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Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014
The High Court enforcement process is set into four distinct stages, with fees assigned to each stage.
The HCEO and their agents must abide these Fee Regulations.
High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) fees are recovered in full from the judgment debtor when enforcement is successful., however if enforcement action is unsuccessful, the judgment creditor may have to pay the Abortive/Compliance fee which is currently £90 (£75 plus VAT).
The four High Court Enforcement stages are as follows:
The enforcement process starts with the compliance stage. Once the HCEO receives the instruction they will apply the fee for this stage without delay which is currently £90 (£75 plus VAT)). Upon receipt of the sealed writ of control, the HCEO will send a ‘Notice of Enforcement’ to the judgment debtor. The Notice of Enforcement must be sent or delivered to the debtor personally, giving them 7 clear days (excluding Sundays and bank holidays) to pay the sums due in full, at the place, or one of the places, where the debtor usually lives or carries on a trade or business. This is referred to as a Relevant Premises.
If the debtor is a company or partnership the notice must be sent to the place, or one of the places, where the debtor carries on a trade or business or it may be sent to their registered office (RO).
Delivery can be by post, hand delivery, fax or other means such as email. Importantly there is only a requirement to show that it has been sent, there is no requirement to show it was received. This is in line with the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR).
If the debtor pays in full which includes the judgment amount, any interest, court fees and the £90 enforcement fee for the Compliance stage, after receiving the notice, the enforcement process is concluded at this stage and will not progress.
Enforcement Stage 1
If the debtor fails to make contact with the HCEO or requests to pay by instalments during the Compliance Stage, an Enforcement Agent (EA) will attend the Relevant Premises to take lawful control of goods (TCG).
This stage is known as Enforcement Stage 1 and the fixed charge at this point is £228 (£190 plus VAT) plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,000, again this is plus VAT. For matters of £1,000 or lower this 7.5% does not apply.
Note, the Compliance Stage fee also remains payable by the debtor.
If, when the EA attends, the debtor pays in full immediately or agrees to an acceptable instalment arrangement by way of a Controlled Goods Agreement (CGA), then the matter is resolved at Stage 1.
Enforcement Stage 2
If, when the EA attends, the debtor refuses either to make full payment or to enter into an acceptable instalment arrangement covered by a Controlled Goods Agreement (CGA), then the matter will be escalated by the EA to Enforcement Stage 2.
Likewise if a payment arrangement, with a signed Controlled Goods Agreement, is subsequently broken, the EA will re-attend the property either under Enforcement Stage 2.
The fee for Enforcement Stage 2 is a flat £594 (£495 plus VAT). There is no percentage of the debt added at this stage.
Sale or Disposal Stage
Should enforcement get to the point where goods need to be removed, the enforcement escalates to the Sale or Disposal Stage.
The fee for this stage is £630 (£525 plus VAT) plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,000, again plus VAT. Note: The costs of removal are normally included in this sale stage fee. For matters of £1,000 or lower this 7.5% does not apply.
The EA may add additional charges, called disbursements for costs such as locksmiths, storage and auctioneers fees.
The EA may also apply to court for additional costs as required, such as the use of specialist removal equipment or contractors.
All HCEO instructions submitted via this website are handled by Gallowglass High Court Enforcement, London. Our HCEO is Mr Nicholas Todd.
More information on the High Court can be found here: