An Enforcement Officer is an encapsulating description for either a High Court Enforcement Officer or County Court Bailiff. A legitimate Enforcement Officer, with the authority of the court, will attend your business premises or home to enforce an order of the court. The order may be that of repossession or, in these circumstances, a money judgment. On attendance, they will inform you that, should you be unable to pay the outstanding debt, they will be removing goods and chattels to the value of the debt.
The Bogus Enforcement Officers are very sophisticated and persuasive in the way they operate. They will carry out a credit check on you or your company to ascertain whether there are any outstanding County Court Judgments. They will then often make contact by telephone, informing you that a warrant has been issued by the court in respect of that judgment and that they are duty bound to enforce it. The fraudsters will often provide you with the name of an official registered bailiff. They will suggest that they are in close proximity to your address and that payment of the warrant is required immediately or enforcement action will take place. A telephone number will then be provided so that you can make payment of the debt over the phone.
It is likely this conversation will leave you confused and may, understandably, cause a degree of panic. Many people will make contact with these fraudsters, using the telephone number provided, and make payment to them, believing they are satisfying the debt. You may find that the telephone is convincingly answered by someone purporting to be from the ‘Warrant And Bailiffs Office’. Once payment has been made, the fraudsters disappear with your money, never to be seen again!
Before you make payment of any kind to an Enforcement Officer, you need to be sure that they are legitimate and that the warrant or writ they have is genuine and endorsed by the court.
Some helpful tips to assist you in establishing whether the Enforcement Officer is genuine are:
If you are in doubt that the Enforcement Officer is genuine then do not make payment to them until you are sure. Any legitimate Enforcement Officer will have no problem with you validating, or attempting to validate, any enforcement document issued against you.
For further information relating to the points raised in this article, please contact Senior Debt Recovery Executive, Dan Elsworth or a member of the Debt Recovery team.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.