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Obtaining a County Court Judgment can be a lengthy process, and one often breath’s a sigh of relief when all this is over. However, unfortunately things do not always stop with the obtaining of such a Judgment.
In this ever changing climate it is often the case that debtors do not take any notice of the Court Order and Claimants can often be left wondering which way to turn next.
That’s where we come in.
As the most effective form of enforcement available in the UK, High Court Enforcement Group (HCE Group) provides an optimal proactive solution for your Debt Recovery and Eviction Enforcement needs, delivering an expert enforcement service that is both ethical and effective throughout.
HCE Group offers a comprehensive range of recovery services for businesses, organisations and individuals. Our enforcement services cover High Court Writs of Control, Commercial Rent Recovery, Environmental Evictions, Traveller Evictions, Process Serving, Investigations and Commercial Forfeiture of property.
With a combined experience that exceeds 250 years, our 21 Authorised High Court Enforcement Officers are leading the way forward in setting industry standards and delivering on client expectations. Our unparalleled industry experience, transparency, and professional integrity ensure that we deliver the ultimate High Court Enforcement service throughout England and Wales, and now we are looking to assist our international clients through the Connexx network.
The Connexx network will provide our international clients with a platform to approach HCE Group to assist them in pursuing debtors who are outside their jurisdiction but reside within the UK. Without this platform our international clients would often find that such debtors are simply outside of their reach.
Now the question arises, how can we assist you?
By approaching HCE Group through the Connexx network we are able to provide you with numerous different enforcement options and these are listed below:
In these circumstances our officers will simply attend the debtor’s premises and attempt to bring attention to the debt in question and obtain the monies without the need for lengthy court action.
This type of enforcement is designed to try and maintain working relationships without the hostility that subsequent court action can bring.
When instructed to attempt recovery for this type of debt we at HCE Group will write to the debtor to inform them of the debt and request payment, we will also call the debtor to attempt to calmly discuss the matter and again request payment.
However, in the events that the above attempts are unsuccessful we will assign the file to our officer to make an attendance at the debtor’s premises to discuss the case with them face to face. It should be noted that when instructed under this heading our officers have no legal powers that they can rely upon and will simply request payment when in attendance. If such payment is not forthcoming we may advise alternative legal proceedings be commenced.
PROCESS SERVING & INVESTIGATION
At HCE Group, we pride ourselves on delivering a personalised service that is of the highest quality and value. In order to achieve this we offer three levels of service. Our system is dedicated to producing personalised reporting, detailing customer needs and individual circumstances in order to ensure that you receive the service features and expert assistance you need, promptly and proficiently.
ALL SERVICE LEVELS INCLUDE:
Confirm receipt of all instructions
Regular client updates
Standard Service of documents
Statement provided for Statutory Demands, Bankruptcy Petitions, Winding-up Petitions and Claim forms
Affidavits provided for N39 Orders
HCE Group deal with all types of Process Serving and is dedicated to providing innovative solutions for all of our clients. If you could not find what you are looking for in this section, then please do not hesitate to contact us with your requirements.
We are also able to offer basic investigation services including lifestyle reports, and tracing services where defendants have vacated the last known address.
WRITS OF Control
A Writ of Control is a method for enforcing a High Court Judgment or a County Court Judgment above £600.00.
A Writ of Control is used to enforce a money judgment. Essentially it involves a High Court Enforcement Officer attending the home or premises of the judgment debtor (the person, business or organisation who owes the money) and seizing and then selling goods belonging to the judgment debtor to the value of the judgment.
Below is a step by step guide on how to obtain a Judgment and subsequently a Writ of Control
Step by Step guide to obtaining a County Court Judgment and subsequently a Writ of Control
1) Pre Court Proceedings
Firstly as the Claimant (the one who is owed the money) you should issue a letter before action to the Defendant advising them that you intend to start proceedings after a specified time if no response to the letter before action is received or if the monies are not forthcoming within the specified period.
2) Completing the Claim Form
If no response to the letter before action is received you can start a court claim by completing a Claim Form (N1). You can obtain these claim forms from local courts and from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.
The claim form asks for details of the claimant and the defendant and how much is being claimed. It also includes a space for you to detail how the claim has arisen (also referred to as the particulars of claim). In some circumstances, as a claimant you might need extra time to complete the particulars of claim. You have the right to send the particulars of claim to the defendant separately but no later than 14 days after the claim form.
As the claimant you may be able to claim interest on your claim. If so you must include interest in the amount you are claiming on the claim form. There is a specific form of words you should use to do this. For more information about claiming interest, please see the guidance notes that come with the claim form.
In some circumstances, additional documents need to be attached to the particulars of claim. For example, if the claim is based on a written agreement (such as an agreement to purchase goods or services), a copy of the agreement should be attached to the statement of claim.
Some claims for a fixed amount of money can be started online at www.moneyclaim.gov.uk Usually, claims will be issued, printed and sent to the defendant on the day the claim is submitted. Court fees for online claims must be paid by credit or debit card.
3) Applying for the claim form to be issued
As the claimant you should send or take two copies of the claim form to the court where you want to start court action.
You should keep an extra copy for your own records. You must also take or send the court fee. The fee depends on the amount of money claimed. You can find out how much the fee is from the HM Courts and tribunals Service website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk
In some circumstances the fee might be waived or reduced for example:
Because you are getting certain benefits like Income Support or income based jobseekers allowance.
Because your annual income is low
Because of financial hardship
You can ask the court to tell you how to apply for a reduction or waiver of the fees or you can get more information and the exemption from HM Courts and Tribunals Service website at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk. In order to apply for the exemption of the court fee you must complete form EX160
The court will stamp the claim form and in most cases serve it on the defendant. It will give you a notice of issue, a document with the case number on it.
4) How the claim form is served
Usually the court will serve the claim form by sending it to the defendant by first class post. The defendant will be deemed to receive it on the second business day after posting, unless the claim form was issued online. As the claimant if you want to serve it yourself you can ask the court to give it back to you once it has been stamped so that you can serve it. There are a number of forms that must be sent with the claim form.
5) If the defendant is not defending the case
If the defendant accepts that they owe the money claimed, they will not be defending the case and the court will not allocate it to the small claims track to be dealt with.
If they can pay the money immediately, they should send it to you directly.
If they need time to pay, they can suggest an arrangement. For example that they pay the money in instalments or all the money in one lump sum at a certain date in the future. If the claimant accepts this offer you will have to return a form to court requesting judgement on admission. If the defendant does not keep to the arrangement the claimant can take legal action forcing them to pay.
If you do not accept the defendants offer you must give your reasons and a court official will decide what a reasonable arrangement should be. The court will send both parties an order for payment (judgement for claimant after determination)
If you are not happy with the order you should write to the court giving your reasons and you must send a copy of the letter to the defendant. A judge will then decide what is reasonable for the defendant to pay. If the defendant does not keep to the arrangement, the claimant can take enforcement action.
6) If the defendant is defending the case
If the defendant does not accept that they owe the money that is being claimed they will be defending the case. They have to respond to the claim form and the particulars of claim within 14 days of the date of service (this is the second day after posting). If the particulars of claim were served after the claim form, you must respond within 14 days of the date of service of the particulars of claim.
If the defendant does not send a defence in to the court the claimant can ask for an order to be made against them.
The defendant can send their defence to the court. However, if they need more time to prepare a defence they can send back an acknowledgement of service and then the defence within 14 days (the acknowledgement of service would be sent to the defendant initially with the claim form)
When the defence is returned to the court the court will send an allocation questionnaire to both the claimant and the defendant. This must be returned no later than the date specified on it. As the claimant when you return the allocation questionnaire you will have to pay the relevant fee (unless it is waived on financial grounds) the court will use the information given on the allocation questionnaire to decide which track the case will be allocated to.
7) If there is no response to the claim form
If the court does not receive a response to the claim form or you do not receive the monies you can request a default judgment. To do this you must complete form N255
8) Enforcement of court orders
As the claimant you will have to pay a fee to start enforcement proceedings, and there are many types of enforcement which you may wish to consider. We deal with enforcement by way of a Writ of Control which directs us to levy and remove assets belonging to the defendant with a view to selling the assets in order to try and recover the monies owed to you.
In order to apply for enforcement by way of a Writ of Control you must complete form N293A and send this to the court together with the cheque for £65.00 which is the court fee incurred to transfer the Judgment to a Writ. Upon issue of a valid Writ we can then enforce the judgment on behalf of the claimant.
For more information, visit our website www.hcegroup.co.uk