Two small changes to a single piece of legislation would give court users the freedom to choose how their debts under £600 are recovered – by allowing HCEOs to enforce these judgments.
This solution is being backed by the Civil Court Users Association and the vast majority of the hundreds of court users who responded in our 2022 Freedom of Choice survey. We found that:
- 97% of court users would like the freedom to choose between a HCEO and County Court Bailiff to enforce their unregulated judgments under £600.
- 93% of court users support a further change allowing HCEOs to collect debts arising from Consumer Credit Act regulated agreements.
- 96% of court users are still concerned about County Court delays.
- Just 4% of court users feel the current system meets their needs.
Robert Thompson, Chair of the Civil Court Users Association, said:
“The HCEOA’s Freedom of Choice report is a powerful document that makes a strong case for giving court users more flexibility. I know from discussions with court users that anything that can be done to simplify and speed up the process of recovering debts through the courts would be welcome, and the CCUA supports the changes proposed here, which will provide greater freedom choice and flexibility.”
You can find out more about what court users think by downloading our full report below.
2023 – Time for Freedom of Choice
For the past year we have been engaging constructively with the Government to ask for a change to the High Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991, which would allow High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) to enforce judgments and recover unregulated debts under £600.
Government has listened, and we’ve answered Ministers’ questions about the details of the plan. We believe 2023 is now the time for action on this, and also on regulated debts, as our survey shows court users can’t afford further delays.
We’ve proposed that the fees that HCEOs charge for collecting debts under £600 should match the non-High Court fee scale for debts of the same amount – they would be 100% in line with the current system.
We’ve been listening to concerns raised by court users since 2015 on the lack of choice available to them for recovering the money they are owed and believe High Court Enforcement Officers could help them today.
These reforms can be delivered simply and easily by the Lord Chancellor and Ministry of Justice. We are asking them to:
- amend the High Court and County Court Jurisdiction Order 1991 to allow High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce judgments below £600 in respect of unregulated judgments
- expand the same Order to allow High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce judgments relating to regulated debt above and below £600.
You can download our previous reports here:
How you can help
If you’d like to support us in our campaign to give court users the right to freedom of choice, or have any questions, please email us at