Court Fees and Bankruptcy Limits

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Is there a deliberate attempt by the Government to render the collection of debts wholly uneconomic or in certain instances impossible thus potentially prejudicing the cash flow of all business enterprise, particularly SME’s?

What evidence is there to support this?

Over the last 10 years there has been a steady increase in court fees well above inflation and now everyone is faced with a potential hike in the fee to issue a claim the highest being of some 600%, however if one requires the assistance of a solicitor to process their claim the recoverable cost has not increased for over 20 years.

The proposed increase in the bankruptcy limit from £750.00 to £5000.00 has been ill thought through and furthermore it appears that consultation has only been taken from those representing debtors, primarily debt charities as opposed to those representing creditors. In short the reform will protect those who deliberately avoid their liabilities as well as the vulnerable.

The increase in the Small Claims limit to £10,000.00 which has seen the number of claims defended on spurious grounds increase substantially as defendants know that they are no longer at risk on the issue of costs if they lose thus in effect forcing creditors to compromise or in many instances write their debts off.

The recent changes in the powers and processes of Enforcement Officers when executing warrants which in effect invite debtors to remove or hide assets as they now have to be given prior notice of the Enforcement Officers attendance

The inaction of the Government to close the loophole created by the Land Registration Act / Rules some 11 years ago appertaining to the protection of Charging Orders on jointly owned properties.

Where is the combination of the court fees and bankruptcy limits leading us ?

Allan Hooper, partner at JE Baring & Company solicitors is an expert in debt recovery and bankruptcy.  If you have any queries regarding debts both owed or recoverable, please contact Allan for an informal chat regarding your case on 020 7242 8966.  You can email Allan at