We did, at the outset, say that this was an “occasional series”  on Debt Collection History.

If you need catching up.    Here is Part II of the debt collection history, and here is Part I of the debt collection history series.

We now find ourselves leaving Greco-Roman times and fast forwarding to Europe in the middle ages.  Inspired by laws passed in Germany, many european nations have passed legislation controlling Debt Collectors.   If someone owes a debt to another, and cannot pay, the creditor has the right to a fair hearing in court to seek judgment against the debtor.   The bailiff in the middle ages was responsible for literally going into the debtor’s home, and taking whatever they could find equivalent to the value of the debt that was being adjudicated.

Unlike the more civilized function of bailiffs today, back then it was not unusual for them to pillage far more than needed to repay the debt, even handing over deeds to property.  Frequently, very little of what a bailiff plundered would actually make its way to the creditor.


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