An individual or business (claimant) can apply for a Writ of Control in the High Court, to enforce a judgment made against a debtor (defendant), to recover the unpaid monies owed to them. Should full payment of the debt not be obtained or a payment plan not agreed, the High Court Writ of Control provides for the seizure and if required, the removal and sale of the debtor’s goods.
How a County Court Judgment (CCJ) (£600 & above) can be enforced with a High Court Writ of Control
Initially many claimants either directly or via their solicitor, obtain a County Court Judgment against a debtor for the money owed. Although a Warrant of Execution has been obtained to enforce the judgment, the debt remains unpaid. The CCJ can be transferred up to the High Court if the amount is £600 and above (this includes the debt, plus court fees, 8% interest & costs). When the High Court Writ is granted, the High Court Enforcement Officer can execute the writ to recover the money owed.
The Writ of Control is addressed to the named authorised High Court Enforcement Officer, who will be responsible for its enforcement. The writ is executed by either recovering the money from the defendant or in the rare event by removing goods. The amount of goods seized will be according to the value the High Court Enforcement Officer calculates that the item will fetch when sold at a public auction.
Advantages of Enforcement with a High Court Writ of Control?
Once the CCJ has been transferred up High Court, the High Court Enforcement Officer is commanded by the court to enforce the claim. They will quickly contact and if necessary visit the debtor to take control of (and sell if required) their assets. The assets that can be included are vehicles, equipment and other goods to the value of the judgment debt plus, interest (calculated at 8% per annum), court fees and costs.
The High Court Writ of Control means there are more powers available for the High Court Enforcement Officer than other enforcement options. In effect it can be a quicker route with a greater chance of success and therefore can be cost effective.
Using a specialist High Court enforcement company, such as Court Enforcement Services, means the administration to transfer up the CCJ is managed by them. A High Court fee of £66 is payable by the claimant. This amount can however be added to the total debt and is recoverable from the debtor. Above all, the administration is undertaken at no cost to the claimant!
In the event of an unsuccessful enforcement a Compliance Fee of £75+ Vat is payable by the claimant. This usually occurs when the debtor doesn’t have any realisable assets, or has applied for insolvency or can’t be located during this enforcement process. Even at this stage Court Enforcement Services would discuss other no-cost options with the claimant.