Q&As

What should I think about when planning on using the taking control of goods procedure to enforce a judgment debt, considering that social distancing measures might affect the work of certified enforcement agents and public auctions?

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Published on LexisPSL on 25/03/2020

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What should I think about when planning on using the taking control of goods procedure to enforce a judgment debt, considering that social distancing measures might affect the work of certified enforcement agents and public auctions?
  • Attending the debtor’s premises under the taking control of goods procedure—writ of control
  • Attending the debtor’s premises under the taking control of goods procedure—warrant of control
  • Attending the debtor’s address
  • Removal of goods
  • Gaining entry
  • Taking control of goods procedure—sale of controlled goods
  • Alternative enforcement options that require less personal contact
  • Charging order over the debtor's land or securities
  • Third party debt orders in respect of money owed to the debtor
  • More...

What should I think about when planning on using the taking control of goods procedure to enforce a judgment debt, considering that social distancing measures might affect the work of certified enforcement agents and public auctions?

Taking control of a judgment debtor’s goods pursuant to a writ or warrant of control is a standard procedure where the judgment is unsatisfied. However, in light of the significant social restrictions being imposed as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) practitioners should note that, as set out below, either procedure can involve personal contact through an enforcement agent (EA) or bailiff entering the debtors’ premises, as well as the sale of the goods. This may be difficult if the EAs or bailiffs are unwilling or unable, for reasons of social distancing or isolation, to attend properties in person.

Practitioners may want to consider other enforcement methods that are much less likely to require personal attendance on the judgment debtor’s property, and do not involve public auction, which are considered towards the end of this answer.

Attending the debtor’s premises under the taking control of goods procedure—writ of control

If the debtor refuses to make payment or enter into an acceptable instalment arrangement then the matter moves to enforcement stage 2. This may occur during the EAs visit if the debtor refuses to pay or enter into an arrangement.

The EA will take control

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