The process begins with the Compliance Stage which is £75. The enforcement agent will send a ‘Notice of Enforcement’ to the debtor. The Notice of Enforcement must be either 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 where the debtor usually lives or carries on a trade or business.
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 the registered office. Delivery can be by post, hand delivery, fax, SMS text or email.
If the debtor pays in full – the amount owing, including the £75 plus VAT Compliance Stage fee – after receiving the notice, the enforcement process is concluded and the matter ends there, unless of course he defaults on the instalment arrangement.
If the debtor fails to make contact with the enforcement agents or his office or requests to pay by instalments during the Compliance Stage, an enforcement agent (EA) will attend their premises to take control of goods. This stage is known as Enforcement Stage and the fixed charge at this point is £235 plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,500, plus VAT.
For example, if the outstanding debt was £4,000, the enforcement fee would be the fixed component of £235.00 plus the 7.5% of the balance being £2,500 (£187.50) in this example. Ethos shows the fees separately. The sums to be recovered are the client amount, court costs, and the execution costs.
If, when the EA attends, the debtor pays in full immediately or agrees to an acceptable instalment arrangement, then the matter ends there, unless of course he defaults on the instalment arrangement.
Controlled Goods Arrangement
The enforcement agent may let the goods remain at the debtors property, providing the debtor agrees to a valid instalment arrangement to pay the total debt off within a reasonable time agreeable by the client. The enforcement agent will provide a copy of the goods covered and if the debtor does not keep up with the arrangement, he will return and remove the goods at which point Sale or Disposal charges will be applied to the outstanding amounts owing.
Sale or disposal Stage
Should enforcement get to the point where goods actually need to be removed, the enforcement progresses to the Sale or Disposal Stage. The fee for this stage is £110 plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,500, plus VAT. The costs of removal are normally included in this sale stage fee. The only other fees which are usually chargeable (without application to court) are for disbursements such as locksmiths, tow truck hire, removal, storage and auctioneers fees.
Usually enforcement agents can only remove goods belonging to the person named on the liability order. They cannot for example remove the following…
We have used Ethos for many years and have seen it evolve to cope with all the new legislation changes and find it an invaluable tool in managing our case load.
The system is cloud based and comes with many useful features that are required for field based collections including an agent and client portal as well as the office interface.