HL Deb 13 February 1992 vol 535 cc35-6WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What they propose to do in relation to the lack of regulations over some private bailiffs who enforce judgments and orders by the seizure and sale of property.

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern)

The right of a creditor to seize and sell a debtor's property to enforce a judgment or order is an important remedy which requires a difficult balance to be struck between the interests of creditors and debtors. This is not easy to achieve, whether enforcement be by sheriffs, county court bailiffs, certificated bailiffs, or other private bailiffs. I am currently conducting a review of the organisation and management of these civil enforcement agents and I hope to publish a consultation paper later this year. The terms of reference of the review are, to consider:

  1. (a) whether changes should be made to the organisation and management of agents involved in the civil enforcement process;
  2. (b) the part which the state should play in the organisation and management of enforcement agents;
  3. (c) the ways in which any changes to the organisation and management of enforcement agents could be achieved;
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  5. (d) whether any changes to the law governing the work of enforcement agents are necessary or desirable.

I envisage a three month consultation period during which I hope to obtain a wide spectrum of views. Any changes the Government decide to make as a result of the review are likely to involve legislation.