A Day In The Life Of An Enforcement Officer
Sarb Dhaliwal, Chartered Legal Executive at Lovetts spent a day with an Enforcement Officer at the beginning of September. Here is Sarb’s interesting summary of the visit:
“Collecting Judgment debts does not just involve attending properties and demanding payments as I realised when I spent a day with an Enforcement Officer late last year who had been doing the job for over five years.”
I was very eager to make contact with all the Judgment debtors that we visited but it was clear when we visited some properties that no one was in despite looking through windows and trying to see if anyone was avoiding us. We made a point of looking around the Debtors grounds if they weren’t in (and even in the bins to see if there were any letters with a name and address) – we could have potentially levied on anything we thought may be of some value. We then spoke to neighbors to establish whether the Debtors did live at the property and also asked when the Debtor was likely to be home. Where no contact was made, a notice of seizure was left, with a telephone number to call; listing the items that had been levied on (usually a car/garden furniture etc).
We then made a visit at a property owned by the parents of the Debtors, and the mother claimed he did not live at the property (where the warrant address is the parents’ address; parents often shield the Debtors or pay the debt on their behalf), the mother then went on to say he was out of the country and refused to give us an alternative address. As a prior visit had been made at this property, the officer who had previously levied on a vehicle in his last visit, threatened to remove the car even though the mother claimed it belonged to her daughter. The Officer asked for proof and when not produced he made a telephone call in their presence and requested a removal truck to remove the car. This sent the mother and daughter into a panic and they then managed to produce the log book showing that the debtor was not the legal owner. When threatened to remove other goods, a partial address for the debtor was finally produced.
Another very positive visit which was also one where a property was owned by the parents produced great results where the father of the debtor agreed to pay the debt and made an immediate payment of £13,000.00 with assurance that the remaining £10,000.00 would be paid within 2 weeks.
Overall I had an interesting day which made me realise what lengths the officer has to go to so that secure payment is made. It can be disappointing when driving a long way to find no one is at home or is avoiding contact. However, the Officer does not give up and will make out of hours visits if necessary.