Main article: Random Encounters (Skyrim)

A Bounty Collector is a high-level guard who will intercept the Dragonborn on the roads of Skyrim should a crime—or series of crimes—carry a bounty exceeding 1,000 GoldIcon within a particular hold. Unlike normal guards who can only pursue criminals in a certain hold, bounty collectors ignore the distinction between holds and have jurisdiction anywhere in Skyrim, regardless of the hold in which the bounty is incurred.


Like the Hired Thugs, they are statistically equivalent to a Bandit Chief and as such come equipped with a leveled suit of heavy armor and often an enchanted weapon. Therefore, under no circumstances whatsoever should they be underestimated. They will approach and demand that the player pay the bounty. If the Dragonborn either refuses to pay or has insufficient gold, the bounty collector automatically becomes hostile and attacks. The total amount which the Dragonborn must pay is however much the bounty was, as well as an extra 20% fee to cover administrative expenses (essentially, they will demand an amount equal to 1.2x your current bounty)

Bounty removalEdit

Paying off the bounty will remove the criminal status within that hold and thus prevent further attacks or arrest attempts by the guards when the Dragonborn is in that hold. However, if the bounty is high enough, the bounty collector will not talk to collect the bounty; instead, they may immediately attack until the Dragonborn is dead (it is unknown if it is a bug or scripted combat).


  • Leveled heavy armor (up to steel plate in quality), including the boots, gauntlets, and helmet.
  • Leveled heavy shield(up to ebony in quality).
  • A dagger (up to elven in quality).
  • 50-250 gold, level-dependent.
  • A leveled one-handed weapon or a leveled two-handed weapon (up to ebony in quality).


  • Results of payment may not be immediate due to the fact that the bounty collector has to walk all the way to the jarl of the hold to deliver the bounty. Be wary of fast traveling to an associated city immediately after paying the bounty collector.
  • It is impossible to recover the payment that the Dragonborn has given to a bounty collector from the body.


This section contains bugs related to Bounty Collector. Before adding a bug to this list, consider the following:

  1. Please reload an old save to confirm if the bug is still happening.
  2. If the bug is still occurring, please post the bug report with the appropriate system template  360  / XB1  ,  PS3  / PS4  ,  PC  / MAC  ,  NX  , depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.
  3. Be descriptive when listing the bug and fixes, but avoid having conversations in the description and/or using first-person anecdotes: such discussions belong on the appropriate forum board.
  •  360   The bounty collector will attempt to collect a bounty that was already paid in an outlying city. (Such as a bounty in Whiterun Hold being paid while in Riverwood.)
  • The dialogue options may say "Pay 0 Gold." This can also occur randomly if the Dragonborn has no bounty and never been wanted in that hold.
  • There may still be a bounty even after the Bounty Collector has been paid.
  • The bounty collector may not show up at all, even though the Dragonborn has had a bounty for a long time.
  • The bounty collector may not allow the option of payment, but instead attacks immediately.


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