'Excessive' use of bailiffs by councils

London councils sent out bailiffs half a million times last year

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London councils used bailiffs to collect 500,000 debts

London's local authorities are being accused of sending in the bailiffs too quickly and too often -- to chase small amounts of money that could be recovered through negotiation. A freedom of information request by a charity has revealed the full picture of the way that councils use debt collectors.

It's the first time these figures have been published, and they show that London boroughs make up six of the Top Ten councils using bailiffs most often.The councils say they're just trying to recover money that's owed to them. Glen Goodman reports.

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London boroughs using bailiffs to collect debts

A debt charity is calling on local authorities to be more responsible in managing their debt collection.

A Freedom of Information request from the Money Advice Trust found that local authorities have referred debts to bailiffs on 1.8 million occasions in the last twelve months.

Six of the ten authorities most likely to refer debts to bailiffs were in London.

They were: Westminster, Newham, Croydon, Lambeth, Redbridge and Southwark.

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