Have you obtained a County Court Judgment but still not been paid? We feel your pain but often obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) can be the easy part.
Here at Legal Recoveries & Collections Limited (LRC), we don’t just want to obtain the Judgment for you. A successful outcome is one where you receive the money that is owed to you. Whilst often a debt will be paid once a CCJ is obtained, some are not. If this is the position you are in then you are in a situation where you will need to decide if you want to take enforcement action.
There are various methods of enforcement action and the methods available to you will depend on the amount of the CCJ and whether the debt is owed by a commercial entity or an individual.
At LRC our lawyers can advise you on the most suitable method. Any information regarding income and assets can be very useful at this stage.
We are running a series of factsheets to provide you with more information regarding enforcement action.
This week we will look at one of the most popular options:
County Court Judgment: High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO) – for debts over £600.00 owed by a business or individual.
High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO) are the most common method of enforcing an unpaid County Court Judgment. This option is suitable for debts owed by a business or an individual (as long as it is not a CCA regulated debt).
If you have an unpaid CCJ, we can arrange for the Court Judgment to be transferred to the High Court, which will issue a Writ of Control that enables Enforcement Officers to contact the debtor with a view to collecting payment of the debt owed to you.
HCEO have the powers to seize the debtor’s goods which will be sold at auction to pay the debt owed to you. Should the HCEO not locate any assets, they will assess the situation and attempt to agree on a payment arrangement or additional information about the circumstances of the debtor, which will assist us when reporting to you and advising on alternative methods of enforcement.
High Court Enforcement Officers are paid on results and therefore you can be assured that they will do all they can to successfully recover the debt owed to you.
FAQ’s-High Court Enforcement Officers
What do you need to instruct the High Court Enforcement Officers on my behalf?
All we need from you is a copy of the Judgment and the trading address if the debtor is a business entity or residential address if the debtor is an individual. If you are able to supply contact telephone numbers and emails that would be helpful too. If you have any knowledge about assets then it would be useful to provide this to us also.
We will obtain a Writ of Control on your behalf and report to you the progress of the enforcement officers.
What happens once HCEO is instructed?
It takes around two weeks to obtain a Writ of Control.
Once a Writ of Control is obtained, a Notice of Enforcement must be sent by HCEO, which will give the debtor fourteen days to make a payment/respond. This notice will provide information on the consequences of not paying and warn the debtor that assets could be seized and sold at auction.
The Notice also highlights the cost consequences of payment not being received within the compliance window and that costs will escalate in stages throughout the process.
Will the High Court Enforcement Officers force entry to the premises?
If the premises are commercial then the answer is yes! But, the Officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that the Judgment Debtors‘ goods/assets are inside.
If the premises is residential then only peaceful entry is allowed. Once an Officer is inside the property he is not allowed to be forcibly removed and once entry has been gained the Office may re-enter with force if necessary.
What powers do High Court Enforcement Officers have?
A Writ of Control will give the Officers the power to take control of goods/assets at the address with a view to selling at auction to satisfy the debt owed.
Should I instruct High Court Enforcement Officers or a County Court Bailiff?
Industry–wide experience gives evidence that you should use High Court Enforcement Officers if possible (the debt must be over £600.00 and it is not CCA Regulated debt). The results and speed of service from the High Court Enforcement Officers cannot be matched by Court Bailiffs who I would only recommend if there is no alternative.
High Court Enforcement Officers are paid on results which leads to a quicker attendance time and an incentive to obtain the best results for you.
Can I instruct High Court Enforcement Officers at the same time as an alternative enforcement method?
Yes and we see great results with a two–pronged approach, particularly when a debt is secured on a property by a Charging Order.
If you have any questions or need advice on alternative methods of enforcing a County Court Judgment (CCJ), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0330 024 6342.