High Court Terms of Business
1. These terms are the basis on which Direct Collection Bailiffs Limited (hereafter referred to as ‘the Company’) provide services to its Clients, whether they are private individuals, companies or solicitors acting on behalf of their Clients. Where a Client is a solicitor, the term ‘Client’ in these Terms includes the solicitor’s own Client (usually the judgment creditor).
2. The Company will not discriminate against any person it enforces against, or any other person it encounters during the course of enforcement action (for example, members of a debtor’s family or a debt adviser), on the basis of age, colour, disability, race, religion or sexual orientation. The Company will treat every person fairly and impartially, in the interests of justice, to maximize successful enforcement in every case.
3. Clients should note that the Company is not a ‘law firm’ and its directors, employees, officers and agents neither offer nor can give legal advice. If a Client requires advice about any issue relating to transfer or enforcement, he or she should seek independent legal advice. The Transfer Up of a County Court Judgment to a Writ is authorised by a solicitor’s firm, DCB Legal Ltd, as set out in the High Court Writ. In successful cases in the recovery of a High Court Writ, the sum of £51.75 will be deducted for its administration charges. DCB Legal Ltd acts on behalf of the Company unless told otherwise or if the Client instructs DCB Legal Ltd directly. The Client authorises their file of papers and details to be passed onto DCB Legal Ltd, solicitors’ firm who will contact the Client accordingly.
4. The Company reserves the right to decline any instruction, either when the application for transfer and enforcement is first made or subsequently in response to applying an enforcement tactic that the company considers to be illegal, unethical or unreasonable in all the circumstances of the case and to do so without stating a reason. When this happens, any monies paid to the Company in respect of action already taken may be refunded upon written request and approval by the Company’s Board of Directors. This concession does not include any fees which were made payable to Her Majesty’s Court & Tribunals Service.
The Client’s Responsibilities
6. By instructing The Company, a Client agrees to the following: (i) the Company arranging for the transfer of the judgment or order to the High Court for enforcement; (ii) the enforcement being done by the Company through its employees, officers and agents and allows for no terms or stipulations to be made or implemented by the Client in any way. The Client agrees to abide by all governing legislation pertaining to High Court Enforcement.
7. It is for the Client to ensure the details completed in the instruction are true and correct. The Company accepts no responsibility for costs or damages resulting from incorrect, untrue or otherwise flawed information given by a Client in an instruction. Further, a Client is under a duty to inform the Company of any Court paperwork as soon as it is received, or a Client is notified of any Court action as additional costs may be accrued should the Company not be made aware.
8. By instructing the Company, the Client agrees to abide by and pay the regulatory charges as directed by current governing legislation, the Ministry of Justice and the High court Enforcement Officers Association. (The Company will always charge the £75 minimum, unless exceptional circumstances or additional disbursements, such as for locksmiths and removal vehicles, have been authorised by the Client).
9. If a Client has direct contact with the judgment debtor or the debtor’s representative (for example, a debt adviser), the Client must redirect the person to the Company and notify Direct Collection Bailiffs Limited, Direct House, Greenwood Drive, Manor Park, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 1UG of this immediately. This is necessary to maintain clear lines of communication, avoid confusion and ensure action is carried out correctly and appropriately. Furthermore, if a Client receives payment or part-payment direct from or on behalf of the debtor, the Client should notify the Company immediately and forward the payment within 24 hours. This is also to maintain clear lines of communication and to avoid the mutual embarrassment caused by enforcement action on a debt already paid. Failure to comply with this condition may render the Client liable for the Company’s full fees, costs and charges incurred by unnecessary or abortive enforcement action taken in good faith.
10. When a Client instructs the Company to remove goods and a locksmith, tow truck, removal lorry or any specialist equipment or service is required by the Company for the removal of goods, the Company will require a signed indemnity from the Client before the removal can be scheduled. The Client will be liable for the costs and charges of these if the sale of the seized goods and/or payment by the defendant does not fully cover them; the Client will have to pay them within 30 days of receiving the Company’s invoice.
11. The Client will be liable for the Company’s fees, costs and charges in relation to work done if a judgment is set aside by the court, or consent order is agreed between the claimant and defendant, or if a Client negotiates a settlement with the judgment debtor or the debtor’s representative or any other person seeking to settle the debt on behalf of the debtor (with or without the debtor’s knowledge or consent).
12. If the Client cancels an instruction for transfer, enforcement or any specific enforcement tactic or action (for example, removal of goods), it should be sent directly to the Company in writing by post or by email. The Client will be liable to regulatory abortive fees or fees for work done prior to receiving the cancellation.
13. Please be aware that DCBL cannot accept an instruction to transfer up an outstanding amount that is subject to a ‘Consumer Credit Agreement’. This type of outstanding amount is subject to its own Regulations in terms of recovery. Should you be unsure you should clarify this with our team by calling the following number 0800 091 0585
The Company’s Responsibilities
14. When the Company receives an instruction it will acknowledge receipt and issue to the Client a unique reference number.
15. When submitting to the county court the application for transfer and enforcement, the Company cannot bear responsibility for or be liable for costs incurred by lost or damaged documents. Furthermore, it is for the Court to seal and return the Writ of Control that authorises the enforcement and the Company has no control over how long a court will take to do this. If, however, the Writ is not received by the Company within 21 days from the date of sending its own acknowledgement to the Client, the Company will contact the court for a progress report and notify the Client of the reason given.
16. When a Writ of Control is received, the Company will enforce it in accordance with the High court Enforcement Agents Regulations 2004 (as amended) using its employees, agents and officers local to or assigned to the area where enforcement action is required.
17. The Company will make up to three visits to the enforcement address. If the judgment debtor has vacated the property or if the Company is unable to gain peaceable access an abortive fee of £75 plus VAT will be charged to the Client.
18. If a Client directs the Company to visit other premises than those identified on the Writ, the Client will be liable to an abortive fee of £75 plus VAT for each address visited if enforcement is unsuccessful there.
19. The Company usually accepts payment in cleared funds only: that is, cash, debit or bankers draft and electronic bank transfer. No other method of payment is available.
20. If a debtor is unable to pay in full and has goods available for seizure that is of insufficient value to clear the debt and associated costs, the Company will seek part-payment and secure the balance of the debt by seizing goods and impounding them by way of a Controlled Goods Agreement. The Company will then try to agree on an instalment arrangement with the debtor with a view to clearing the total amount due in a reasonable time; the Company will detail the arrangement in a report to the Client.
21. A change in practice on the charging of VAT on High Court Enforcement Fees came into effect from 1st August 2021. In a successful case, if the Claimant is VAT registered, DCBL will deduct an amount equivalent to the VAT element of any applied High Court Enforcement Fees from the monies that are due to the Client. This amount will be paid to HMRC and the Client will be provided with an invoice made out to the Claimant and marked as “Paid”. The Claimant can then claim this VAT from HMRC in the normal way. If the Claimant is not VAT registered, then the Defendant would be liable to pay this VAT element. If the Company are not provided with the information on whether the Claimant is VAT registered or not, the default position will be that the Judgment Creditor is liable to pay any VAT costs and they will not be recovered from the Judgment debtor as part of the enforcement costs.
22. The Company will take its fees, costs and charges in full from the first payment where at least double the amount to be taken is collected. If the amount of the first instalment is less than double, the Company will allocate the instalment and subsequent instalments on a 50/50 basis with the Client until the fees, costs and charges are paid in full. Further to the change of practice referred to in point 21, if the Claimant is VAT registered and a part-payment remittance is to be made, then the remittance would be reduced by an amount equivalent to the VAT element of any applied High Court Enforcement fees. As per point 21, a “Paid” VAT invoice for this element will be provided to the Claimant which can be claimed back from HMRC in the normal way.
23. The Company will comply with The Insolvency Act 1986 (notably but not exclusively Sections 184 & 346) and with The Insolvency Proceedings (Monetary Limits) Order 1986. It will therefore hold any monies collected or received from the sale of goods for a period of 14 days before payment is made to the Client. Payment will usually be made on the 15th day unless that is a Saturday, Sunday or Bank Holiday, in which case payment will be made the first working day following. Please note that monies held by the Company for this period belong to neither the judgment debtor nor the Client.
24. The Company reserves the right to charge an additional fee if work of an exceptional or unexpected nature is required. When this happens, the Company will give the Client written details before charging the intended amount. The Client will therefore have an opportunity to instruct the Company not to proceed as intended and so avoid incurring the additional fee.
25. The Company reserves the right to change its fees from time to time without notice. Any change in the fees will not apply to any instructions that have already been accepted unless the change is a direct consequence of a change in VAT or in court fees that have already taken effect.
26. Where fees due to the Company by a Client are outstanding, the Company reserves the right to delay the transfer application or enforcement action until such time as all outstanding monies due are paid in full.
27. The Company and the Client, will abide by all current governing legislation regarding High Court Enforcement and fees prescribed.
28. Where any fees or charges are outstanding on a Client account prompt payment is required and not expected to be longer than 30 days from case closure. Should any Client account remain overdue after 30 days the Company reserve the right to administer the account to Debt Recovery and High Court Enforcement action may be initiated.
29. Should the Company or the Client receive information from the Courts requiring any collected funds to be repaid either to the Courts or the named Defendant the Client agrees to abide by such documentation.
30. The Company reserve the right to recall any remitted funds back from the Client where any issue of uncleared funds and or bank charges on transactions later becomes known.
31. The Company agrees to comply with current legislation relating to data protection in relation to personal data received from the Client in the course of providing a service.
32. The Company will act as a processor within the meaning given in Article 4 of the General Data Protection Regulation.
33. The Client warrants that any transfer of personal data made to the Company is lawful.
34. Personal data will include names, contact details and financial information relating to the Client’s debtors. Processing under these Terms will involve the storage of these data in the Company’s systems, their use in preparing casework, and their transfer to those involved in the procedure of applying for an enforcing a High Court writ, for identification of, travel to and contact with the Client’s Debtors. Processing will continue for as long as the service is being carried out, and data will be retained in accordance with the Company’s established data retention policy.
35. The Client grants the Company general written authority to appoint additional processors as may be necessary for the purpose of processing determined by the controller, provided that they are subject to the same terms as the Company (below).
36. The Company agrees to the following obligations and restrictions in relation to the processing of personal data transferred to it by the Client:
a) the Company will not determine the purpose or means of processing;
b) the Company will process personal data only on documented instructions of the Client;
c) the Company commits to maintaining the confidentiality of the personal data;
d) the Company takes appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure a level of security of personal data appropriate to the risk of varying likelihood and severity for the rights and freedoms of natural persons;
e) the Company will assist the Client in the fulfilment of any obligation to which they are subject, in relation to requests for exercising data subjects’ rights;
f) the Company will delete or return all personal data to the Client when processing ceases unless any legal obligation requires otherwise; and
g) the Company will make available to the Client all information necessary to demonstrate compliance with data protection law and allows for and contributes to audits, including inspections, conducted by the data controller or another auditor as they may mandate.