Debt recovery—choose your agent carefully

Debt recovery—choose your agent carefully

The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 came into force in April 2014. Carly Davies who handles debt recovery cases at Cartmell Shepherd, along with Peter Stafford, a partner at the firm, considers the impact of the new rules.

Original news

Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014, LNB News 09/01/2014 125

Detailed provision is made for the recovery of the fees and disbursements which can be recovered from the debtor, by an enforcement agent, when carrying out enforcement-related services in accordance with the scheme established in the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, Sch 12 and the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013, SI 2014/1 (the Regulations).

What are your observations in relation to Regulations since their implementation?

Since the implementation of the new Taking Control of Goods Regulations, in April 2014, Cartmell Shepherd has only sent a handful of new matters to our preferred High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO). This is for a number of reasons, one of which is that I do not have a lot of confidence that the officers will be as effective as they have been in the past due to restrictions imposed by the Regulations.

I have worked in debt recovery litigation for nearly ten years and have noticed a considerable drop in recovery rates in the last few years. It is more and more likely that methods which were highly effective ten years ago are now not as successful. Obviously since the recession we find there are an increasing number of debtors now who are in the ‘you can’t take what I haven’t got’ camp but more so I see debtors who have the means to pay but who are wise to the process and how to get around it, the ‘won’t payers’ rather than the ‘can’t payers’. In my opinion the new Regulations, while clarifying the process for debtors, are potentially preventing HCEO’s from working effectively on behalf of creditors especially when faced with evasive

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