Day in day out, there are different forms of the judgment passed by a court of competent jurisdiction concerning cases handled in legal ways. Indeed many judgments are being passed by High courts, which were always negated in the past.
Therefore, there is the need to have law enforcers that would help implement the law and bring people to justice when needed. However, the law being one of the complex professions that exist in the world, the law enforcers must be adequately trained to carry out their job.
A high court enforcement agency is referred to as the agencies attached to a High Court who is responsible for enforcing the judgments passed by the judges on debts. Before the year 2004, they were referred to as the sheriff’s officers, and they carry out all the writs of the High Court. Typically, their primary function is to seize properties, assets, or belongings that the 2013 Taking Control of Goods Regulations cuts across. Theses enforcement agencies are under the authority of the High Court Writ of Control, and they are empowered to carry out some actions against debtors that are overdue and found guilty in the High Court. Besides, during the enforcement process, they are saddled with some rights, such as the entry rights.
Although, over time past, so many people confuse the enforcement officers with the bailiffs, however, there is a wide gap of differences between them and the authority they can exercise. More so, there are some circumstances these officers can only perform their duties, and their enforcements are valid.
When Can An Enforcement Agency Be Appointed?
Generally, some acts govern the debt owed by any individual. Under the Consumer Credit Act, a consumer might have to forfeit some of his/her assets if the debt owed hasn’t been paid. In other words, enforcement agency would come into the picture, to enforce judgments made by the County Court if a debtor owes more than 600 Euro. Immediately the High Court passes the judgments; the creditors can go ahead and apply for a Writ of Control, which would enable the enforcement agency to take actions on the debtors involved in the case.
However, if an application for a “stay of execution” has been made, then the Writ of Control would not be processed in favor of the creditor. Although creditors are involved in trade, business transactions often use it to enforce debt payment on their debtors. However, there must be a clear reason why the creditor wants to engage the enforcement agency’s services. Most often, the reasons that are stated by the creditors are mostly related to the size of the debt, or based on the complexity of the situation.
The Rights Of Enforcement Agency
Enforcement Agencies cannot make a forceful entry into your home unless you have, at some point, consented to grant them access in previous times. However, they have the right to access your business environment, as long there isn’t any residential building or properties on the business premises. Besides, as a debtor, you would have received prior, a written warning from the enforcement agency elaborating about the visit. At the same time, they must ascertain the security of the premises before they take their leave. More so, they carry out all their activities and actions under strict legislation governed by the national standards Taking Control of Goods.
Certainly, enforcement agents representing the agency must be qualified, capable, experienced, and must not misrepresent the powers vested on them. This is an essential point that must be observed when any enforcement activities and actions are being taken. Besides, you must understand your rights while the situations unfold. On the other hand, you should seek advice in respect of any enforcement that is taken.
What Are The Good That Can Be Seized By The Enforcements Agencies Under The Taking Control Goods Act
Say you are the head director of a limited liability company, it is only the goods that are under the control of the company that can be seized by the enforcement agencies. At the same time, it is different if you are a sole proprietorship business owner, which means your business isn’t a legal entity of its own. This equates that your personal belongings are also at risk of being forfeited to the enforcement agency. However, some goods are excluded from being seized, they include
- Tools of trading that amount to 1350 Euros in valuations, but any tools exceeding the value mentioned earlier might be seized.
- Third-party goods or belongings. In situations like this, you would have to prove that the tools, assets do not belong to you either through a receipt or agreement document. In cases where there isn’t any form of a written agreement, you might have to make a statutory declaration stating that the goods do not belong to you.
- Goods, properties that are under lease agreements, or are rented for the business.
- Goods that are perishable that belong to the business.
However, in the enforcement process, some items are legal to be sized by enforcement agency through the High Court judgment, and they include
- Equipment and machinery belonging to the business
- Vehicles under the business (company) registration
- Pieces of Furniture belonging to the business
- Stock and IPOs
As a debtor that might have been served with the Writ of Control, it is best you seek advice to help you understand the right conduct you should exhibit when being approached by the enforcement agencies. Besides, you might need to know the rights that have been given to the High Court Enforcement Officers, and what steps you would need to follow to save your business. More so, you might need to come up with a repayment agreement if peradventure you cannot afford to pay up all the debt you or your business have owed in full at once.