Court Enforcement Specialists often speak to thousands of people each day about their debt – such is the issue we are faced with in today’s world. There are literally millions of people who are suffering from debt problems, and if you are facing the same issues, you are definitely not alone. If you have debts outstanding, there is every chance that you will receive letters or emails from debt collectors like Court Enforcement Specialists.

It is upsetting to receive contact from debt collectors who want you to pay up, especially if you can’t afford it. It can be stressful, depressing, and you may not know what to do for the best to deal with your debt situation. Don’t worry though, there are always solutions, and if you find yourself in this position, this article should really help.

Who are Court Enforcement Specialists?

Court Enforcement Specialists Limited are controlled by Gareth Haggerty. They were formed in August 2018 and by 2019 they had won the New Business Start-up of the Year and Professional Business of the Year awards at the North West Business Awards.

They are based in Central Manchester although they operate throughout England and Wales. They are authorised as Certificated Enforcement Agents by Manchester Civil Justice Centre. The majority of their enforcement agents are ex-military personnel. They provide a full range of enforcement services although they specialise in traveller, gypsy and squatter evictions.

Address:
Victoria House, Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, United Kingdom, M4 7DB

Registration Number:
11494339

Incorporation Date:
8/1/2018

License Granted:
26/04/2019

Also Known As:
Court Enforcement Specialists Limited
Court Enforcement Specialists Ltd
Court Enforcement Specialists Group
Court Enforcement Specialists Bailiffs
Court Enforcement Specialists Debt Collectors
Court Enforcement Specialists Debt Collection
Court Enforcement Specialists Agency

What is the Reason for the Contact?

If you have never heard of Court Enforcement Specialists, or in fact, any debt collectors at all, you are probably wondering whether they are legitimate and if they have the right to contact you. The truth is that they are a legitimate company, so if you have been contacted by them, it is important that you don’t just ignore them. These are some of the reasons they may be getting in touch with you.

  • Debts you have ran up with individuals, businesses or other
    organisations
  • Unpaid tax and tax credit overpayments you have from HMRC
  • Unpaid credit card and payday loan debts
  • Defaults you have on court fines

The company you owe the money to will usually pass your account over to a debt collection agency as they are having no luck in either tracking you down, or getting you to pay up. It is ideal for the creditor, as they get rid of the debt, get a bit of money, and don’t have the hassle of chasing you. So, although Court Enforcement Specialists are not the original company you have the debt with, they do have the right to chase you about it.

These are some of the companies they may be working on behalf of:

  • Utility companies, which may include, Npower, United
    Utilities and other gas and electric suppliers
  • Mobile and broadband companies, including O2,
    Virgin Media and EE
  • Parking tickets and council tax you have with your local
    council

Court Enforcement Specialists will not usually buy the debt individually. It is much better for them to buy it in bundles. They are not collecting the debt out of the goodness of their heart. They are doing it to make a profit, and this can be quite profitable to them. They only pay a small amount for the debt, and make money when you start making payments.

Is There a Way to Stop Court Enforcement Specialists From Contacting You?

Unfortunately, in many cases, the agents calling from debt collection agencies, such as Court Enforcement Specialists an be extremely persistent in their approach. They can make you feel under stress and pressure to pay, which can be highly distressful if you are unable to pay. It is important that you don’t just ignore the situation, as this won’t help. You should always aim to deal with the problem head-on.

There are instances when bailiffs such as Court Enforcement Specialists will be used for the purpose of serving debtors with court documents or even giving out notices and summons. There is a standard of usually 7 days’ noticed provided by bailiffs for a first visit to your property. If you speak to them and arrange payment, this would stop them from contacting you further and visiting your property.

The cannot just do what they want though. These are some things they are not permitted to do in respect of collecting debt. These include:

  • Sending out letters that look like court forms
  • Attempting to call you at unreasonable hours of the day, such as early morning or late at night
  • Try to speak to you in your workplace, when you have specifically asked them not to
  • Using technical language or jargon that you don’t understand

If you want to get in touch with Court Enforcement Specialists, you should be able to find their details either on the letters they have sent or their website. The sooner you speak to them and resolve the situation, the quicker you will be able to get them off your back.

Check your letters and the company’s website to see how you can contact Court Enforcement Specialists. Doing so increases your chances of resolving the matter as effectively as possible, without incurring additional costs or having them visit your home.  

If you are being chased about debt that doesn’t belong to you, you should contact Court Enforcement Specialists and ask them to provide evidence of the debt. The Financial Conduct Authority’s guidelines have more information on this (see section 7).

Do Court Enforcement Specialists Have Any Special Powers?

As they are operating as a bailiff, Court Enforcement Specialists do have legal powers when collecting debt from you. They are not the only ones though, you also have rights and you should make sure you use these.

Unlike debt collection agencies, Bailiffs have the right to visit your home to collect your debts. They may even have the right to enter your home to take goods to recoup some of the debt. If you don’t allow them to enter your home, and refuse to pay the debt you owe, they may have the right to remove your belongings from outside. For instance, your vehicle. This is why it is so important to speak to them, as the last thing you want is to find that your car has been taken from your driveway.

If you are visited by a representative from Court Enforcement Specialist and you say you won’t pay them, they may start to remove items from your home. For example, they might take your TV, games consoles and other items you need, such as your jewellery.

If the debts are serious, such as unpaid tax, or criminal fines, the bailiffs may even force their way into your home, but this would be done as a last resort. In usual circumstances i.e. if the debt is not deemed as serious, the bailiff will not be able to enter your home in these ways:

  • By forcing their way into your home
  • If there are only vulnerable people in your home, or those under aged 16 years of age
  • Late at night (after 9pm) or early hours (before 6am)
  • In other ways apart from through the door, such as attempting to access your property via a window.

How to Deal With a Court Enforcement Specialists Visit?

Unless the situation is extreme, you will not need to allow bailiffs to enter your property. It is likely that they will say you must do this, but they cannot force the point with you. If you have unpaid court fines or tax debts, then they may be able to gain entry, but this would usually only happen if you refuse to pay your debts. At the end of the day, the bailiffs would prefer to get payment from you, than force entry into your property. If you refuse to pay, and refuse entry to them, they would be able to get a locksmith in place to try and get access, but they are not permitted to break the door down under any circumstances.

If you are contacted by someone from Court Enforcement Specialists about your outstanding debt, and the bailiff comes to your door, you should always check they have identification. These are some examples of identification they should be able to provide.

  • ID card, badge, or certificate, or other examples of identification that show who they are
  • Proof that they are permitted to represent the organisation (in this case, Court Enforcement Specialists)
  • A clear breakdown of what you owe, and proof that you owe it
  • Proof that they are allowed to force entry, such as a warrant or writ

You should ask them to give you these documents through the door, so that you can have a proper look at them. The key things to look out for are that they are in date, and the information on them is accurate and up-to-date.

If they have not provided you with sufficient identification, you can tell them that they must leave your property, and inform them you will be contacting the Court Enforcement Specialists head office, where you will arrange payment. If they are trying to get you to pay debt that is in someone else’s name, you can ask them to leave.

Court Enforcement Specialists will keep trying to get the debt paid. If you don’t pay it or provide that it doesn’t belong to you, you can expect them to keep visiting you.

Court Enforcement Specialists Have Taken My Goods – What Do I Do Next?

If you have allowed entry to Court Enforcement Specialists and they have already taken some of your goods to sell, you need not panic, as there are still actions you can take to recover your goods. The key is to respond quickly.

The most efficient way to get your goods back is to settle the debt, before they’ve had the chance to sell them. You can pay off the debt in one go, if you are able, or you may be able to reach an agreement to pay in back in installments.

If Court Enforcement Specialists have failed to follow the correct legal process regarding recovering the debt, this is another way you may be able to get your goods back. You can contact Citizens Advice for free advice on dealing with this company.

What to Do If You’ve Been Contacted by Court Enforcement Specialists

If you have been contacted by Court Enforcement Specialists, there are some things you should and shouldn’t do to deal with them in an appropriate way.

Contact them

If you receive letters from Court Enforcement Specialists you should contact them. The worst thing you can do in this situation is to just ignore them, as they won’t go away, and the situation may get worse. They may end up adding on extra fees and charges if you fail to respond to them. They have the right to charge extra for dealing with your debt, and these are some potential charges you may receive:

  • Compliance – £75. This is the charge for sending an enforcement notice requesting payment.
  • Enforcement – £235 (or 7.5% over £1500). This is the fee for visiting your premises to take your goods.
  • Sale of goods – £110 (or 7.5% over £1500). If they need to remove some of your goods and sell them to recover the debt, they may charge this additional fee.

If this is your debt or not, you should still respond and let them know before they end up sending someone to your home. Make sure you find out if this is actually your debt or not, and take the most appropriate action. Whether that is paying the debt, arranging to pay it or requesting that they update their details if it is not yours or you have already paid it.

Do you owe this debt?

If you have received a letter which claims you owe the money, you should always ensure it is your debt, and that it is accurate. If you don’t recognise the debt, this is particularly important, as it may be that you have received debt for someone with the same name or you might have already cleared the debt, and the systems have not been updated. It is important that the value is also correct, so check that the amount is accurate, and what any fees and interest are.

If you have not spoken to the creditor in six years and/or it has been six years since you made a payment to them, there is a chance that you might not need to pay the debt. If you were harassed into signing the financial agreement with the creditor, and they have failed to follow the required guidelines, such as undertaking an affordability test, you may not need be required to pay the debt back.

Taking care of your debt

If you have received confirmation and proof that the debt is yours, and it is within the relevant period of time, you must take care of the debt. If you are able to, it is advisable just to clear the debt off completely, as this way, you will never need to hear about it (or think about it!) again. The company will stop contacting you, and you can carry on with your life, without having the stress and worry of the debt. You should always ask for a receipt for any payments you make.

Many debtors feel that there is no point in contacting the debt collectors, if they cannot afford to pay the debt in full. However, regardless of how little you are able to pay, it is always worth speaking to them. In most cases, they will agree to let you pay in instalments, without adding on any extra fees.

Help to Deal With Court Enforcement Specialists

If you need help to sort out your debt situation, there are lots of organisations out there who will be able to help. If Court Enforcement Specialists are on your case about the debt you owe, and you are not sure where to turn, these are steps you can take to deal with your debt in the best way to suit your own individual circumstances.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

It is entirely possible to write off a significant chunk of your debt. In
England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you are able to enter into an IVA, which allows you to combine all of your debt into one payment. You can then either pay this off, if you can afford it, or pay in instalments. You will usually be able to pay this at a lower rate than normal. After a specific period has passed, you would be able to write off the remaining debt. This is quite a drastic step to take, so you should consider how this will affect your ability to get credit in the future.

Debt Management

Another option you have is to enter into a debt management programme. There are different options, which will depend on your individual circumstances. The options you have are debt management plans,
consolidation loans, and bankruptcy. You should find out more about each option before you make a decision, and figure out which is the right one for you.

Citizens Advice

If you are unsure how to deal with Court Enforcement Specialists and need some advice, Citizens Advice are a great place to start. They can provide specialist, expert advice and it is always completely free of charge. They will be able to advise you on dealing with Court Enforcement Specialists and preparing for any bailiff visits, if necessary.

Formal complaints

You will find that there have been many negative reviews around this company, just take a look at Trustpilot reviews of Court Enforcement Specialists, and you will soon find that the comments are far from appealing. Some of the words you will find here include ‘bullies’, and ‘mistreated.’ If you are dealing with this company and they are doing any of these things, you can be sure that you are not alone. If Court Enforcement Specialists fail to respond to this in appropriate way, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service and they will deal with the situation on your behalf. 

Court Enforcement Specialists – To Conclude

It is not pleasant dealing with debt collectors, no one enjoys it. However, if Court Enforcement Specialists are contacting you, you should deal with the situation as soon as possible. If you are aware of your legal right, you will understand what to expect. The main point to keep in mind is that it will not be beneficial to ignore the contact you receive from Court Enforcement Specialists, even if it is not your debt. You must inform them if the debt doesn’t belong to you, and ask them to update their information. If Court Enforcement Specialists visit you at your home, you are not under any obligation to let them in, unless they come with a warrant or writ. The best thing to do is to contact the company you have the original debt with, and reach an agreement to either pay the money or to inform them of any changes.

FAQs

Do I have any rights if a bailiff comes to my home?

There are certain circumstances that bailiffs are not permitted to visit your home. They should not come to your home in the early hours of the morning, before 6am or at night time, after 9pm. They should also give you 7 days notice of their intentions to come to your home. They are also not permitted to use force if they do visit your home. They cannot force you to get out the way.

Are there a maximum number of times a bailiff can visit?

There is no limit to the number of times a bailiff can visit your home. They must adhere to the regulations on times, but they can visit as many times as they wish.

What happens if I refuse entry to the bailiffs?

If you refuse entry to the bailiffs, they have the right to come back and they may have a locksmith in tow. They may even do this when you’re not at home.

Is the bailiff allowed to break down my door?

No, the bailiff cannot break down the door. If they are going to go this far, they must always use a locksmith. They must only enter your property through your door. They cannot access your home via the window, for example.

Can bailiffs take my car if I need it for work?

Bailiffs have the right to remove your car, regardless of whether you need it for work. If you park it elsewhere, such as on another street, they are likely to figure this out, as people do this all the time. They are used to all the tricks!

About the author

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson is a financial services expert, with over 10 years’ experience in the industry, including 6 years in FCA regulated companies. Read more
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