If you’re unable to pay the money that a bailiff demands immediately, but you can repay it in installments, they’ll want you to enter into an agreement called a ‘controlled goods agreement’ (CGA). This gives the bailiff control over your goods or property to cover the value of the debt, plus fees and interest where appropriate until the debt is repaid. But what will happen to your property under a CGA, and what exactly does a CGA mean in practice?
CGA’s used to be known as Walking Possession Agreements. They fall under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations SI 2013 /1894 (which replaced the old law of Distraint in 2014).
In practice, when a bailiff takes control of your goods, they won’t necessarily take your property away whilst the debt is repaid. If, however, they have to visit you for a second time, they are entitled to take it away and keep it in secure storage.
If you default on the debt or any payments, the goods will be removed and sold. In some cases, they may be sold at public auction and may not reach the value that you believe them to hold, which means that when a CGA is made, it may in fact cover more goods than you think it should.
In our experience, most bailiffs and HCEO’s want an acceptable agreement to be found. They are likely to want to take a CGA and agree a repayment plan as uplifting assets is generally not best for either party.
Unfortunately however, bailiff repayment plans are normally based around getting the highest amount of money from you as quickly as possible. This leaves no consideration for your other commitments. For this reason, bailiff action can sometimes be quickly followed by deeper cash problems within the business.
If this is something you are concerned about, our advice is deal with the immediate bailiff problem, and then immediately confront the wider cash issues. If you have other debts or tax arrears as well, it is worth getting overall financial advice.
You’ll find some useful information on these pages:
Or if you’d prefer more tailored advice, feel free to contact one of our business rescue experts directly.