If a creditor has taken action to force the repayment of a debt that you simply cannot or are unwilling to repay, they will use debt collectors, bailiffs, or supreme court enforcement officers to retrieve the debt on their behalf.
The end goal for debt collectors, bailiffs, and supreme court enforcement officers are the same. they need to force the repayment of the debt by visiting your business premises, but they need very different powers that dictate the steps they’re likely to require.
In this guide, we’ll explain what a supreme court enforcement officer is, what powers they need, and what your rights are during this situation.
What Is A Supreme Court Enforcement Officer?
A supreme court enforcement officer may be a debt collector who operates in England and Wales and has been authorized by the Ministry of Justice to enforce judgments that are made within the supreme court. they will also enforce County Court Judgements (CCJs) over the worth of £600. They work to make sure that a creditor whose claim is accepted by the court receives the cash they’re owed.
HCEOs are authorized by the supreme court under a Writ of Control that follows the non-payment of a debt. that provides them certain powers to seize assets, repossess the property, and gain entry to a property during the enforcement process under the Taking Control of products Regulations 2013. An HCEO has powers over and above that of a bailiff or debt collector but they need to suits a code of practice and professional conduct (pdf) as began by the supreme court Enforcement Association.
When Would A Supreme Court Enforcement Officer Be Used?
Two courts are involved in the process of economic debt recovery. That’s the County Court, which handles lower value claims, and therefore the supreme court, which deals with debt claims of over £50,000. However, it’s possible for debt claims that are made within the County Court to be transferred to the supreme court for recovery. this is often commonly the rationale why businesses will find a supreme court enforcement officer at their door.
high court enforcement officers London are wont to enforce County Court Judgements if the debt is quite £5,000 and therefore the creditor wants to reclaim the loss against the debtor’s possessions. If the debt is over £600, has not been paid and it’s not covered by the buyer Credit Act, the creditor also can prefer to transfer the debt from the County Court to the supreme court. There are several reasons why a creditor would prefer to escalate their claim to the High Court:
Creditors can add 8 percent interest to the debt once it’s been passed to an HCEO.
The fees for HCEOs are much higher, which puts the debtor under more pressure to pay.
HCEOs have greater powers of enforcement than County Court bailiffs, which makes them harder to prevent.
HCEOs are employed by a personal company and are paid to support the worth of the debt they collect. Many creditors feel that creates them simpler than County Court bailiffs.
What Rights Do Enforcement Agents Have?
Before a supreme court enforcement officer visits your business premises, you’ll receive a Notice of Enforcement supplying you with a minimum of seven days notice that they’re getting to call. during this instance, you want to understand the actions supreme court enforcement officers can take before they arrive so you recognize where you stand.
Secure Payment And Removal Of Products
The first step for the supreme court enforcement officer is going to be to pay you a visit to undertake and secure payment or to agree to a payment plan. If you can’t afford to pay the debt and a payment plan can’t be agreed, the supreme court Writ of Control authorizes the HCEO to require control of assets which will be removed and sold at auction.
Rather than removing goods immediately, the HCEO may make a listing and ask you to sign a controlled goods agreement. You’ll be asked to comply with a repayment decide to pay off the debt and if you don’t keep to the payments, the HCEO will return to get rid of the products and sell them to repay the debt.
HCEOs are within their rights to seize business assets (if a limited company) or business and private assets (if a sole trader or partnership) to the worth of the judgment plus interest, court fees, and enforcement costs.
Rights of entry and control
If payment can’t be obtained fully or a payment plan can’t be agreed upon. The supreme court Writ of Control authorizes the HCEO to access land and enter buildings in order that they can take hold of products and assets. The supreme court enforcement officers will give the business debtor reasonable time and opportunity to grant them peaceable entry. However, if that’s not forthcoming, entry is often forced to business premises as long as there’s no residential accommodation attached and therefore the HCEO has exhausted all other options. If an HCEO does force entry, they need to re-secure the premises to an equivalent standard.