In this article we look at a case study on the enforcement of CCA regulated debts and how to achieve the best results through the County Court Bailiffs.
The client was a small personal loan provider based in the north of England. Loan balances are typically below £1,000 and are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act. Unfortunately, from time to time our client’s customers fail to comply with the contractual repayments under the loan agreements, or rectify the arrears after service of a statutory default notice resulting in termination of the loan agreement.
The problem they faced
Our client’s customer failed to comply with the terms of their loan agreement. A Default Notice was served upon the customer, however they failed to remedy the arrears, resulting in the credit agreement being terminated. Despite the client attempting to recover the outstanding loan balance through their own internal collections process, the customer failed to contact the client or comet to a suitable arrangement.
By instructing DWF the client provided the case with a fresh impetus and upon receipt of a Letter Before Claim the customer contacted DWF to ask if an arrangement could be made to avoid any further action. Unfortunately the customer failed to comply with the terms of the arrangement resulting in a County Court Claim being issued and then a County Court Judgment (CCJ) being obtained for repayment at a monthly rate.
The customer failed to act upon the CCJ, at which point the client was at liberty to take enforcement action. In this instance DWF recognised that enforcement options were limited; with the balance being below £1,000 and little know about the customer’s employment status. As the debt is regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974, enforcement was limited to the County Court, with the most appropriate enforcement option in this instance being a Warrant of Control.
DWF recognised that results from the County Court under Warrant of Control for the full balance are poor, so instead suggested proceeding by way of Part Warrant of Control for payment of the arrears owed under the CCJ. This method provides for recovery to be limited under the warrant for a smaller amount, thus increasing the prospects of success for the bailiff and increasing the customer’s chances of being able to settle the Warrant debt in full.
The customer paid the part Warrant of Control in full and quickly recognised the benefit of co-operating with DWF to resolve the remainder of the CCJ debt. The customer has since entered into a reasonable and affordable monthly plan to settle the remaining balance.
Part Warrants are an under used form of enforcement that are more likely to success and increase the likelihood of engagement between law firm and customer. In fact, following a recent pilot of this process part warrants have a success rate of 52% as opposed to a full warrant at 8%.
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Author: Gary CookThis 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.