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Cornwall's big bailiff problems are revealed

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Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:11pm 12th December 2018.

A single mum from Cornwall has revealed she was sent a text by bailiffs after missing a council tax payment for £20.

The woman was waiting for benefits after losing her job because of mental health issues.

Despite her contacting the company, the bailiffs said there was nothing they could do and intended to recover the remaining £312 debt.

It is just one of a string of cases seen by Citizens Advice in the Duchy.

The service has helped almost 500 people in the last two years and is backing calls for a new regulator.

Officials say the government must step in and regulate the industry to prevent people suffering at the hands of bailiffs who flout the rules.

"It beggars belief an industry that can cause so much damage is not properly policed by a regulator.

"We see first hand the widespread harm the actions of bailiffs and the companies they work for inflict on people and their families. It must stop.

"The evidence is clear, the Ministry of Justice has no other option but to establish an independent bailiff regulator."

Bernie Buck, Deputy Chief Executive at Citizens Advice Cornwall

In the last two years Citizens Advice Cornwall helped 477 people with bailiffs, for debts such as council tax arrears, parking fines, and magistrates' court fines.

Research from Citizens Advice claims rule-breaking bailiffs often cause people more stress, anxiety and financial hardship.

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