Costs saving changes to help creditors obtain charging orders
Wednesday 22nd June 2016
Changes to the Civil Procedure Rules in April 2016 saw a radical shake-up in the procedure for obtaining Charging Orders.
The ever audible sighs of creditors battling with court delays, irked defendants and having to attend hearings (often lasting a matter of minutes) have, it appears, at last been heard. The more cynical view is that the changes have come about to save the courts’ costs of judges hearing the cases.
A new, clearer application form has emerged, refining and centralising the overall process, in an attempt to minimise court time and, crucially, reducing the need for attendance at court.
All applications are now sent to a central hub, namely the County Court Money Claims Centre. A straightforward application will no longer require a hearing to grant the Final Charging Order which in turn will have an immediate impact on the overall cost of the process. Only if the court considers the facts of the case are complex, or the application is objected to by the Debtor, will it be referred to a Judge for directions and/or a hearing.
Provided that the application has been approved, by way of issue of an Interim Charging Order, the Defendant will have 28 days to respond to the Interim Order, after which, the case will be reviewed by the Judge and the Final Charging Order granted, all without the time-intensive and financial burden of a hearing.
A centralised Court system will inevitably bring a speedier, more efficient service with fewer additional costs to the creditor. Alongside these advantages, inconsistencies between the courts when considering applications will no doubt be flushed out as well as a marked reduction in unnecessary hearings.