A High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) is a High Court of England and Wales officer responsible for executing High Court decisions, often by the seizure of merchandise or the repossession of lands. HCEOs were known as sheriff’s officers prior to 2004 and were responsible for administering High Court writs for each county on behalf of the high sheriff, but they are now directly liable for those writs. Only in England and Wales do HCEOs run.
When a High Court Enforcement Officer has contacted you, it means one of your creditors has gone through court action to reclaim a debt. High Court Enforcement Officers in Scotland are known as Sheriff Officers or Messengers-at-Arms. They can also be referred to as Judicial Officials, and both of them have the right to take enforcement action against you.
You do not necessarily disregard a Sheriff’s Officer or Messenger-at-Arms touch or contact. To pay the money owed in full, challenge the loan, or discuss an installment schedule, you would need to come to an understanding. Otherwise, to take possession of items at the expense of the loan, legal action would be taken against you.
Creditor’s inability to collect their debt
A Judicial Officer or High Court Enforcement Officer letter or visit may not be a total surprise as many efforts have already been made to reclaim the debt in question. Judicial Officers enter the debt collection process only after all possible means have been rejected by a borrower.
This failure to recover their debt may have been attributed to a lack of response from you as the claimant, or an informal settlement agreement that failed to succeed. Until court proceedings, the creditor may have given a final notice for payment.
It is critical that you take expert advice on what you should do next. You have access to useful expertise to help you make an educated decision by consulting a registered Insolvency Lawyer.
You may have obtained documents from the court by the time you have made touch with a High Court Enforcement Officer or Messenger-at-Arms. An order for a Time to Pay agreement could have been denied, in which case the officer may contact you with respect to executing the court decree.
The enforcement of a court decree
The regulation of debt in Scotland is called ‘diligence.’ The type of action(s) taken against you after a court order has been issued depends on your particular situation, including the type and amount of debt due.
One or more of the following may require compliance action:
- Sometimes, an arrestment of earnings
- Freezing or placing an embargo on your account of your(s)
- Occasionally arrestment of goods outside your home
- Bankruptcy (also known as ‘sequestration’)
You will be presented with a Fee for Reimbursement by a Judicial Officer/High Court Enforcement Officer and given a Debt Advice and Information Guide. At this point, if the debt is less than £ 25,000, you will also apply for a Time to Pay order, but must do so or pay the debt in full within 14 days in order to prevent legal action.
The creditor may be able to seek more than one Arrest Warrant if the debt continues unpaid, but an Extraordinary Attachment Order for items inside the residence is normally only issued after all avenues have expired.
When the debt condition hits a critical stage like this, finding the assistance of a professional Insolvency Attorney is crucial to fruitful talks. Judicial officers in Scotland and High Court Enforcement Officers in England and Wales shall follow a precise code of ethics and comply with stringent court rules when serving and performing diligence processes when serving complaints and citations.