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You don’t need to pay just because you receive a DCBL Bailiffs Debt Letter if the debts are really not yours. But it is not a good idea to ignore this letter as well. It is because you will have only 7 days to take action if you receive a Notice of Enforcement from them.

Receiving a DCBL Letter can be a moment of anxiety. Is there an option to settle online through dcbltd pay online? What’s the best way to deal with DCBL Bailiffs? This detailed guide will shed light on these questions.

Yusuf Khan
Last updated on 6 October 2023
Fact Checked

Table of Contents

1. Who Are DCBL Bailiffs?
2. Are DCBL Bailiffs Legit?
3. Are DCBL Certified Bailiffs?
4. Are DCBL Enforcement Agents the Same as Bailiffs?
5. What Is a County Court Judgement?
6. What Type of Debt Do They Chase?
7. Do You Have to Pay DCBL Enforcement?
8. Why Are DCBL Contacting Me?
9. Do I Really Owe DCBL Bailiffs?
10. Will DCBL Affect My Credit Score?
11. DCBL Bailiffs Proved the Debt, What Now?
12. Is My Debt Statute-Barred?
13. I’ve Received a DCBL Final Reminder – What Now?
14. What Does the DCBL Bailiffs Debt Collection Process Look Like?
15. What Regulations Must DCBL Follow?
16. What Are Reviewers Saying About DCBL?
17. Will DCBL Bailiffs Make Me Miserable?
18. Look Out for These DCBL Enforcement Behaviours
19. Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd (DCBL) Contact Details
20. What Is the Bailiff Helpline Service?
21. Can I Get a Debt Solution with DCBL Bailiffs?
22. Where Can I Get Professional Advice?
23. Need Some Breathing Space?
24. Key Points
25. DCBL Bailiffs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


If you receive a letter or call from DCBL Bailiffs, our guide will help you to understand everything you need to know. Even though DCBL have a lot of experience, they don’t have the right to break the laws of the debt industry. Read till the end to find out more.

Who Are DCBL Bailiffs?

Direct Collection Bailiffs Limited (DCBL) is a well-recognized UK debt collection agency, accredited and renowned for its debt recovery services across various stages. The company has some of the best recovery rates in the industry, tipped to be 98%, along with a high rate of retention.

DCBL Company derives its revenue primarily through two avenues:

1. Pursuing debtors on behalf of their clients to reclaim debts not yet subject to a court order. In this scenario, they earn a commission or a fixed fee for each successful debt recovery. They mostly use Letter Before Action communications to recover debts that are in this stage.
2. Pursuing debtors to recover court-enforced debts owed to their clients. For that, they use bailiff agents with a warrant in hand to seize the debtor’s belongings to sell them in an auction. In this case, additional charges (bailiffs’ fees) are added to the total debt to cover all bailiff-related fees.
Their Television Appearance

While many may recognise them from their TV appearances on shows like “Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!”, it’s their real-world operations that truly stand out. Their ability to handle complex debt situations with precision and professionalism has been televised, bringing both admiration and scrutiny.

Their Reputation in Debt Recovery

Beyond just TV appearances, DCBL Bailiffs have made a mark in the UK’s debt recovery landscape. They’re known for their stringent yet fair approach, ensuring both creditors and debtors are handled with respect. This delicate balance isn’t easy, but DCBL manages to strike it more often than not.

Are DCBL Bailiffs Legit?

DCBL Bailiffs, rest assured, is genuine. Affiliated and validated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Companies House, their operations stand up to scrutiny. It is a genuine attempt to recover the debt if you get a letter from DCBL. And if you’re a client chasing a debtor for unpaid debt, you can trust DCBL to provide you with a complete service.

In today’s digital age, verification is often just a few clicks away. If ever in doubt, you can promptly check their credentials by reaching out through the provided DCBL contact number. A quick conversation can alleviate any concerns and provide clarity on their operations and legitimacy.

Are DCBL Certified Bailiffs?

Yes. DCBL Bailiffs is more than just a regular debt collection agency. They are certified bailiffs, given the responsibility and authority to enforce County Court Judgements (CCJ). In the realm of unsettled debts, they ensure that justice isn’t just a term but a lived reality.

Debts can be messy and challenging, both for the creditor and the debtor. In such tense situations, a neutral party like DCBL Bailiffs plays a crucial role. By ensuring that CCJs are enforced, they make sure debts are settled and both parties can move forward.

Are DCBL Enforcement Agents the Same as Bailiffs?

Yes, in the UK, DCBL Enforcement Agents are essentially the same as bailiffs. They are individuals authorised to carry out debt recovery and enforcement activities on behalf of creditors.

The term “enforcement agent” is often used interchangeably with “bailiff” to describe professionals who are tasked with collecting debts, repossessing goods, and executing court orders, among other related duties.

DCBL Enforcement Agents who work for Direct Collection Bailiffs Limited perform these functions within the scope of debt recovery.

What Is a County Court Judgement?

A County Court judgment, commonly known as a CCJ, is not just another term you come across in financial jargon. It holds significant weight, particularly when discussing debt.

Breaking Down the Basics

Simply put, a CCJ is a legal acknowledgement. It confirms that, indeed, you owe a certain amount of money to someone. It’s not a claim based on hearsay or assumption but a decision coming straight from the courts. This very statement holds power. A CCJ on your record, especially an unpaid one, can lead to adverse consequences.

A CCJ usually involves the following details

  • The amount you owe
  • The amount you should pay
  • Who you should pay
  • Your deadline to pay.
How Does One End Up with a CCJ?

A CCJ isn’t issued out of the blue. The process starts when someone believes you owe them money, but you refuse to pay. This belief escalates to the level where they decide to take legal action. They apply to the County Court, stating their claim.

The court then assesses the situation and, if found valid, sends you a set of documents. One of these is a claim form detailing the money you owe and why.

Responding to the Claim Form: The Critical Part

After receiving the claim form, you typically have 14 days to respond. During this time, you can either:

  • Agree to the entire claim and decide to pay in full.
  • Agree to some part of the claim and contest the rest.
  • Disagree entirely and decide to defend yourself.

It’s crucial not to ignore this document. Failing to respond can lead to the court issuing a judgement by default. This essentially means they assume the claim against you is valid.

Implications of a CCJ

Once a CCJ is in place, especially if unpaid, it remains on your credit file for six years. During this time, it can drastically affect your borrowing potential. You may find it challenging to get loans, credit cards, or even a mortgage. And if by some chance a lender does agree, you might end up paying a much higher interest rate.

But the CCJ gets removed from your record if you manage to pay the full amount within a month of receiving your judgement. It’s like it never existed! If you can’t pay within a month, the CCJ stays, but if you pay even after this period, it gets marked as “satisfied” on your file.

DCBL Bailiffs and CCJ

If the debt you owe leads to a CCJ and you fail to act on it, creditors might employ bailiffs like DCBL to collect what’s due. Having bailiffs knocking on your door is not a situation anyone wishes to face. It’s essential to be proactive, understand your rights, and communicate with relevant parties.

Can You Challenge a CCJ?

If you genuinely believe the CCJ is unfair or there’s been a mistake, you can challenge it. This is known as “setting aside” a judgement. But remember, this isn’t a guaranteed escape route. The process requires a valid reason and may involve additional court fees.

Having a CCJ is not the end of the world, but it’s certainly not a position anyone desires. With clear understanding and timely actions, you can navigate the situation. And if you’re ever in doubt, particularly with DCBL Bailiffs involved, it’s always wise to seek legal advice. Knowledge is power, and being informed can make a world of difference.

What Type of Debt Do They Chase?

From utility arrears to council tax and even credit card debts, DCBL’s debt recovery scope is extensive. Their diversified approach ensures that they cater to various industries and sectors. They may even collect:

  • Council tax to benefit overpayments
  • Unpaid business invoices
  • Rent

Do You Have to Pay DCBL Enforcement?

While it’s critical to ensure the debt is genuinely yours, once proven, it’s essential to address it. Evading might lead to further complications. Note that there are methods you can use to pay on your own terms. However, there are certain situations where you might not even have to pay.

Why Are DCBL Contacting Me?

DCBL may contact you if you owe money to a client of theirs. They act on behalf of clients seeking their owed amounts for a fixed fee. Whether it’s an initial notice or a court enforcement notice, their goal is debt settlement.

They might be contacting you during various stages of the debt collection process. For example, they may contact you to inform you that you owe the debt and request you to pay. They could also come to your house with an enforcement notice from the court asking you to pay.

Do I Really Owe DCBL Bailiffs?

Validate before you act. Mistakes can happen. Sending a “prove the debt” letter is an initial step in understanding the legitimacy of their claim. This letter is a simple way of requesting proof that you owe the money to the creditor. This may include utility bill agreements or defaulted council tax payments.

You should send this letter only if they don’t send proof in the original communication, even if you know you owe the debt. This will buy you some time to think. And if they don’t send you proof that you owe the money, you don’t have to pay. But it’s important that you keep all the letters as proof to show in court.

Will DCBL Affect My Credit Score?

Yes, debt collectors negatively impact your credit score. After you miss a few payments and the original creditor sells your debt to a collector, it will show as a second collection on your credit report. The original entry will be marked as ‘sold’, which is not good.

If there’s no second entry on your credit file, you can change the entry for your original debt to add the information about the debt collection company. These collections accounts will affect your credit. It will be visible for a period of six years and will affect your ability to use credit products and get credit during this time.

This is because lenders check your credit file to identify if you’re a ‘high-risk customer. This is someone who might find it difficult to make payment on time. If you have a CCJ, it means you struggled to pay off a debt, and someone had to go to court against you for it.

But after six years, it will not be visible on your credit report. And borrowing credit will be easier once again. Note that debt solutions that you take up will also be visible on your credit report for a six-year period. But after six years, it will clear out.

DCBL Bailiffs Proved the Debt, What Now?

If DCBL proves the debt, you should pay the debt if you want to avoid legal action. If you cannot pay due to your financial situation, contact the DCBL team and request a payment plan that you can manage.

Getting help from charities will be helpful in identifying what other options you have. Note that agreeing to a repayment plan is not the only way out. Also, ignoring them is not a wise choice as they might seize your assets and sell them to recover the debt.

Is My Debt Statute-Barred?

Your debt might be statute-barred if:

  • You haven’t made payments in the last six years
  • You have not admitted to owing the debt in the last six years
  • You have not received a CCJ for it

If you meet all of the above criteria, your debt might be unenforceable. This means that your debt exists, but no one can take you to court for it.

Note that some debts will not become statute-barred. This includes HMRC debts and school loans that are enforceable for a long time, and the same goes for debts that have received a CCJ.

I’ve Received a DCBL Final Reminder – What Now?

Seek immediate advice. Organisations like the Citizens Advice Bureau or StepChange can provide guidance and practical steps to address the situation. Also, note that it’s crucial you don’t ignore the situation. In this case, you should follow the legal obligations after validating the debt. This usually includes paying the debt.

They don’t have the right to issue a CCJ. But they have the right to file for one if they want you to pay. If you’re finding it difficult to pay, reach out to a debt charity. They will guide you.

What Does the DCBL Bailiffs Debt Collection Process Look Like?

Their approach is diverse, involving letters, calls, and sometimes home visits. It’s imperative to be informed and to recognise when they’re overstepping their boundaries.

Some debt collection companies may even use certain questionable tactics to get the money. This includes:

  • Bullying
  • Applying pressure
  • Making frequent phone calls

Some people say that due to pressure from debt collectors, they have had mental health issues and difficulty sleeping. According to Debt Support Trust, many individuals who deal with debt collectors feel close to suicide.

DCBL will attempt to get you to pay over the phone. If you don’t, you can also pay them online. To do this, click on ‘make a payment’. This will take you to a page where you should enter your postcode and reference number. Get this from the letter you got from them or ask for it from them directly over the phone. The last step is to choose a payment option, such as debit or credit, and make the payment.

What Regulations Must DCBL Follow?

DCBL, like all debt recovery agencies, must adhere to guidelines set by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), ensuring fair and ethical debt recovery.

This includes:

1. Avoid using technical jargon to confuse the debtor intentionally.
2. Avoid using aggressive, deceptive or coercive techniques to recover the debt.
3. Be flexible and considerate of the circumstances of people.
4. When agreeing to a debt solution, consider the circumstances.

In a situation where DCBL breaks any of these rules, make a complaint. First, complain to the DCBL company. This will give them a chance to fix the issue. If they don’t solve your matter or address it, escalate the issue. In some cases, they may even have to pay you a compensation.

What Are Reviewers Saying About DCBL?

With a Trustpilot rating of 4.7, the reception is mixed. While many praise their efficiency, it’s essential to filter reviews and understand the varied experiences of debtors. Some of their reviews on TrustPilot are as follows:

“Company failed to act on instructions and continued to send threatening messages for collection of a parking change, which I have shown has been cancelled. Was a mistake made on their part with rejecting LOA without cause and still refusing to drop the charge? Very poor…read more” –Kyle Mackenzie

“DCBL are absolute bullies. I owed a parking fine (questionably) and it was handed over to DCBL. Set up a payment plan to pay off the debt, and just finished with the plan which was £220. I now find out that DCBL have summoned a CCJ against me! Purely because they haven’t kept their records up to date regarding my payments…read more” –Will Robertson

“I have used many debt collecting agencies in the past for personal and professional use and must say that DCBL is one of the best, and since using them, I have not looked elsewhere. Their support throughout the process is one of the best…read more” –Rizwan Hussain

“Excellent service. They helped me track down a tenant who disappeared owing 18 months rent. They recovered all my debt, including my costs and even phoned me late on Friday to deliver the good news and wished me a happy weekend…read more” –Cynthia Betts

Will DCBL Bailiffs Make Me Miserable?

Most enforcement companies follow the law. But there are some that bend the rules and even completely break them. They might bully, apply pressure, or call you continuously. Due to this, many debtors suffer from mental health issues, fear, and sleepless nights.

According to research, around 50% of debtors consider suicide due to the pressure. Stay informed. Knowing your rights can prevent undue stress. Ensure you’re empowered with knowledge to handle any situation.

Look Out for These DCBL Enforcement Behaviours

Navigating the world of debt is daunting. When dealing with DCBL Bailiffs, there are certain behaviours and patterns you should be aware of. But why should you be on the lookout? Let’s dive deeper.

The Persistence of Calls

Imagine your phone ringing off the hook. You pick it up, and it’s another call from DCBL. While it’s essential for them to communicate, a barrage of persistent calls can be overwhelming. But sometimes, this might be deliberate. This is because they might be using software to continuously call you till you pick up.

Changing Communication Tones: A Strategy?

One minute, you might be receiving aggressive calls, making you feel cornered. Then, suddenly, there’s a shift. The next call might be from a very polite and considerate representative from DCBL. This dramatic change in tone is not just random. It’s designed to catch you off guard, making you more amenable to their requests.

3rd Party Disclosure

If DCBL discloses your debt to other people, they are breaking privacy laws. They don’t have the right to give out any details of your debt to anyone. This means they cannot even tell your family members or anyone who works with you.

Deceitful Actions

Another tactic debt recovery companies use is pretending to be bailiffs or claiming they have rights like bailiffs. But note that since DCBL is actually a bailiff company, they may have additional rights to a debt collection company. They have the right to seize assets, but only after getting a court order.

So unless they have a court order, they cannot enter your home. But if they say they can, they are committing an offence.

Empower Yourself with Knowledge

In a situation that already feels oppressive, it’s easy to feel lost and powerless. But remember, being forewarned is being forearmed. Recognising these behaviours is your first step towards empowerment.

As you traverse the complexities of debt enforcement, it’s essential to stay vigilant. Recognise patterns, question anomalies, and always trust your instincts. Because when it comes to your financial well-being, you’re your best advocate.

Direct Collection Bailiffs Ltd (DCBL) Contact Details

Whether it’s their DCBL contact number or their various regional offices, DCBL is accessible for queries, complaints, or general communication.

Website: https://dcbltd.com/
The phone number for complaints: 0203 298 0201
Email address for complaints: complaints@dcbltd.com
Address: London Regional Office
Solar House, 915 High Road, North Finchley, London, N12 8QJ
T: 0203 613 1604

North West Regional Office
Direct House, Greenwood Drive, Manor Park,
Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1UG
T: 01606 361 585

Midlands Regional Office
Colmore Plaza, 20 Colmore Circus,
Queensway, Birmingham, B4 6AT
T: 0121 581 0957

Scotland Regional Office
Barn Cliuth Business Centre,
Town Head Street, Hamilton, ML3 7DP
T: 0141 326 0228

Wales Regional Office
Sophia House, 28 Cathedral Road,
Cardiff, CF11 9LJ
T: 0292 060 7141

What Is the Bailiff Helpline Service?

Though there isn’t a universal helpline, several services offer guidance when dealing with bailiffs. Always do a background check on the helpline you intend to reach out to. There are many UK companies that provide advice when dealing with DCBL Bailiffs or other enforcement agents.

They have helplines that you can contact to get guidance on how you should deal with bailiffs or what you should do after receiving a CCJ.

Note that there is no one particular helpline in the UK, and be aware that some companies only offer these services with commercial motives. So, make sure to do some background research before you call.

Can I Get a Debt Solution with DCBL Bailiffs?

If you’re struggling with debt, we recommend you take up a debt solution. There are many debt solutions available in the UK. Some of them even help you to write off a portion of your debt. But note that while choosing the right debt solution will help you to write off debt, picking the wrong one will be an expensive mess. So choose wisely.

Getting advice from a debt charity is wise before you pick a debt solution or speak to a qualified and licensed debt advisor. Alternatively, feel free to fill out our online form, and our Money Advisor team will guide you.

Debt solutions available in the UK are as follows:

  • Debt Management Plan (DMP): This helps you to merge your debts into a single payment. It’s informal and not set in stone.
  • Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA): This is a formal agreement with your creditors, binding for 5-6 years. You pay a monthly sum, and your creditors agree not to contact you during this time. And debt that’s remaining after this period is written off.
  • Trust Deed: In Scotland, this might be your go-to. Akin to an IVA but tailored for Scots.
  • Debt Relief Order (DRO): if you have a low income and nearly no assets, this provides you a 12-month respite where creditors step back. After 12 months, if your finances still don’t improve, the debt gets written off.
  • Bankruptcy: A fresh start if you have no realistic possibility of paying off your debts. You should not take this lightly as it’s a serious financial situation.
  • Sequestration: Scotland’s version of bankruptcy. Think of it as a concise route to financial clarity.

Where Can I Get Professional Advice?

Numerous debt charities provide free advisory services. Before making any decision, ensure you’re equipped with all the information. Some debt charities you can reach out to include:

  • StepChange
  • National Debtline
  • Citizens Advice
  • Debt Advice Foundation

Need Some Breathing Space?

If you’re worried about receiving debt letters from DCBL while searching for a solution, you might benefit from the Debt Respite Scheme, also called Breathing Space, from the government. The Breathing Space Scheme gives some time to start a debt solution or get some advice. It gives you 60 days with no:

  • Added interest
  • Added fees
  • enforcement action

There are two options you can apply for:

  • Standard Breathing Space: for anyone who is struggling with debt. Lasts for 60 days.
  • Mental Health Crisis: for anyone receiving treatment for a mental health crisis. It lasts as long as the treatment is going on and an additional 30 days.

Key Points

  • Recognise DCBL Bailiffs as a trusted UK debt collection agency, notable for their enforcement of County Court Judgements (CCJ).
  • Understand that DCBL Bailiffs is not just a household name from TV but is indeed validated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Realise that a significant portion of the UK population might be eligible to legally write off some of their outstanding debt. DCBL Bailiffs often manage these debts, so understanding this can offer hope.
  • Before feeling overwhelmed by a DCBL Bailiffs letter, always ensure that the debt is truly yours. This is done by dispatching a “prove the debt” letter to DCBL.
  • If the debt stands confirmed and repayment in full seems daunting, know that options exist. You can work on a payment strategy directly or tap into expert advice from debt charities.
  • Beware of debt collectors who might not play by the rules. By staying educated about DCBL Bailiffs’ legal practices, you can safeguard your rights.
  • If you’re reading a letter or receiving a call from DCBL Bailiffs, don’t panic. Take a deep breath, assimilate the information provided above, and proceed with informed actions.

DCBL Bailiffs: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I Ignore a Letter from DCBL Bailiffs?

Absolutely not. Ignoring a letter from DCBL Bailiffs can complicate matters further. With their status as enforcement agents possessing court-granted powers, sidestepping their communication can worsen your debt scenario. Responding in a timely can often lead to more manageable solutions.

Can Private Parking Companies Dispatch Bailiffs?

No, they can’t. However, while a private parking company can’t directly send bailiffs, they can pursue the debt via a County Court Judgement (CCJ). Knowing the difference can help alleviate undue stress.

Is it Mandatory to Allow DCBL Bailiffs Inside My Home?

No, you maintain the right to deny entry. If DCBL Bailiffs approach your home, you can communicate with them from the safety of your door or even through your letterbox. But always ensure you’ve seen their official license before any detailed conversation.

What’s the Best Approach to Handle DCBL?

First and foremost, ascertain that the debt DCBL Bailiffs is referencing truly belongs to you. They need to present undeniable proof of the debt’s validity. Remember, while they can insist, you don’t have to grant them access to your home unless they present a court warrant.
Stand firm, safeguard your rights, and always demand to view their official license.

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