Debt Enforcement Via High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs)

What is an HCEO?

Effectively, they are Debt Collectors. HCEOs earn their fees from the judgement debtor, but only when they collect. If the HCEO is unable to collect, there is an industry regulated abortive fee of £60 plus VAT paid by the creditor for each address visited. Other than the abortive fee, the HCEO receives no income for an unsuccessful enforcement.

HCEOs tend to have significantly higher collection rates than those of the County Court Bailiffs, who are salaried without any financial incentive to collect. Unlike the County Court Bailiff, the HCEO does not have to give the judgement debtor any advance notice of their intention to collect, giving them the advantage of surprise. HCEOs are also permitted to force entry into commercial premises to enforce, a power not permitted to County Court Bailiff.

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