Residential Debt Collection Visits set to resume

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Debt Collection enforcement visits to residential properties in the UK have been given the green light to resume from the 24th August.

The news has been welcomed by High Court Enforcement Officers Association (HCEOA) It has been also welcomed by many businesses and individuals across the country who are waiting to be paid. It is thought this move will help fuel the recovery of the economy post Covid-19.

High Court Enforcement Officers will commence visits to properties, working through a huge backlog of enforcement orders dating back to March 2020.

The restrictions on visits had been for residential addresses. This was following amendments in the Taking Control of Goods and Certification of Enforcement Agents (Amendment) (No.2) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020, which has was presented before parliament last week.

Andrew Wilson who is the current Chairman of the HCEOA said “We welcome this announcement as our members now have a date on which we can all work towards, which is good news. This is important for the UK economy as our members collect over £100 million every year of unpaid debts on behalf of UK companies, and this is money these companies need to continue trading.”

He continues “Government has stated that enforcement visits should be contactless where possible and adhere to the social distancing guidelines in force at the time. Agents should not enter residential property, unless there are exceptional circumstances and it is deemed safe for the agent and members of the public.”

The HCEOA has already agreed a post-lockdown plan, entitled “A Flexible and Sympathetic Approach to Enforcement”, which sets out the principles, working practices and behaviours that all High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO’s) and representatives will follow from 24 August.

In line with the latest Government guidance, the plan details:

  • Additional training requirements for all enforcement agents prior to any home visits
  • The need to follow appropriate social distancing guidance where possible
  • The provision of protective equipment and hygiene supplies to ensure the visiting member of staff protect themselves, debtors and members of the public whilst at work

The plan will be under continued review in case of a change to government guidelines on the emergency period (e.g. a second spike, increased R rating, new lockdown).

The news will be especially well received by individuals who used the County Court route to attempt recovery of personal debts owed to them. Collecting Unpaid CCJ’s is a headache facing many creditors as a result of the pandemic.

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