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Debt Collection

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 235758, tabled on 22 March 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to (a) improve the process of applying for enforcement of debt payment and (b) support people having difficulties in recovering payments owed to them by debtors.

Answered on

1 April 2019

The civil courts in England and Wales already offer several different enforcement methods that a creditor may use to recover money or property owed on a court order or judgment. These are individually designed to address the differing financial circumstances of the debtor and collectively they aim to make it as difficult as possible for debtors to avoid their responsibilities.

As part of its Reform Programme, HM Courts and Tribunal Service will be reforming how court judgments and orders are enforced, which will include making the application process available online. The online enforcement service will provide improved guidance and information and will streamline the process making it simple and straight-forward for people to enforce an unpaid debt, providing users with regular and relevant updates about the progress of their case.

More widely, the Ministry of Justice is currently reviewing the implementation of the 2014 enforcement agent reforms introduced by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The overarching aim of the reforms was to ensure that debts could be collected effectively whilst offering protection against enforcement agents who used aggressive methods. We have recently concluded a Call for Evidence on the 2014 reforms, and will set out our response by the summer recess.