Warrant of Control

Have you have obtained judgment against your debtor and your debtor has failed to maintain payments?

Do you believe your debtor has belongings valuable enough that if sold could easily clear your judgment and costs?

Are you are considering instructing a court enforcement officer to attempt seizure and auction sale of your debtor’s belongings?

Mercian Law can help.

What’s Involved

Obtaining a warrant of control from the court gives a court enforcement officer the ability to attend your debtors address to either:

  • Collect payment within 7 days, or
  • Take goods to sell at auction

Making an application for a warrant of control will only be successful if your debtor has:

  • Enough goods to sell at auction and clear the judgment and enforcement costs; or
  • The cash to discharge the warrant and costs in full

To make an application your debtor must have:

  • Failed to pay on the date specified on the judgment
  • Failed to pay one or more of the ordered instalments

Generally, for judgments over £600 Mercian Law recommends instructing a high court enforcement officer. The enforcement officer cannot remove:

  • Essential household items
  • Items required for your debtor’s job or business
  • Items under a hire purchase or rental agreement
  • Items already seized under another creditors warrant

The goods must be worth enough to pay the judgment and the enforcement officers fees and auction costs.  Goods seized and sold at auction generally raise less than the market value.  Because they do not fetch much at auction, second-hand furniture & electrical items are generally not seized.

If your debtor applies to the court to suspend the warrant.  You can either:

  • Agree to the warrant being suspended and accept your debtors offer of payment
  • Agree to the warrant being suspended but think that the debtor could pay more than they have offered, the court will then decide what the debtor should pay and send you a copy of the order made. If you disagree with the court decision, a letter must be sent to the court stating why you object within 16 days and the case will be listed for a hearing, which you must attend
  • You do not agree to the warrant being suspended. The case will be listed for a hearing which you will need to attend and give reasons why you object

If your debtor fails to make payment in accordance with a suspended warrant you can apply to re-issue the warrant. A warrant of control is usually unsuccessful because:

  • Your debtor is not at the address. Ideally, give your debtors description, and times they are usually at the address, and reasons why you believe they are at the address to the enforcement officer. If your debtor is a business, always use the trading address rather than the registered office.
  • Your debtor’s goods are of insufficient value to discharge the judgment, enforcement fees, court fees & auction costs. If you know that your debtor has something that would be worth selling. Give details of the item to the enforcement officer.

If your warrant has been unsuccessful and you have an alternative address for your debtor, you can reissue the warrant. 

Warrants last for one year but they can be extended in exceptional circumstances and upon the payment of a court fee.

Before you decide to go ahead with an application for a warrant of control, consider the likelihood of you getting your money and the court fee from your debtor.  Mercian Law cannot guarantee that you will be successful, and our fees & the court fee will not be refunded if your application is unsuccessful.

What we can do to help

  • Apply for a warrant of control
  • Instruct a high court enforcement officer
  • Assist with any applications to suspend the warrant
  • Object to the court’s decision on payment terms when accepting warrant suspension
  • Arrange an advocate to attend a hearing with you to object to a suspension application or payment terms
  • Request re-issue of the warrant due to payment default or to try enforcement at an alternative address
  • Application to extend warrant beyond 12 months

What we will need from you

  • Debtors name, address & telephone number
  • Copy of N1 claim form
  • Copy of judgment
  • Debtors description
  • Times debtor is usually at the address
  • Reasons why you believe they are at the address
  • If your debtor is a business, their trading address if different from the registered office
  • Any other information which may help the enforcement officer, such as details of any items that would be worth selling

Please click here to see our costs for Warrant of Control.