Following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding lockdown on 23 March, visits by High Court Enforcement Officers have been temporarily suspended.
Instead, officers will use a combination of telephone, email and SMS communication to encourage payment remotely, using their website and debtor application.
This will apply if a judgment obtained in the county court is for an outstanding debt of £5,000 or more. In these circumstances, the matter is transferred to the High Court for enforcement and a High Court Enforcement Officer, with specific authorisation from the Ministry of Justice, will enforce higher value judgments known as High Court Writs.
Where there are cases that were visited at either the first or second enforcement stage, the High Court Enforcement Office will endeavour to contact debtors to encourage them to get in touch with their office to make payment arrangements. They will continue to monitor all the cases which are currently in a payment arrangement and make remittances to clients.
The High Court Enforcement Office further recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic will result in higher rates of vulnerability and their Level 3 qualified welfare team is fully prepared to respond accordingly, so they can identify where help is required and signpost people to the right places. The office will be following ongoing guidance from the government over the next three weeks and will review the situation as necessary.