Debt fees and charges
If you have a debt that has not been paid you will be issued with a court order (now known as a warrant) to start the process to recover the money.
The processes that an enforcement agent must follow came into effect on 6 April 2014. The level of fees is set out in Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014, SI 2014 No 1.
Compliance Stage £75.00
The process for new cases must start with the issuing of a Notice of Enforcement (called compliance).
This provides details in writing of:
- the outstanding debt
- how you can pay and when to pay by
- what happens if you don’t pay
- the extra fees you could also be expected to pay
- contact details for the enforcement agent
- contact details for free debt advice.
This carries a statutory fee of £75.00 which is added to the balance the Enforcement team will collect. This is known as the compliance fee. You will have at least seven days (not including Sundays or Bank Holidays) before any further action is taken by the enforcement agent, unless a court has decided otherwise.
At this point you should arrange for payment to be made immediately to the enforcement agent. Visit how to pay.
You are encouraged to pay the total sum due in full. If you cannot, you should still contact the Collection and Enforcement team and explain why on 01983 823822.
Once a debt is with an enforcement agent, you are required to pay them, rather than the body you owe money to.
Your ‘Notice of Enforcement’ also includes contact details for free debt advice services, so if you’re having financial difficulties then it might be a good idea to look at the information online or get in touch with one of them. You can also visit debt advice.
Enforcement Stage £235.00 (plus 7.5% of the original debt over £1500)
If the enforcement agent or company don’t hear from you by the date stated, they will move the matter to the enforcement stage.
This means you’ll have at least one visit from an enforcement agent to arrange payment, and an additional £235.00 (plus 7.5% of the original debt over £1500) will be added to the amount owed.
The enforcement agent will carry a copy of the warrant, their enforcement agent certificate and photographic ID.
They are not obliged to inform customers of the precise date and time they’ll visit. It could be anytime from 6am to 9pm on any day including Sundays, and religious or public holidays.
Sometimes the enforcement agent will enter into a controlled goods agreement with the customer. This means a list is drawn up of what could be removed at a later date if you do not come to an alternative payment arrangement. Making a controlled goods agreement gives you a final chance to pay your debt rather than having your goods removed.
When the Enforcement process relates to a Penalty Charge Notice your vehicle may be immobilized by clamping and will usually remain as such for a statutory two hour period prior to removal. Vehicles may also be immobilised on the Public Highway away from the registered keepers address.
Sale Stage £110.00 (plus 7.5% of the original debt over £1500)
If full payment is not made, you risk having your possessions removed for sale by the enforcement agent. This is the sale stage (taking and selling your belongings).
A fee of £110 (plus 7.5% of the original debt over £1500) is added to the amount owed to cover costs for moving the possessions so they can be sold.
Additional (actual) costs for other expenses, such as hiring a locksmith, storing goods or auction costs, may be applied.
Further expenses are limited, and must be approved by the court.