Enforcing Judgment Debts Under £600 On The Cards for 2023? Wider Access to Justice For Clients

December 7th 2022

There is a current reform request for Judgments under £600.00 to be enforced via a High Court Agent. In many cases a judgment is a paltry piece of paper unless it can be enforced effectively. The current stance under £600.00 Judgment debts is mainly bailiff route only which can be a very frustrating and dissatisfying experience.

From our perspective and our clients point of view this is something we are in favour of as it will increase the number of Judgments being successfully recovered. It will also give our clients much more confidence in pursuing debts from the outset. It could also switch the Defendants mindset to induce them into settling a debt earlier on, if they know it will eventually be enforced no matter what the value.

We find it is sometimes only upon the point of a Defendants home being visited that payments are made. A Defendant has knowingly ignored all paperwork right up until Judgment is gained. When a Judgment Debt is enforced and they are faced with an agent at the door there is a higher prospect of monies being recovered.

99% of court users want freedom of choice to choose between instructing either a County Court Bailiff or HCEO to enforce their judgments. 96% would like to see a change in the regulations to give the option of using a HCEO to recover debts under £600 instead of a County Court Bailiff. 97% are concerned about the backlog in the County Court with 86% having experienced delays. 5% consider the current system is effective and meets their needs. 35% would issue more proceedings for debts under £600 if they were able to choose a HCEO to enforce their judgments. The Solution The problem could be easily solved by a minor change to the High Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991, which, could enable HCEO’s to enforce judgment debts under £600.