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Problem of undelivered notices of enforcement in the High Court enforcement industry

18 November 2019

Notices of Enforcement are very important documents. They inform debtors that an enforcement visit is imminent, and they offer a final chance for the debtor to come to a workable arrangement without having to involve enforcement visits and increased fees. So, it’s a concern that the High Court enforcement industry frequently receives complaints that debtors have had enforcement visits without ever having received a Notice. However, there is a very simple solution to this problem: send Notices by secure, recorded post.

Why all the complaints?

Not receiving a Notice of Enforcement at least seven days before an enforcement visit is a valid and legitimate complaint. However, the sheer volume of these complaints points to a combination of three probable causes:

  • Notices are not being sent.
  • Notices are being sent but get lost in transit.
  • Notices are being both sent and delivered, but debtors then plead ignorance of them in order to gain recourse against the enforcement process.

Without any evidence, it’s very hard to prove any of these causes in any given case. While Authorised High Court Enforcement Officers are required to keep accurate records of when and where Notices are sent, there is no requirement that they need to be sent by secure post.

Both debtors and the High Court enforcement industry should benefit hugely from the Notices of Enforcement. Nobody wants to resort to an enforcement visit - least of all the creditors themselves. They’re difficult, often volatile operations which aren’t good for the reputation of a creditor and which cost a lot of money.

The solution

Royal Mail Recorded Delivery is a more expensive than average method of sending Notices, but it does provide proof of both sending and receipt. Not only will the proof of receipt be invaluable in cases where this is disputed, it will also help ethical High Court enforcement agencies to know when it’s appropriate to act.

At Just we are committed to never making an enforcement visit until at least the allotted seven days after the debtor in question receives their Notice. We will always wait for firm evidence from Royal Mail that our Notice has been delivered before progressing our enforcement processes.