The legislation has been introduced to underpin the Government's package of reforms to bailiff law, whilst, hopefully, ensuring a debt can still be collected effectively.
The new legislation will include the new “The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014” which introduces a new fee regime to simplify the current charging structure. It is hoped that simplifying the fees payable will result in early payment and compliance by debtors, as they will now be fully aware of the costs implication if they fail to do so.
The four stages of enforcement and fees are:
All High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) companies will now have to send a ‘Notice of Enforcement’ to the judgment debtor. This notice gives them 7 clear days, excluding Sundays and bank holidays, to make payment in full to prevent the attendance of an Enforcement Agent to seize goods
Sending the Notice of Enforcement triggers the fee for this stage which is £75.
Enforcement Stage 1
If the debtor fails to make contact with the HECO or requests to pay by instalments during the Administrative/Compliance Stage, an Enforcement Agent will attend their premises to take control of goods.
This stage will incur a fee of £190 plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,000.
Enforcement Stage 2
If the debtor refuses either to make payment or to enter into an acceptable instalment arrangement or if any payment arrangement, with a signed controlled goods agreement, is subsequently broken, the Enforcement Agent will re-attend the property either under Enforcement Stage 2 or the Sales or Disposal Stage, depending upon the circumstances.
The fee for Enforcement Stage 2 is a flat fee of £495
Sale or Disposal Stage
Should enforcement get to the point where goods actually need to be removed, the enforcement progresses to the Sale or Disposal Stage?
The fee for this stage is £525 plus 7.5% of the outstanding debt over £1,000.
The costs of removal are normally included in this Sale Stage fee. However, if the HCEO anticipates exceptionally high removal costs far greater than the Sale Stage fee, for example the need for specialist equipment and personnel, he can apply to the court to have these costs added to the amount payable by the debtor.
The only other fees chargeable (without application to court) are for disbursements such as locksmiths, storage and auctioneers' fees.
The new abortive fee
The current abortive fee, payable if enforcement proves to be unsuccessful, will rise from £60 to £75. This fee is triggered by the sending of the Notice of Enforcement and is payable by the creditor in the case of unsuccessful enforcement.
For further information or to start collecting what is owed now, call me on 01489 550480 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.