Following a period of extensive research, including a review by a consultant economist and a public consultation in 20125 , the government implemented a new fee structure focusing on providing clarity for both creditors and debtors.
The fee structure and the fee levels were designed to balance the need for a fair and transparent costs structure that could be easily understood, with the need to ensure a sustainable enforcement sector that provides remuneration for all aspects of enforcement work, but without allowing firms to make excessive profits.
The fixed fee structure was based around three main stages: the Compliance Stage, the Enforcement Stage and the Sale (or Disposal) Stage. The fee structure was designed to reflect the actual costs of enforcement and was calculated to ensure that EAs were adequately remunerated for the work they carried out.
A comprehensive review of the fees in 2023 considered whether the fee levels set in 2014 remain appropriate. It also considered whether more could be done to encourage the settlement of debt at the earliest stage to reduce the fees paid by those in debt.
Following the review, the Ministry of Justice announced an uplift to the fees for High Court and Non-High Court enforcement by 5%. It also increased the thresholds above which a percentage fee can be added to certain fees by 24% (rounded to the nearest £100), meaning that the threshold for non-High Court cases became £1,900.
CIVEA had been lobbying intensively for an adjustment to the fees structure, which has not been reviewed since 2014. The explanatory memorandum to the fees regulations refers to an annual review following the publication of the CPI figure for each September.
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