Enforcement Agents seek to extend CCJ debt enforcement work

Proposed reforms that would allow high court enforcement officers and certificated enforcement agents to enforce small sum County Court Judgments and Consumer Credit Act judgments have been put to the Government in a joint industry submission.

The joint submission by the High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) and the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA) has been made to the Ministry of Justice Reform Policy and Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service Reform Programme Teams.

It proposes an amendment to the 1991 High Court & County Court Jurisdiction Order, which would allow high court enforcement officers, assisted, where appropriate by certificated enforcement agents, to enforce CCJs below £600 and judgments based on Consumer Credit Act agreements.

The submission is supported by a detailed Opinion (“Efficient & Effective Enforcement Against Goods: The Way Forward”) prepared by Toby Riley-Smith QC & Celia Oldham both of Henderson Chambers.

Andrew Wilson, Chair of the HCEOA said: “Lord Briggs highlighted the failings of debt enforcement by County Court bailiffs in his Final Report and this is a suggested interim solution to ease the workload of the bailiffs and allow them more time to perform their other duties, such as enforcing orders for possession.”

Kevin McCarthy, Chair of CIVEA said: “CIVEA members already handle over 6 million liability orders and warrants and are well placed to ensure that court users can rely on having judgments enforced professionally, efficiently and with experts skilled at dealing with people who may be vulnerable.”