seem to be getting nowhere with the energy company. Thanks for all your help guys it's really appreciated.
#27966
Hi PP1977,
It sounds like they are both just trying to shift the blame on to each other. The bailiff wouldn't have just turned up without instruction from the energy company to retrieve the debt so ultimately the blame lies with the energy company. Definately put forward your complaint - you have nothing to lose and maybe something to gain - I would be asking for compensation and the final bill to be written off! (If they agree to this, get it in writing!) Good luck, please let us know how you get on.
#27973
Hi PP1977

What a nightmare! You must be very angry. I agree with Cara, the energy company is to blame as they are the ones who incorrectly went to court and then instructed the bailiff. The bailiff was acting on their instruction and so the energy company must bear full responsibility for this. I would demand compensation and threaten that if you get no joy, you will then report the matter to OFGEM. I would be inclined to do that anyway by the way.....