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What is a High Court Writ?

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Understanding a High Court Writ of Control

High Court Writs are legal orders made by the court. Landlords sometimes use Writs of Possession to evict tenants, for example, but High Court Writs of Control are widely used by creditors to enforce County Court Judgments (CCJs).

High Court Writs of Control allow High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) to collect an unpaid debt by seizing assets from the debtor’s commercial premises, and selling the goods at auction.

If a business receives this type of Writ it means that HCEOs can force entry to the commercial premises under certain conditions. This is why it’s important to seek professional insolvency assistance as soon as possible.

Speed is of the essence if the High Court has issued a Writ of Control against your company, as you only have seven days in which to act. So what are the effects on a business of a High Court Writ of Control, and can you prevent the seizure of goods?

Ramifications of a High Court Writ of Control

High Court Writs are noted on the Registry Trust for six years, and this negatively affects a business’ ability to obtain borrowing. The total value of seized goods may also exceed the original debt.

This is partly to cover enforcement officer fees, but also because the return from individual goods sold at auction is generally lower than their true value. It’s also worth noting that a High Court Writ of Control typically remains valid for 12 months.

Worried about your Bounce Back Loan?

If you are a limited company director worried about how you are going to repay your Bounce Back Loan, we are here to help. As licensed insolvency practitioners we can talk you through your options when it comes to repaying your outstanding Bounce Back Loan, as well as handling all negotiations with creditors on your behalf. Call our team today on 0800 063 9262 .

What can you do if you receive a High Court Writ of Control?

Repay the debt in full

Repaying the total outstanding debt is the ideal outcome, but your business may not be in a position to do so. If you can pay off the debt within the seven-day timescale, the Writ will no longer be valid.

Repay the debt in instalments

Your creditor(s) may be open to negotiating an instalment plan for repayment of the debt. As long as you keep up the payments, the High Court Enforcement Officers should take no further action.

Apply for a Stay of Execution

If you have good reason, you can apply for a Stay of Execution. This would give you more time to prepare your defence, so what are the common reasons for making this type of application?

  • The debt has already been repaid
  • You weren’t aware of the judgment – perhaps you changed address, for instance
  • High Court Enforcement Officers didn’t serve the Writ in the correct manner

To apply for a Stay of Execution you should send the £100 fee with Form N244,¹ which is downloadable from the government website. You’ll also need to provide written evidence or a witness statement in support of your application.

It’s important to ensure that you have genuine reasons to make this type of application, however, and be able to provide the required supporting documentation

Consider alternative sources of finance to repay the debt

You may be able to source an alternative form of finance that frees up working capital so you can repay the debt. One such example is invoice finance, which leverages the value of your sales ledger to provide advances on unpaid invoices.

Start your online liquidation today

If you have decided liquidation is the right option for your limited company, you can take the first step and begin the process online using our online portal. Starting the process is quick, simple, and can be done at a time that suits you. Your information will be submitted to your local UK Liquidators insolvency practitioner who will be with you every step of the way. Click here to start your company’s liquidation online.

Seek professional support to deal with a High Court Writ

UK Liquidators can help if you’ve been served a High Court Writ of Control. We’ll provide the professional guidance you need, and present all your options going forward. If liquidation is the ultimate outcome, however, it’s essential to be proactive rather than wait for your creditor to forcibly close down the insolvent business.

Please contact our licensed insolvency practitioners to find out more – we offer free, same-day consultations to quickly provide the information you need.

Jonathan Munnery
Insolvency & Restructuring Expert

If you are considering liquidation for your limited company, taking advice from a licensed insolvency practitioner can help you understand your options.

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