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Breathing Space 16.1.18

We believe that the title of the call for evidence is misleading in only referring to “breathing space.” Breathing space is a concept which is already well known and operated within the creditor sector, so at first glance this paper appears to be several years behind the times. There is no mention in the title that the paper also considers statutory debt management plans, despite this being arguably the more radical of the two proposals. It occurs to us that some potential responses may have been lost, as potential respondents may not have realised the full extent and true nature of the proposals.

Default CCJs 20.2.18

The CCUA firmly believes that the concerns set out in the paper are misconceived. The recent history regarding changes to the service rules are helpfully set out on page 14 of the consultation paper. The CCUA fully supported those changes when they were introduced and continues to believe that the current rules strike the correct and proportionate balance between the rights, protections and interests of both Claimants/ Judgment Creditors and Defendants/ Judgment Debtors. Taken out of context, the suggested concern that in some cases “…..creditors deliberately use addresses for debtors that they know to be old” is extremely emotive and potentially misleading.

Disclosure 28.2.18

The following points have been raised by members, which the Association hopes will be of assistance- “For the most part we agree that the proposed changes are sensible as it will limit the disclosure process and save costs (particularly in large complex cases).” “We do definitely agree with the more limited disclosure that the proposed changes would introduce – we do currently seek to limit disclosure where appropriate, but often find that District Judges will not consider the suggestion and will simply fall back on standard disclosure which often unnecessarily builds costs when limited disclosure would have been sufficient. The proposed scheme would therefore, mean that it would be much more likely that there would be more limited disclosure which would reduce costs.”

Courts and Tribunal Estate 29.3.18

The CCUA recognises that the courts must evolve with the times, which includes changes to infrastructure. The paper puts forward some strong arguments for change, especially where there are currently multiple buildings in close proximity. It is also agreed that, particularly in the work of most of our members, most court users never have to physically attend court. The digital age also gives opportunity for more imaginative and efficient ways of resolving matters. That said, where a court closure means longer distance to travel on those occasions where an attendance is required, it must be recognised that this does constitute deterioration in service. This needs to be justified in every case. It is also imperative that amalgamation of court infrastructure does not result in further pressures on service. The standard of service received by court users is frequently less than acceptable, particularly in view of the large sums paid in court fees. There is obvious concern that amalgamating courts may exacerbate these issues.

Breathing Space Scheme; Consultation Response 29.1.19

Response from the CCUA to the 30 questions presented in the policy proposal. It is noted that the first objective is to provide sufficient protections for individuals to help them enter into a sustainable debt solution, with the second objective being to encourage more individuals to seek debt advice. We do not feel that the paper adequately explains how these objectives are intended to be achieved. No cost benefit analysis appears to have been undertaken. No clear link has been demonstrated to show why giving somebody a breathing space will directly lead to them entering a sustainable debt solution or encourage them to act on the debt advice they receive.

Bailiff Reform 15.2.19

Response from the CCUA to the 19 questions presented in the review of the 2014 enforcement agent reforms introduced by the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. The paper follows the historic trend of considering mostly unsubstantiated suggestions of aggressive bailiffs. In doing so, it ignores other real and pressing issues, such as genuine ongoing concerns regarding the lack of effectiveness of court enforcement. County Court bailiff performance is considered by many of our members to be of an unacceptably low standard. Creditors will only continue to use the court if there is a realistic chance of recovering their money.

Enforcement of Possession Orders and Alignment of Procedures in the County Court and High Court; Consultation Response 2.5.19

The CCUA agrees with the CPRC that the current civil procedure rules for enforcement of possession orders are unsatisfactory. The CCUA has long argued for a harmonisation, or unification, of enforcement processes in the County and High Courts. Harmonisation would improve effectiveness, efficiency and consumer protection. It also raises the possibility of greater choice for claimants as between bailiffs and High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEO”) across a broader range of claims. The CCUA supports a number of principles, which it hopes will be reflected in the CPRC’s proposals: 1) It would be welcomed if the CPRC would in...

Fixed Recoverable Costs: Consultation Response 6.6.19

The Association feels that fixed costs are generally appropriate and well-suited for debt recovery actions, i.e. actions which are generally uncomplicated. However, it is obviously important that they should be adequate so as...