We have introduced this Glossary to assist with understanding the terminology used under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013. The Glossary is in alphabetical order and against each of the terms used, we have provided a short description.
The ‘amount due’ is calculated at being the amount of the debt and the bailiff fees up to the time of payment.
This comprises all activities from receipt of the warrant/liability order including setting up of an account, sending of a Notice of Enforcement, all telephone and postal enquiries, receiving payments, setting up and monitoring payment arrangements etc.
Controlled Goods Agreement:
Previously known as a Walking Possession Agreement. A Controlled Goods Agreement is a signed agreement allowing you to retain the use of the goods whilst also acknowledging that the enforcement agent has ‘taken control’ of the goods listed. The goods cannot be removed or disposed of before the debt is paid in full.
The creditor is person or ‘body’ who is owed the money. In most cases, this will either be the local authority, Highways England in the case of an unpaid Dart Charge, or in the case of a Magistrate’s Court fine; Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS).
A debtor is the person who is liable to pay the debt.
Date and Times of enforcement:
Bailiffs/Enforcement Agents are permitted to enforce a warrant/liability order seven days a week. except for Bank Holidays and Christmas Day. Visits can take place between the hours of 6am and 9pm.
This refers to ‘additional fees’ that can be charged by the bailiff. For instance; if goods have actually been removed (taken into control) disbursements include the cost of hiring a locksmith (most commonly in relation to court fines) and storage charges. If goods have been sold, allowable disbursements include auctioneer’s commission (not exceeding 15% of the sum realised), auctioneers ‘out of pocket’ expenses and ‘reasonable’ disbursements incurred in respect of advertising the sale. Disbursements must be reasonable and most importantly…..actually incurred.
Distress being levied:
Under the new regulations now referred to as ‘Control being taken of’.
Prior to 2014, an Enforcement Agent had been called a Certificated Bailiff. Despite the name change, the word bailiff is still commonly used.
With the vast majority of debts, the enforcement fee is £235. A different fee scale is applicable to County Court judgments over £600 that are passed to a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to enforce.
This fee (of £235) covers all activities from the first attendance at your property. If a Controlled Goods Agreement is entered into, this would be included in the enforcement stage. Despite the number of visits made, only one Enforcement Fee can be charged.
This means the Taking Control of Goods: National Standards. It was the government’s intention when introducing the Taking Control of Goods Regulations in 2014 that creditors, (including local authorities) enforcement companies and their agents would abide by the National Standards. Our webpage on the National Standards is here.
Notice of Enforcement (NoE):
The name of the statutory notice sent by the enforcement company to advise that they have been instructed to enforce a debt. The Notice of Enforcement must state the precise date by which payment must be made or a payment proposal agreed. This time period is know as the Compliance Stage and should be no less than ‘7 clear days’ from the date of the letter. A Compliance Fee of £75 will be added to the debt at this stage.
Sections 68.1 and 68.2 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunal Courts & Enforcement Act introduces two new offences that debtors can be charged with. The first offence is under Section 68.1 of Schedule 12 and states that it will be an offence to:
‘Intentionally obstruct a person lawfully acting as an enforcement agent’
The second offence is under 68.2 of Schedule 12 and states that it will be an offence to
‘Intentionally interfeer with controlled goods without lawful excuse’
This would commonly refer to cases where a wheel clamp was removed etc. If convicted, the debtor could face a term of imprisonment for a term not exceeding 51 weeks, or a level 4 fine.
On debts over £1,500 a percentage fee of 7.5% is applied to the Enforcement Fee (of £235) and Sale Stage Fee (of £110). For example; if the debt is £1, 850 the ‘percentage fee’ is applied to £350 and would be £26.25.
Includes any place and in particular; includes…a vehicle.
Defined as representing either the proceeds of sale of goods or money paid by the debtor to either the enforcement company/magistrates court or local authority.
If a payment is made to the enforcement company or direct to the Magistrate Court or local authority the regulations provide that the ‘Compliance Fee” of £75 should be deducted first and the balance of the payment split on a ‘pro rata’ basis between the creditor and bailiff company. This is outlined in more detail under Item 8.3 of Taking Control of Goods Explanatory Memorandum.
Sale Stage Fee:
If a vehicle (or other goods) have been taken into control and preparation made for the removal of the goods, a sale stage fee of £110 is applicable. If the debt being enforcement is a Judgment transferred to the High Court to enforce, the Sale Stage Fee that can be charged by the High Court Enforcement Officer is substantially increased to £525 plus 7.5% of the sums to be recovered over £1,000, plus VAT.
All activities relating to enforcement from attendance at the property for the purpose of transporting goods to the place of sale, until the completion of the sale.
This refers to Schedule 12 of the Tribunal, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007 which outlines the ‘procedure’ that must be followed by a bailiff/enforcement agent when enforcing a debt.
Sum to be recovered:
The amount of the debt which remains unpaid together with the bailiff fees due up to the time of payment.
This stands for the Tribunal, Courts & Enforcement Act 2007
Means the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013.
Under the new regulations a Walking Possession has been renamed a Controlled Goods Agreement.
Warning of Immobilisation:
This statutory notice will be provided if the Enforcement agent has fitted a clamp to the vehicle. A Warning of Immobilisation only needs to be signed by the Enforcement Agent.
Warrant of Distress:
Under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013, a Warrant of Distress has been renamed a Warrant of Control.