Shergroup takes the initiative

Shergroup takes the initiative

Shergroup takes the initiative

Braintree-based business Shergroup is celebrating after an employee won a prestigious award for a piece of technology that is now used by thousands of professionals in the debt-collection industry.

David Asker is head of Shergroup’s IT services and won the Initiative of the Year award staged by the Institute of Credit Management.

David has worked for the Essex legal firm, which specialises in collecting commercial debt through High Court enforcement, for 25 years.

He developed the online DVLA look-up system branded as ‘Shercar’, which helps enforcement officers check the ownership of vehicles which are seized to pay court fines, judgments, and local authority debts.

Claire Sandbrook, Chief Executive of Shergroup – the UK’s largest High Court enforcement agency – is an expert on debt and a leading voice in calling for higher standards of bailiffs nationally. She said: “Debt is a national issue and is set to get worse.”

“No one wants to see people without the use of their vehicles, but if a judgment debtor or fine defaulter can’t pay the court’s order then a warrant provides for the removal of their vehicle. If it is a creditor?s business that is owed money, their trade could falter and the cloud of debt spread.”

Now the simple web-based system is used by County Court bailiffs, magistrates’ courts officers and High Court enforcement officers throughout the UK and has cut the process from three weeks to around 24 hours.

Mrs Sandbrook added: “Until Shercar was developed, obtaining a timely notification of the registered keeper of a vehicle which has been, or is about to be, seized and sold was paper-based and haphazard.”

“The paper-based enquiry form used by DVLA had to be manually completed and took up to three weeks to obtain a response. This resulted in delays in enforcing the recoveries process and often meant the vehicle could not be seized.”

“David really deserves this award as he has made the system, accessible via, much easier for so many in the profession.”

A modest David said: “It was nice to get some recognition and it’s a really good boost for Shergroup. We first introduced the service in 2004 and it has really matured into something that is pretty much taken for granted by people in the industry now, as almost 1,500 professionals use Shercar.”