Just suspends enforcement due to coronavirus epidemic

Since my last letter to stakeholders the government have announced further measures to combat the spread of the virus, namely the decision to close schools, to direct that restaurants, pubs, and cafes close, and to repeatedly highlight the need and requirement for social distancing.

In light of the above, Just have formed a working party made up of customers, advisors, and members of staff to consider the impact on our requirements and my duties to enforce Writs of Control that either have already been issued or are in the process of being issued.

Careful consideration

After careful consideration, I can now advise that Just will be implementing the following steps:

  • All attendances by our panel of enforcement agencies will be suspended for an initial period of 30 days.
  • Our compliance period will be extended from the statutory seven days to 30 days for cases that are in the process of being issued and all new instructions received within the next 30 days will be held in compliance for a 30-day period.
  • Where we have cases that are either in the first or second enforcement stage or due to be allocated to an enforcement agency for attendances, we will write to the debtor advising that they have an additional 30 days to arrange payment before an attendance will be made.
  • For cases that are subject to an agreed payment plan, we will continue to monitor and recover payments in accordance with the agreement that has been reached, but will only take enforcement steps using remote processes such as telephone, e-mail, and letter.

Continued dialogue

Please be assured that we are reviewing this developing situation on a daily basis and remain in dialogue with our advisors, the Civil Court Users Association and the High Court Enforcement Officers Association and will resume our normal operational practices when it is appropriate to do so.

We thank all of our clients, our panel of enforcement agencies, and our internal team for supporting our decision, which has been made in order to put the safety of our team and the public first.

By Chris Badger, authorised High Court enforcement officer and director of legal and compliance at Just