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Joint Insolvency Committee Consultation Response July 2020

The CCUA welcomes the sensible proposals laid out in the original consultation which you can read in full here

Download our consultation response below.

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Acland-Hood Court Reform Response 3.3.2020

Susan Acland-Hood, Chief Executive at HMCTS responds in writing to the CCUA Court Reform Programme Communication sent early February 2020.

Download the full 4 paged letter below.

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Disappointing News on the Breathing Space and Statutory Repayment Plans 19.2.2020

The Civil Court Users Association represents many members who act for creditors who already provide breathing space to debtors and look to work with debtors to agree affordable ways to repay their debts. The Association endorses the concepts of Breathing Space and Repayment Plans in supporting debtors to work with their creditors.

However, the Association is very disappointed to note that the new Government has confirmed its commitment to introduce the currently flawed proposals for Breathing Space and Statutory Repayment Plans. The announcement can be seen here

The proposals as previously drafted gave rise to a wide range of concerns, as addressed by the CCUA in our response to the consultation.

It is suggested once again that these proposals should be reconsidered or amended. If not, then it is vitally important that the draft legislation should be made publicly available as early as possible, so that businesses can see the detail and have as much time as possible to tackle the considerable challenges that this will inevitably present. Rob Thompson
Vice Chair, Civil Court Users Association

Review our concerns raised in the original consultation below.

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Communication Letter to HMCTS 7.2.2020

We are writing to express our concern regarding the progress and direction of the court reform programme.

The Civil Court Users Association has always recognised the incredible opportunity which the current reform programme potentially provides. We fully support the stated ideal of creating a court system suitable for 2050. It is for these reasons that we were originally keen to engage with Lord Briggs’ Civil Structure Review as well as continuing to be willing and able to assist and support the development of the reform project itself.

There is no doubt that the programme has already seen some positive changes. However, we are increasingly concerned that these are…

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Corporate Transparency and Register Reform Response 5.8.19

The CCUA welcomes these reforms as it believes that an increase in transparency and oversight in relation to company registration will help to combat financial crime. The proposals are broadly reasonable and proportionate and we consider that they are a positive development. Read all the answers we provided in this document.

See the original consultation here

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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…

See the original consultation here

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CPRC Rule 12.3 Entry of Default Judgment Response 31.5.19

The CCUA welcomes this consultation as it believes that the rule should be changed to provide clarity for court users. Our membership reports experiences of arguments with court staff about the interpretation of the current rule. Clearly this is not a good use of time and resource, and therefore it is a positive development that the rule be clarified.

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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…

See the original consultation here

Download our consultation response below.

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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.

See the original consultation here

Download our consultation response below.

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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.

See the original consultation here

Download our consultation response below.

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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.

See the original consultation here and here.

Download our consultation response below.

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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.

See the original consultation here

Download our consultation response below.

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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.”

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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.

See the original consultation here

Download our consultation response below.

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