Bailiffs are called in to collect unpaid council taxes and parking fines in more than two million cases a year across the country and more than 200,000 in Birmingham, campaigners have said.
Almost 5,500 cases a day are passed to debt recovery agencies by local councils in England, Scotland and Wales, a report showed.
Birmingham City Council called in debt collectors in 223,810 cases, according to statistics.
The figures, released to the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch under the Freedom of Information Act, come after concerns that bailiffs harass or intimidate those who owe money, charge excessive fees and threaten debtors with imprisonment.
Daniel Hamilton, director of Big Brother Watch, said: "The coalition Government must act now to end the culture of bully-boy debt collection which has taken hold in town halls across the country.
"Sending in bailiffs to recover debts should always be the absolute last resort. The fact local councils have passed more than six million cases to bailiffs for matters as trivial as the late payment of council taxes and parking fines is truly shocking.
"In many cases, bailiffs are a law unto themselves; barging their way into people's homes, intimidating vulnerable members of the public and imposing rip-off charges."
Overall, the 320 local authorities who responded to the survey passed 4,527,917 cases to third-party debt recovery agencies for the non-payment of council tax, and 1,411,086 cases for the non-payment of fines for parking infringements, between 2007/08 and 2009/10.
Local Government and Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: "The coalition Government will rein in the aggressive use of bailiffs, and defend people's rights and liberties against home invasion.
"In addition, we will not be introducing the last Government's plans to allow bailiffs to force entry into homes to collect civil debts."
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council, Europe's largest local authority, said: "The majority of Birmingham citizens pay their council tax accounts in full and within the prescribed timescales.
"It is only when all avenues for the recovery of debt have been exhausted that the account is referred to the Magistrates' Court."