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We understand at Shergroup that no one particularly wants to enforce payment of their debt. But despite every best intention, every opportunity to pay the debt through credit control, third party collection, and legal proceedings, the debt remains stubbornly unpaid.
This is all made worse if there has been little or no dialogue with the person who is responsible to pay the debt (who at the judgment stage becomes the Judgment Debtor). The Judgment Creditor is left with a couple of unpalatable options |
Write the debt off
Carry on to the realm of enforcement
So here at Shergroup, we don’t like the idea of writing the debt off when it could be enforced. Writing debt off is an accounting exercise and for debts over the £600 High Court threshold, this action can be avoided with the investment of just a small fee.
That small fee, which includes transferring the Writ and managing the High Court process, puts in play a series of steps that compel payment. These steps include sending a Notice of Enforcement to the Judgment Debtor warning in stark terms about the consequences of not paying the High Court Enforcement Officer.
If the sending of a Notice of Enforcement still doesn’t create dialogue, then the next step in the High Court process is to schedule an attendance by the High Court Enforcement Officer through Certificated Enforcement Agents. This is not an appointment.
The Judgment Debtor is warned of attendance after 7 clear days from the time the Notice of Enforcement is sent. The attendance can be at any time thereafter and can be from 6.00 am in the morning to 9.00 pm at night.
Happy days – the Judgment Creditor is paid in full
Possibly a smile on the face of the Judgment Creditor – the Judgment Debtor puts forward a sensible offer based on current circumstances
Not so happy days – the Judgment Debtor isn’t at the address or, if the Judgment Debtor is present it is clear there are no goods to take into legal control
In all these 3 outcomes, which we see, every day in every type of case, the Judgment Creditor gets a verified outcome.
This is not the same as writing the debt off which leaves a niggle in the back of the mind as to whether the Judgment Debtor was at the address and had goods.
Even if we find the Judgment Debtor has gone (which incidentally means we can then look for that person) – then at least the Judgment Creditor knows what is going on.
Whatever your experience, the fact is that the sooner you secure your judgment against your particular Judgment Debtor, you have the best chance of being in priority to all other creditors who could be waiting to enforce their judgment against your Judgment Debtor.
Economic crises can often bring calm before the storm and this is certainly very true at the time of writing this blog in early 2021. Are we looking at a tsunami of county court judgments being issued? Sadly, we think we are.
That’s why its important to press on, finish your collection cycle, issue your claim, and bring that amount to over £600 so wherever possible you can enforce using the High Court Enforcement system.
Pandemics only seem to turn up once every 100 years, financial crises are a little more regular – maybe once every 20 years, and you want to know that your judgment is going to be enforced as quickly as possible.
We are all hoping that life will return to normal after the pandemic, but the business world has shifted. Today shops, pubs, restaurants, and offices are easy to find, with business addresses and business goods inside. At the moment this is the best time to secure those goods inside business premises even if the owners are away from their business.
Enforcement Agents can attend “relevant premises” and force entry to restaurants, shops, pubs, and offices which have goods inside. They can make an inventory of those goods and invite anyone present to sign a Controlled Goods Agreement as a path to be making a payment arrangement.
If the business address is empty, then the goods can be secured, the locks changed, and a notice left to confirm that the goods are now under the control of the High Court Enforcement Officer.
The Judgment Creditor now has a secured position over goods. Those same goods may not be there in the months ahead.
The best time to enforce a court judgment is always as soon as possible after the judgment has been entered. Under CPR Part 40, the Judgment Debtor has 14 days to pay the judgment after it has been ordered.
We encourage our community of court users to use this time with the aim of getting to be “first past the post”.
Take these steps
Send your CCJ to Shergroup, you can upload it and have a free review of the judgment
Let us apply for the Certificate of Judgment from the County Court which we will need
Move to issue a High Court Writ of Control – and pay Shergroup’s fee
Let us issue the Writ of Control for you
Let us serve a Notice of Enforcement giving the Judgment Debtor another clear day to contact us and pay up or make an offer
If none of that gets a conversation going, then an attendance by a High Court Enforcement Agent is the next step.
Time is of the essence in the months ahead. You will take these steps as part of a clear process and with the law on your side. You can continue to talk to your customer, but you can say that the matter is out of your hands. What we don’t think you can do is wait until all the goods have been taken by Insolvency Practitioners, who themselves are going to be busy, putting companies into insolvency arrangements which will mean you are one of a group of creditors, with no preferential rights to goods.
You can contact us via [email protected] and on all our social media channels to get a going and be in front! Subscribe to our website to hear more about how we are helping businesses get to grips with High Court Enforcement as part of their business process.
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Last updated | 19 July 2023
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