The company seeking court approval to use virtual enforcement to recover debts without the need for a home visit will have to wait a little longer, following an initial hearing.
Just, the enforcement market integrator, is seeking to establish through the Royal Courts of Justice a decision for virtual enforcement visits to be permitted without the need to visit a debtor at home.
At a virtual hearing at the courts on Tuesday 13 October, the company presented initial evidence for why it believes that Covid-19 has highlighted a need for changes to be made to the debt enforcement process.
Just made the case that debtors have become more financially fragile due to the pandemic and that the physical and mental health risks of physical visits have increased significantly. Just said this point was recognised by the government in its temporary ban on physical visits by bailiffs between March and August this year.
The virtual enforcement solution allows enforcement stage one of the process to take place over a video call, allowing enforcement agents to secure goods against payment plans without having to attend a debtor’s property and charge additional fees. Just believes this solution could reduce the costs of enforcement by up to £700.
In July the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed that there was nothing in legislation to prohibit virtual enforcement visits and that there was nothing within the proposal that caused them sufficient concern, to justify taking any steps to prevent Just from moving forward. The MoJ did raise a point that a court might consider this differently if asked.
Just then brought a case before the court prior to its implementation. The firm asked the court to consider the proposal and then notified all major stakeholders that a case would be heard.
No date has yet been set for the adjourned case.