A new set of rules for bailiffs comes into force tomorrow in a major shake up of the sector in the hope of squeezing out rogue debt collectors who bully and lie to struggling people.
They will be banned from entering peoples' homes at night and from using strongarm tactics against debtors.
They won't be allowed any more to enter homes where only children are in and they will be barred from taking vital household essentials such as cookers, microwaves, fridges or washing machines. The new laws will also force bailiffs to be trained and certified to practise.
But debt charity the Money Advice Trust warns the new rules will exacerbate problems.
Joanna Elson, chief executive, said: “The fees for using bailiffs are charged to the person in debt and collected by the bailiff. That means the fees can incentivise bad practice and the new fee structure does little to prevent this.”