Be an Enforcement Rockstar | Use A Writ of Control

Updated: Dec 11, 2020



Every judgment creditor we meet is on a quest to enforce their court judgment as quickly and efficiently as possible. Using a Writ of Control in the right place at the right time makes for “Rockstar” enforcement. If you are advising a client, think how happy that client is going to be when you get them their money. If you are enforcing for yourself or your business, we just want to make you feel like a Rockstar when the money we have collected is transferred to your bank account.


What is the Writ of Control?

A writ that requires a High Court enforcement officer to take control and sell plenty of a debtor's goods to get the funds to satisfy a money judgment. In the County Court, the similar command to a County Court bailiff is called a warrant of control.


Taking control of goods restored execution against goods and writs of control replaced writs of fieri facias


Writs have been around for centuries. They are the instruction from the Court to its Sheriffs (aka High Court Enforcement Officers) to compel compliance with the Court’s Order.


Writs of Control are a relative newcomer to the enforcement scene having been created in 2013 and brought into action in April 2014. They are the successor to the old Writ of Fieri Facias (or Fi Fa), which is Latin speak for “cause to be made”. This really means that the Sheriff or HCEO takes goods into legal control, and if the debt is not paid then the goods are sold to pay the Court’s judgment.


How to obtain a Writ of Control?

  • Get N293A Combined certificate of judgment and request for a writ of control or writ of possession’ and No. 53 - Writ of Control.

  • Complete the form N293A Combined certificate of judgment and request for a writ of control or writ of possession’ and send to the court that issued your judgment.

  • The court will stamp the N293A form and return it to you. Complete the form No. 53 Writ of Control

Send the following documents:-

• Completed No. 53 - Writ of Control

• Court stamped N293A Form

• Cheque for £66 made payable to ‘HMCTS’


Send this to:

Royal Courts of Justice

Enforcement Section

Strand

London

WC2A 2LL


  • Once the High Court returns your sealed No. 53 - Writ of Control then you can send the original sealed Writ to us for allocation of an enforcement officer.

What Does Taking Legal Control of Goods Mean?

That’s a good question. The Writ of Control is directed to a named High Court Enforcement Officer. In our case, this is our CEO, and resident Sheriff, Claire Sandbrook.


TEAM Shergroup take judgments and orders into their system, and Claire’s name is added to the Writ of Control. This means she has responsibility for enforcing the Writ in accordance with strict legal regulations.


TEAM Shergroup, on Claire’s behalf, instruct a local High Court Enforcement Agent to attend at the address of the Judgment Debtor which will usually be a home or business address. The High Court Enforcement Agent will review what goods are at the address and subject to one or two limitations, the goods will be placed under Claire’s control. This means that the Judgment Debtor cannot sell or transfer those goods to a third party until the judgment has been sorted out.


The High Court Enforcement Agent will make an inventory of the goods that are taken into legal control and invite the Judgment Debtor to sign a Controlled Goods Agreement. The goods will also be given an initial valuation.


Advantages of enforcement by way of a Writ of Control

  • forced entrance into commercial premises can also be with no preceding information

  • provides a command to take control of and sell debtor's assets and properties to the value of the judgment debt.

Disadvantages of enforcement by way of a Writ of Control

  • the principal disadvantage is that all types of assets cant be controlled, this includes tools of the judgment debtor's trade, basic furniture or basic household goods

  • a creditor should be sensibly certain that enough assets will be available to control. Assets include a debtor's car, caravan, boat or garden equipment as well as those belongings inside the home

How Does the Writ of Control Make You an Enforcement Rockstar?

That’s an easy question on many occasions because a Writ of Control will get you the cash that is due where there are goods and your debtor is at the address.


To get the most from the system let’s wind back to before you issued your proceedings. Did you check you were suing the right legal person? Did you check the address where they lived or carried on their business?


If so, you are well on your way to being an enforcement Rockstar! Taking a moment to get these things right at the start of your claim will help you avoid problems when it comes to enforcing payment.


If the Writ is against the right legal person and contains an address where the goods of the Judgment Debtor are going to be located, you just increased your odds of getting paid in full.

Contrast this “Rockstar” situation where you don’t do your checks before you issue your claim. Issuing a claim against the wrong legal person can lead to a claim to the goods by the true owner and delay, and a possible application to set your judgment aside.


Also, if you give the High Court Enforcement Officer the wrong address, or you don’t anticipate what goods might be at the address, then your chances of being an enforcement “Rockstar” are hanging in the balance.


How Can I Improve My Chances of Recovery?

Firstly, check that you do know who you are suing. If it’s a business debt then check your contract, invoices and quotations to find the proper legal name of your debtor business.


If you are using an individual or sole trader, again check your paperwork or make enquiries online to ensure you have the right name.


Secondly, if you think the person has goods to seize – from an aircraft to a luxury car, do some homework and check out what you think is going to be available. We offer a free no-obligation review service at whatever stage you are at to get these facts checked and in place for a better enforcement experience.


Facts about the writ of control

The writ of control was organised in April 2014, under the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 Part 3, 62 (4). It replaced the writ of fieri facias with the Taking Control of Goods Regulations 2013 and Taking Control of Goods Regulations (Fees) 2014, brought in many changes:

  • There are now four stages of enforcement,

These are

  1. Compliance,

  2. Enforcement stage 1,

  3. Enforcement stage 2

  4. Sale or disposal stage

  • An enforcement agent may now enforce 365 days a year.

  • The writ of control is now valid for 12 months from the date of the Notice of Enforcement

  • It is likely to apply to the court to extend the writ; however, it can only be done once

  • The validity of the writ of control automatically extends to 12 months if the payment arrangement is breached

  • The term “taking control of goods” replaces previous terms such as distress, distraint, seizure,

“Rock Your Judgment “ | Doing Nothing Is Not an Option

There are lots of ways to improve your odds of getting paid using a Writ of Control when you have a judgment. We are happy to help you with all the nuances of the system. We have over 100 years of operational experience as a team of enforcement experts. We reckon we have seen pretty much every type of situation, and we know how to help get things on the right track.


We charge a one-off fee of £156 including VAT to get on board with our service with all the help and service we offer in a friendly and professional way. This is the total amount you will need to invest with us to get your judgment converted into a Writ of Control.


For more information, contact us on 0845 890 9200 or visit our website at www.shergroup.com and send us a message or live chat.

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