From 6th April 2014 new regulations come into force which will underpin the Government's package of reforms to bailiff law.
The Government is committed to delivering protection against rogue bailiffs who use unsound, unsafe and unfair methods whilst ensuring debt can still be collected effectively. The Government will deliver this through the implementation of Part 3 of, and Schedule 12 to, the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 together with the underpinning regulations listed below:
The new legislative package will be supported by the updated National Standards on enforcement which are currently being developed.
The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 introduces a new fee regime, for High Court Enforcement, replacing the multiple confusing fee structures currently in place in disparate pieces of legislation and common law. The structure is based on a staged approach with trigger points, which remunerate the officers for each stage undertaken.
The four stages and fees are:
- Administrative/Compliance, fee £75.00.
- Enforcement Stage 1, fee £185.00 plus 7.5% of any monies recovered over £1,000.
- Enforcement Stage 2, fixed fee £480.00.
- Sale Stage, £510.00 plus 7.5% of any monies recovered over £1,000.
In using this approach the Government hope that it will support early payment and compliance by debtors as they will be fully aware of the costs implication if they fail to do so.
There has also been an announcement that the National High Court Enforcement Officers "Abortive Fee" will increase from £60.00 to £75.00 plus VAT. From 6th April. (only applicable in the High Court Enforcement arena).
Amongst other things, these Regulations also:
- set out clearly and in one place, a new set of fees which will apply across all relevant debt streams;
- ensure enforcement agents are adequately remunerated for the work they actually carry out;
- introduce incentives for debtors to engage early with the enforcement process;
- remove incentives for enforcement agents to undertake unnecessary enforcement action by preventing them to charge additional fees for this and;
- ensure enforcement agents allow vulnerable debtors the opportunity to seek advice and assistance.
If you have any queries in relation to this piece of legislation and new scales of charges or indeed any Debt Litigation or Enforcement related matters, please get in touch with David Scottow, Senior Director, National Head of Recoveries.This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.