Bailiffs Will Be Able To Enter Homes Using Zoom Following Ruling
Bailiffs will be allowed to enter homes using Zoom, following a landmark ruling that was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Debt Enforcement Market Integrator Just came up with the video solution back in August, with the new approach allowing bailiffs to enter debtors' homes virtually to control their goods.
The two parties involved will be able to set up a call through Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime, so that the debtor can show the bailiff around their home and have good such as TVs noted down.
In turn, the process helps reduce the risk for transmissing coronavirus.
The order, made by Master Victoria McCloud on Friday, reads: "An enforcement agent may enter into a controlled goods agreement... with a debtor whether or not the enforcement agent has physically entered the premises on which the goods are located."
Just's chairman Jamie Waller - who is also a former star of the BBC's Beat the Bailiff - said: "Designing a solution that allowed bailiffs to work from home, protected debtors from bailiffs visiting them and spreading the virus and saving debtor's money, while ensuring the creditors were paid what is owed was clearly the right thing to do.
"I am pleased that it was an innovation by Just."
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A joint statement was also issued by Chief Executive of The Civil Enforcement Association Russell Hamblin-Boone, Chairman of the High Court Enforcement Officers Association Andrew Wilson and Managing Director of Just Nick Georgiades.
It said: "We're pleased the courts have reached this judgment on non-entry Controlled Goods Agreements.
"This is good news for creditors, debtors, members of both associations and Just as it was important to bring much needed clarity in this area of enforcement.
"The judgment was the appropriate procedure to follow before any new and untested practices are introduced for the enforcement of court orders and warrants."
The statement added: "Following this judgment, we invite the MoJ to review the judgment, and, if appropriate, provide statutory guidance on the processes to be followed if re-entry is required and any fees which might be applied.
"Whilst we recognise that members of the associations and Just will be well placed to conduct non-entry CGA's with appropriate caution, we would like to safeguard the process from others who may not be so diligent.
"The two associations and Just have offered to assist the MoJ in completing this work, should it be appropriate.
"The MoJ might also provide guidance on the compliance stage of enforcement process for high court writs, so that it is not undermined by this decision responding specifically to the claim by some high court enforcement officers that they are unable to enter payment arrangements during the compliance stage, due to the wording of the command on the writ."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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