CIVEA responds to the CAB report “A law unto themselves: How bailiffs are breaking the rules”

We were interested to see that CIVEA Chief Executive Russell Hamblin-Boone responded to the recent Citizens Advice report and we are keen to support the viewpoint that the report, to quote Russel directly, “is statistically invalid”.

The views of just 277 individuals who had contact with bailiffs over a two year period is clearly not large enough to be statistically robust considering that in the period bailiffs dealt with several million debts. To then extrapolate findings from such a small sampling to claim that 850,000 individuals experienced bailiffs breaking the rules is both unbelievable and sensationalism at its worst.

The YouGov polling sampled 6,376 adults of which 277 had been personally contacted by bailiffs. Of these, 107 (39%) claimed that bailiffs had broken the rules (although this is neither evidenced nor substantiated). Citizens Advice then multiplied the percentage of respondents (277) with the adult population of England & Wales (46.24 million) and deduced that instead of 107 people who made the claim, 850,000 people actually experienced bailiffs breaking the rules!

In the last two weeks at Excel, we have received two unexpected but welcome e-mails from debtors praising the way they were treated by the bailiff dealing with their case. One stated, “You will see from your records that my debt problems have spanned quite some time, with numerous visits from Excel bailiffs. I’m sure most people mainly complain about what I imagine is a very difficult job, but I would like to say that all the bailiffs that have ever attended my property(ies) have only ever been professional, courteous & realistic, particularly the most recent chap called Marc (apologies I didn’t take a note of his surname).”

Accordingly, and using the Citizens Advice method of ‘evidence’, we can be fairly certain that at least 462,431 debtors have had a good experience when being dealt with by Excel and have taken the trouble to say so!

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