Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: What is the recovery process under TCE?
A: The TCE introduced two processes, one for High Court Writs and one for all other cases – the latter process being named a "Warrant of Control". In non High Court enforcement there are 3 distinct stages:
In High Court there is an additional enforcement stage
- Compliance Stage
- Enforcement Stage
- Sale Stage
- Q: Who/what is a Certificated Enforcement Agent (EA)?
A: An enforcement agent is an individual authorised under s64 Tribunals Courts & Enforcement Act 2007 who acts on behalf of Local Authorities or Magistrate Courts enforcing unpaid Council Tax and Business Rates Liability Orders, Warrants for unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notices and Warrants for unpaid Court fines.
- Q: Why has an Enforcement Agent visited my property?
A: The Enforcement Agent has visited your property on the instruction of a Local Authority. Their visit relates to an instruction passed to them by a Local Authority to collect an Unpaid Parking Penalty Charge Notice a Liability Order for non-payment of Council Tax or Business Rates or another form of debt owed to a Local Authority.
- Q: What should I do next?
A: If you have had a visit from a Enforcement Agent, you should speak with them as soon as possible to discuss setting up a suitable payment arrangement to clear your debt.
If you were not present when the Enforcement Agent visited your property and you have received a letter marked for your attention, you should contact the Enforcement Agent immediately to discuss your case.
- Q: What should I do if I have received a letter or notice from Phoenix, however the person named on the letter or notice has no connection or relationship to me?
A: If you have received a letter or notice from Phoenix, however the person named on the letter has no connection or relation to you, please click here
It is important that you do not delay contacting Phoenix, as a failure to do so may result in our continued recovery action or additional letters being sent to your property.
- Q: What are my options, if I cannot afford to pay my debt in full?
A: Phoenix is committed to working with you to achieve a realistic settlement of your debt. If you cannot afford to pay your debt in full, you must contact us immediately to discuss the payment options available to you. We can offer flexible payment arrangements, which are determined by the guidelines specified by our Clients. Payment arrangements are discretionary and will only be entered into subject to the arrangement being maintained.
- Q: What can I do if my payment arrangement offer is not accepted?
A: The terms for accepting payment arrangements are determined by our Client’s guidelines. In most cases, we can only enter into short term payment arrangements and in certain circumstances we may be restricted and cannot accept a proposed offer of payment. Depending on the circumstances of your case and the stage that your case has reached in the collection and enforcement process, we may be unable to enter into an arrangement with you and you will be required to communicate directly with the Enforcement Agent.
- Q: What can I do, if I dispute the amount that they claim I owe?
A: Should you dispute the validity of a debt or the amount owed, you must either speak with Phoenix or our the Council that the debt is for to establish the facts surrounding the debt owed. If you claim to have paid the debt in full, then you must provide ‘proof of payment’ to verify that the debt has been paid.
- Q: What will/can happen if I refuse to pay?
A: Your continued failure to acknowledge our requests for payment could result in enforcement action which may involve a Enforcement Agent seizing and removing your goods which may be sold at public auction to recover the sum due. Additionally, you may also incur additional costs.
- Q: What if I pay the original debt amount, can the EA enforce for their fees?
A: Yes, the sum outstanding once the case is issued to an enforcement agent, is the value of the original debt and the costs. In order to pay in full, both elements must be paid.
- Q: Who can I contact if I am experiencing financial difficulties?
A: Please click here or navigate to the ‘Debt Advice’ tab displayed at the top of the page for a list of organisations that can assist you with free professional confidential advice.
- Q: How can I make a Complaint?
A: At Phoenix, it is our aim to provide exceptional levels of customer care and service, however on occasion we may sometimes get things wrong. We view a complaint as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right.
We treat complaints very seriously and by informing of where you believe that we have fallen short of expectations, you can help us to put things right and ensure that a suitable and appropriate resolution is found.
If you are dissatisfied with the level of service that you have received from a member of staff or alternatively your complaint may relate to another matter concerning your account, please click here.
- Q: What should I do if I miss an agreed payment date?
A: In the event that you miss a payment date or deadline, you should contact our office immediately to explain the reasons surrounding the missed/late payment. Our Call Centre operators are there to help you and are committed to working with you to achieve a realistic settlement of your debt.
- Q: Do Phoenix Enforcement Agents adhere to a Code of Conduct?
A: Yes, we support the Civil Enforcement Association’s (CIVEA) Code of Practice, which can be found at www.civea.co.uk
- Q: Who is Phoenix's governing body?
A: Phoenix's governing body is the Civil Enforcement Association (CIVEA). Please note that CIVEA as an association does not give advice to members of the public. The association does, however, encourage members of the public to seek further advice from a recognised local or national advice agency or a qualified legal practitioner.
- Q: Can my property be entered?
A: Yes. The TCE provides a statutory right to enter your property to search for goods to take control of. The Act authorises entry to multiple premises and re-entry to inspect goods that have been taken control of. Entry can be gained by a door or usual means.
- Q: Does an EA have to carry a warrant when enforcing a case?
A: An EA is not required to have possession of an actual Warrant at the time of enforcement. This is quite different to a Police search warrant for example, where the actual warrant must be present.
Enforcement Agents must carry their Certificate and an authority from the relevant local authority to execute warrants that originate from a liability order. In all other cases only the Certificate is required.
- Q: What are my rights when an Enforcement Agent visits my property?
A: Information about what you can do when an Enforcement Agent visits your property can be found on the UK Government’s website at www.gov.uk/your-rights-bailiffs/what-you-can-do-when-a-bailiff-visits