Do you need help with an unpaid CCJ?

If you’re grappling with an unpaid County Court Judgment (CCJ) against a debtor, one recourse available is to enforce the debt through a Writ of Control issued by the High Court.

At DCS, we strongly advocate for utilising High Court Enforcement Officers due to their exceptional effectiveness when traditional methods fall short. If a County Court Judgment exceeding £600 is unpaid, we often advise pursuing a High Court Writ as the next step forward. We assist clients through the process. Subsequently, High Court Enforcement Officers are tasked with enforcing this Writ.

The governing framework for High Court Enforcement was established years ago, giving “Sheriffs” (High Court Enforcement Agents) with substantially greater authority than County Court Bailiffs.

If you’ve seen TV shows like Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away! or The Sheriffs are Coming you’re likely familiar with the process.

Regrettably, this procedure can sometimes be time-consuming. However, investing this time is crucial for reclaiming otherwise uncollectible funds, especially considering the dwindling options available at this stage of debt collection.

At DCS, we recognise that each case is unique, and thus, we tailor our advice accordingly. Through thorough due diligence on each debtor, we assess various factors such as their assets, car ownership, mortgage status, and business structure. This comprehensive evaluation informs our strategy, ensuring the most effective debt recovery approach for our clients.

If you possess a County Court Judgment and feel unsure about the next steps, we invite you to reach out to us at 0117 370 4236 or via email at

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Fees charged to the debtor

The debtor [Judgment Debtor] will incur significant charges if a High Court Enforcement Officer is directed to collect a debt. The sooner a debt is paid, however, the less the added fees and interest will be. The fees are set by law in the Taking Control of Goods (Fees) Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1894).

The recovery of a debt via a High Court Enforcement Officer is split into four stages, with fees assigned to each stage. These are set by law and added to the amount of the debt to be recovered.

Stage: Compliance
Fee: £75.00
This begins when a High Court Enforcement Officer receives an instruction to recover a debt and receives a sealed Writ of Control) from the Judgment Creditor.
The High Court Enforcement Officer will then send a ‘Notice of Enforcement’ to the person who owes the debt. The debtor then has seven days to pay the debt, any interest, court fees and the £75 compliance fee in full or the process moves to Enforcement Stage One and the additional fees set out below also apply.

Stage: Enforcement, Stage One
Fee: £190.00 plus + 7.5% of the debt value over £1,000
This begins if the person who owes the debt fails to make contact with the High Court Enforcement Officer or requests to pay by instalments during the Compliance Stage. An Enforcement Agent will attend their premises to take control of goods and may discuss payment options based on circumstances at this stage.

Stage: Enforcement, Stage Two
Fee: £495.00
This begins if the person who owes the debt:

  • refuses to make payment and also refuses to enter into an acceptable agreement to pay their debt and fees in instalments, or
  • makes and then breaks a legal agreement to repay their debt in instalments

Stage: Sale and Disposal
Fee: £525.00 plus 7.5% of the debt value above £1,000
Should enforcement get to the stage where the debtor’s goods need to be removed to pay the debt, then the ‘Sale and Disposal’ stage begins.

VAT at a rate of 20% may be added to the fees charged by the High Court Enforcement Officer. If the debt is a business-to-business debt, then the debtor will also continue to incur additional debt collection costs as stipulated by The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 s5A (2A), as amended by The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 (SI2013/395). Potentially, due to the way fees are added to a debt, it could be that the HCEO is not aware of all the additional charges added to a debt. So further charges may be due from the debtor after the HCEO has taken payment from the debtor.