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News for Members

29 September 2017

New Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims - Reminder

This is important information for any CCA member contemplating court action to recover a debt.

After lengthy consultation, a new Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims has now been finalised for full implementation on 1 October 2017. The Protocol is made by the Master of the Rolls as Head of Civil Justice.

Any CCA member contemplating taking court action should note that the Protocol sets out the steps the court will normally expect parties to take before commencing court proceedings.  However, since home credit firms have a direct relationship with their customers and always endeavour to engage early with those  who encounter unexpected financial difficulty, the necessity for court action will only apply in very small proportion of default cases.

The general culture of home credit means that firms seek to avoid litigation wherever possible and to institute forbearance measures, such as agreeing a payment plan, instead. In the very limited circumstances where court action is appropriate it should be noted that the Protocol firmly states:

“If a matter proceeds to litigation, the court will expect the parties to have complied with this Protocol. The court will take into account non-compliance when giving directions for the management of proceedings.” 

In summary, the aims of the Protocol are to:

a)    encourage early engagement and communication between the parties, including determining whether there are any issues in dispute
b)    assist the parties to resolve matters without going to court, for example, by agreeing a repayment plan
c)    encourage the parties to act in a reasonable and proportionate manner in all dealings with one another, and to
d)    support the efficient management of proceedings that cannot be avoided.

The Protocol lays out the procedures to be followed, the content and format of the documents to be raised and the timescales that adhere to them.  The full Protocol can be accessed at the following address:

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/pre-action-protocol-for-debt-claims.pdf

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