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Myth-buster - The truth about virtual enforcement visits

12 August 2020

1.     Virtual visits are unlawful



The Ministry of Justice has confirmed that there is nothing within the regulations that prohibits a virtual visit from taking place.




2.     You can’t take control of goods by entering a taking control
of goods agreement virtually



The Ministry of Justice has confirmed there is nothing in the regulations that prohibits this.




3.     You can’t take control of goods virtually or physically without charging the enforcement stage one fee



The fee regulations say, ‘you may charge the fee’ and as such it is up to the HCEO if he/she charges or not. In fact, the Government's own enforcement service does not charge a fee for an enforcement visit so a precedent has been set for this.




4.     The debtor would be unable to sign the controlled goods agreement if the visit was virtual



An e-signature is used and signed by both parties.




5.     If a debtor breaks the controlled goods agreement , the enforcement agent would not have the right to attend and enforce the writ.



Stage one would have been completed and the case will progress to the next stage.




6.     Virtual enforcement is not required as companies already set up lengthy payment plans at the compliance stage.



The command of the writ requires the attendance after the compliance stage expires if payment is not made in full so that the HCEO can comply with his/her duty by taking control of goods. It’s also good practice for the agent to secure lengthy payment plans against the goods to ensure payment is made and the creditor's interests are secured.


The High Court Enforcement Officers Association guides its members to move swiftly to enforcement stage one after 7 days and requires its members to confirm that they will follow its rules. Lengthy payment plans are not generally set up without the security of goods, a physical visit and fees of hundreds of pounds. If they are, they are done by breaking the rules.




7.     Just keeps changing the virtual enforcement solution so it’s difficult to understand.



Just continues to develop the solution with stakeholder feedback and will continue to adjust the process design after implementation, to ensure it achieves the best possible outcomes. 

 Find out more about our recent trial of virtual enforcement in the energy sector