The High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) can be instructed to obtain payment/goods from the debtor by way of a warrant of execution. This is usually the cheapest option. The HCEO can take walking possession of any goods owned by the debtor. The effect of this is that the debtor can carry on using those goods for a short period of time but will commit a criminal offence if he disposes of them. The HCEO will then return (usually within 14 days) and if the debtor does not satisfy the debt then the property can be removed for sale at auction.
Between walking possession and seizure of the goods, a third party may intimate a claim to ownership of the goods. You can either accept that claim or deny it. If you deny it, then further court proceedings will take place to determine who is the rightful owner. These proceedings can be expensive and specific advice will need to be given in each case.
Important: Once the HCEO is instructed, you must not accept payments directly from the debtor as this may make you responsible for the HCEO’s fees. Please seek our advice if any monies are offered.
£150-£200 + VAT (£51.75 recoverable if successful)
£66 (recoverable if successful)
if successful this is paid by debtor; if unsuccessful £75 + VAT
Approximately four to six weeks
Relatively cheap and quick
There may be a third party claim to the goods. The HCEO cannot force entry to residential premises unless they have gained peaceable entry on a previous occasion.
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