On 22nd March, 2021, a statutory instrument for court fee increases has been laid before parliament and will now come into effect on 30th September, 2021. Despite taking into consideration the astronomical levels of inflation going back to when the last set of court fees were increased, not only is it almost impossible to take anyone to court due to the backlogs caused by the Covid19 pandemic, but now it’s also expensive too.
So, here’s what this increase means for you and why you should use a private debt recovery agency instead.
Why Increase Court Fees in the First Place?
In a statement released by the government outlining their rationale for increasing court fees in line with historic levels of inflation, they concluded:
“The income received from fees covers less than half of the costs of running the courts and tribunals system. This additional cost is subsidised by the taxpayer, whilst court and tribunal fees are reviewed to ensure they reflect the cost of the service, there have been minimal increases to fees in the courts and tribunals since 2016, despite growing costs due to inflation, amongst other things.”
Despite this statement from the government, 61% of people are said to disagree with the proposal to increase fees saying it was “not the right time due to the impact of Covid-19 and the potential reduction of access to justice.”
But, even amongst those agreed with the fee increases, we would imagine that even they would feel it was the wrong time to implement an increase of any kind in the midst of such economic uncertainty due to the pandemic and Brexit.
At best, the fees should be scrapped, and at worst, further digitisation is needed before fee increases can be justified.
The Court System is failing
The HMCTS service needs to be improved before any fees are increased, as resolving a case is too slow; whilst Ministry of Justice figures indicate that the average time taken for small claims to go to trial is a whopping 45 weeks, an increase on the regular 32 weeks over the same period pre-pandemic.
Furthermore, not only has the underfunding of the civil justice service had a massive and detrimental impact on the judicial system as a whole, but delays have worsened since the pandemic began – and this is going to get a lot worse as fees are increased.
And, while in a previous blog post we expressed are scepticism around the MOJ’s proposed new measures, we have been subsequently proved right due to these impending fee increases.
Indeed, fees are set to increase from £66 to £71 respectively.
Why Bother with Court Fees When You Can Instruct Cobra Instead
After everything outlined above, including court fee increases and judicial backlogs, why would you want to take your debtor to court when instead you could instruct an experienced debt recovery agency like Cobra who have an 88% success rate?
So, what do we do that the courts simply can’t?
Our team of dedicated and experienced recovery agents will visit your debtor and get your money back, face-to-face. And, unlike the courts, we don’t need a CCJ to get started: you just need to have proof of the original debt.
Don’t bother with backlogs and astronomical court fees and get in touch with our expert team on 0151 526 4222 to discuss your case in more detail.