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Welcome to High Court Enforcement Group LMS


Aspects of Customer Care

Aspects of Customer Care Relevant to an Enforcement Agent


The aspects of customer care will be summarised in the following chapter by way of paragraph headings.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this chapter you will be able to:

identify who the Enforcement Agent’s customers are

describe how an Enforcement Agent can deliver good customer care


Describe the requirements of the National Standards for Enforcement Agents relating to:

professionalism and conduct

complaints and discipline

information and confidentiality

time & hours

vulnerable situations

identify people who might be vulnerable during the enforcement process 

identify actions to take in situations where vulnerable people are involved

describe the Enforcement Agent’s obligations for dealing with real and potential complaints

identify to whom complaints can be escalated


Enforcement agent’s customers

Enforcement agents receive instructions from customers such as creditors or clients who employ enforcement services to recover debt or property; enforcement agents may also conduct evictions and arrest people. However, enforcement agents come into contact with debtors, general public, police, solicitors and other third party public servants such as citizens’ advice, welfare rights, carers and support workers. Enforcement agents, therefore, have a duty regarding standards of behaviour with everyone they come into contact with.


Delivering good customer care

The nature of the work demands that the enforcement agent should adopt a firm but correct attitude with debtors and other people they contact in the course of their duties. Enforcement agents therefore must be polite in their dealings with the public and with debtors and should not react to provocation.


To provide good customer service the enforcement agent should;

Enforcement agents and contractors must be aware that they represent the creditor or client in their dealings with debtors and should act accordingly at all times. When enforcement agents act for creditors the enforcement agents themselves assume the role of a public body and are bound by all the rules of conduct that apply. In addition, local codes of practice or contractual agreements may make further provision on issues of providing good customer service.

Other aspects of providing good customer service ;

undertaking enforcement action within the scope of current legislation.

production of clear relevant and informative case reports, if the defaulting debtor is in employment, information that would enable an attachment of earnings or benefits should be obtained, such as the name of the employer; and if                            unemployed, type of benefit and national insurance number. If the debtor is in business, enquiries may be made to gain an indication of whether the business is trading profitably in case an application by the creditor for insolvency                              proceedings might be appropriate

maintaining an acceptable and professional standard of dress

bringing to the attention of the creditor/client, debtors which are felt to be inappropriate for the taking control of goods procedure in accordance with any agreed guidelines and to seek further instructions

prompt and regular handover of payments received

on returning any cases where the taking control of goods has not been successful, will report the reason(s), together with any other relevant information

ensuring that all information coming into the enforcement agent’s possession during the performance of the contract is treated as strictly confidential and is not to be used for any purpose other than performance of the contract

handling personal data in strict accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998

undertaking to process all instructions received within a timely manner

to account for monies and return all abortive /withdrawn instructions promptly in accordance with the contract

to allow reasonable access for clients to the records of accounts relating to their debtors.

to make available to clients, on request, all correspondence and communications relating to debtors, and any supporting documents, records or information

to hold professional indemnity insurance up to a sum acceptable to the client to cover the acts and omissions of its employee or contractors. The enforcement agent firm where relevant must be able to satisfy the client that such insurance            is up to date at all times.

National Standards for Enforcement Agents (NSEA)

National standards were introduced in 2002, updated in 2012 and finalised in 2014, they are intended for use by all enforcement agents, public and private, the enforcement agencies that employ them and the major creditors who use their services. National standards established a set of common standards to cover enforcement activity supporting the underpinning legislation. This national guidance does not replace local agreements, existing agency codes of practice or legislation; rather it sets out what the Ministry of Justice, those in the industry and some major users regard as minimum standards. National standards are;

not legally binding

a tool for the enforcement industry and for creditors to benchmark their professional standards.

Requirements of enforcement agent’s

Professionalism and conduct

It is important that debt enforcement should be seen in a positive light. Enforcement  agents and those working with them should maintain a professional attitude, dress in a business like fashion and conduct themselves properly, giving clear and accurate information to all parties met throughout the process. Other aspects of this standard are but are not restricted to;

Other aspects of this standard are;

act within the law at all times

observe health and safety requirements

maintain strict client confidentiality and comply with data protection legislation

must not be deceitful by misrepresenting their powers or by falsely implying or stating that action has been taken when it has not

must not act in a threatening manner

must act in accordance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010. They must not discriminate unfairly on any grounds including those of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation

Where enforcement agents have identified vulnerable debtors or situations, they should alert the creditor and ensure they act in accordance with all relevant legislation

Enforcement agents must not seek to enforce the recovery of fees where an enforcement power has ceased to be exercisable


Complaints and discipline

Any organisation or company undertaking debt enforcement will be expected to operate a written complaints procedure with which enforcement agents must be fully conversant. Likewise, there should be documented internal procedures and controls to ensure staff compliance and quality of service. Failure to comply with any of these procedures could lead to disciplinary action against the enforcement agent. The complaints procedure should be set out in plain language, have a main point of contact, set time limits for dealing with complaints and an independent appeal process where appropriate. Other aspects of this standard are but are not restricted to;

debtor’s should be able to easily find out how to make a complaint and obstacles should not be placed in their way.

enforcement agents must make available details of their own and the creditor’s complaints procedure on request or when circumstances indicate it would be appropriate to do so.

must make use of the complaints and disciplinary procedures of professional associations such as The Civil Enforcement Association or the High Court Enforcement Officers Association.

complaints should be limited to the actions of the enforcement agent and not the legal process..........................................................................