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Update from our Chairman on Virtual Enforcement

15 January 2021

What is your reaction to the court case?

I’m obviously pleased but not surprised.

We worked hard when designing the Virtual Enforcement solution to ensure that it was legal and the only reason that we asked the high court for clarification was due to some resistance in the industry which created enough noise that it just caused mass confusion in the marketplace.

So, to clear that up we spent tens of thousands of pounds to get an order from the High Court telling us something that we already knew – that our Virtual Enforcement solution was legal and allowed within the Legislation.

How will the industry change in 2021 and beyond as a result?

The industry will benefit from this change as the public recognise that debt collection is adapting to Covid-19 like many other businesses have also. It will be seen to be fairer. It will be seen that the industry has made amendments to traditional processes in response to an international pandemic which of course is a good thing.

It will also enable the industry to grow in order to service the mountain of debt that's on the horizon - but in a measured way.

If the number of debtors is forecast to grow by +400% over the coming years due to this pandemic. The last thing the public want to see is a +400% increase in the number of bailiffs knocking on doors.

We must come up with innovative solutions that don't allow the ‘feet on the street’ to grow at such a substantial rate. Government has been trying to reduce the amount of enforcement undertaken rather than increase it for the past few decades it’s important that an international pandemic does not reverse that ambition.

Virtual enforcement prevents the number of bailiffs increasing from 2000 today, to 8,000, as a result of Covid-19. We think this is something that should just be celebrated by all.

What’s next for Just?

We will continue to push to do what's right. We will continue to push for change, and we'll start by returning our attention back to the VAT situation which we raised in September 2019.

Debtors are still being charged, or overcharged I should say, by up to £12 million a year by some traditional firms which must stop.

We must as an integrator deliver value to creditors that they would not get by going direct and we will continue to do this by delivering fairer outcomes and quite simply massive change.

Find out more about the Just executive team.