Taking Control of Goods Regulations

On the 6th April 2014 the enforcement industry commenced working under a new set of regulation known as the Taking Control of Goods Regulations. These regulations were introduced following a review by the Government of the enforcement industry.

In July 2007 the Government published the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. Within this Act Part 3 covered Enforcement by Taking Control of Goods and also recovery of Commercial Rent Arrears with a new definition of Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery. Schedule 12 of the Act covers the procedure to follow for Taking Control of Debtors Goods, however the Act was to be followed by further regulations to cover this procedure.

It was not until February 2012 the Government released a consultation entitled “Transforming Bailiff Action”, the consultation set out the proposals to simplify and clarify the process, improve accountability of enforcement agents and deal with inappropriate enforcement activity.

The consultation closed in May 2012 and some 254 organisation across the enforcement, public, private and advice sectors responded. In January 2013 the Government released its response.

In its response the Government sets out 19 recommendations after considering the response to the consultation paper.

In July 2013 the Government released the first of its regulations “The Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013”, the regulations introduce new procedures for the enforcement sector, they simplify the enforcement process, they include:-

• the serving of a notice of enforcement to take legal control of goods
• exempt goods
• days and times when an enforcement agent can take control of goods
• powers of entry
• storing and selling goods subject to legal control
• distributing sale proceeds

In January 2014 a further set of regulations “The Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014” were released these specify the fees an enforcement agent can charge a debtor. These fees replace the existing multiple types of fee scale across different enforcement processes. The regulations include:-

• a new set of fees which will apply across all relevant debt streams;
• that enforcement agents are adequately remunerated for the work they actually carry out;
• incentives for debtors to engage early with the enforcement process;
• remove incentives for enforcement agents to undertake unnecessary enforcement action by preventing them to charge additional fees for this and;
• ensure enforcement agents allow vulnerable debtors the opportunity to seek advice and assistance.
Under the fee regulations the fees that a High Court Enforcement Officer can charge in the enforcement of a Writ of Control (formerly a Writ of Fi-Fa) are as follows:-

Stage                          Fixed Costs       Additional Percentage
                          £0 – £1,000 > £1000
Administration / Compliance £75.00 0% 0%
Enforcement 1 £190.00 0% 7.5%
Enforcement 2 £495.00 0% 0%
Sale £525.00 0% 7.5%

In addition to these fees the High Court Enforcement Officer may also charge additional disbursements as set out in the regulations and may recover exceptional disbursements.