The head of the bailiff association has confirmed that debt collections will be put on hold. With efforts channelled into the fight against Coronavirus, all planned repossessions have been suspended.
Enforcement agents, formerly known as bailiffs, collect unpaid fines and taxes on behalf of local authorities and agencies. They have legal authorisations to collect debts. Once agents have acquired a county court judgement, or CCJ, they have a right to repossess goods in lieu of an outstanding payment. Commonly, enforcement agents reclaim debt owed to the Government or the local authority, such as: council tax arrears, parking fines, or child maintenance payments. In the vast majority of cases, bailiffs can only attend a debtor’s property following court intervention.
Yet, in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis, Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of The Civil Enforcement Association, or CIVEA, wrote to the government to state that: ‘public debt collection is rapidly being scaled back.’ Mr Boone confirmed that enforcement visits have been completely suspended, ‘in order to protect staff and the public.’
Many enforcement agents have now been furloughed, with some choosing to volunteer for the NHS in the fight against Coronavirus. And, in an unprecedented move, some firms are now using their fleet vehicles to deliver essential supplies across the country.
With no new CCJ orders being issued in the immediate future, the CIVEA predict a delay to their services of ‘several months.’ Significant backlogs are now expected by both the courts and the CIVEA. And thus those who are owed money are further relying on debt collection agencies to act on their behalf.
Here at Cobra, clients are approaching us frustrated by debtors who are hiding behind coronavirus, using it as an excuse to not pay their debt. In almost all of these cases, debtors are financially able to repay the monies owed, but are choosing not to.
If you are owed money, and know that your money is deliberately being withheld, then contact the team at Cobra, today. Cobra Financial Solutions are here to support you in claiming back what is rightfully yours.