Warrant of control support centres

The Ministry of Justice held a webinar on 28th October 2019 on the new warrant of control support centres that have been set up to manage the in excess of 600,000 enforcement applications per year.

The webinar started off by highlighting key facts about warrants of control and these were that:

  • 69% of debtors are individual
  • Over 95,000 online claims have been received using Money Claim Online since the service was launched
  • 89% of applications for warrants of control are processed in bulk
  • There has been an 82% increase in the number of warrants of control issued in the past three years (190,028 in 2016 to 345,471 in 2018)

The job of warrant of control support centres

Warrant of control support centres have been introduced by HMCTS to address the increase in the volume of warrants of control and the lack of county court bailiffs, where they have admitted they have struggled to recruit across the country.

The regional centres will be given the cases, with 12 days to contact debtors and arrange with them to do the following:

  • Make payment in full
  • Arrange a payment plan
  • Explain how they can apply for the judgment to be set aside
  • Signpost to advice agencies
  • Assess for vulnerability

The MOJ presentation in full is available here.

The key concerns for creditors

If creditors have already tried to engage with the debtor to elicit payment, then the time that the 12 days spent by warrant of control support centres trying to communicate with the debtor is precious time that will be wasted. The creditor will then need to factor in the additional 7 days for the notice of enforcement.

The creditor has no choice but for their case to go through the warrant of control support centre before it is passed on to a county court bailiff.

It is worth noting that the High Court route of obtaining a writ of control will not have the mandatory warrant of control support centre step delaying the enforcement process.

The statistic that 35% of warrants are resolved by the support centre was questioned by a webinar attendee and this 35% includes not just payment arrangements and payments in full, but also applications to have the judgment set aside and the creditor advising that they no longer wish to pursue the debt as the debtor has been identified as vulnerable.

The High Court enforcement alternative

If the total judgment amount is over £600, as High Court Enforcement Officers we offer an enforcement route that enables swift access to our fully employed enforcement agents. Our enforcement agents operate nationwide and have the skills and experience to enable us to recover more. We’re able to quickly process in bulk applications, where you might have several judgments that need to be transferred up to the High Court.

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