I'm currently trying to enforce a judgement, but not sure which way to go- as the debtor seems to know what he's doing and is claiming to have no money (despite owning 3 properties and running a business).
Would high court enforcement bailiffs have any extra powers over the county court bailiffs?
Is it true that if they refuse to open the door the bailiffs can't do anything, and they aren't allowed to take possession of a car if they say it is needed to get to work?
Does he have business premises? If so, they can break in there. Homes they can get in if no one is there and a door is locked. Also if you refuse to open the door and talk to them, then you can't rely deny possession of your car.
Debtors have a right to keep tools of their trade. Which might include work vans or whatever, not sure. But having said that, I understand the definition is not very broad at all - for example one thing that some enforcement people do is take computers, which they argue are only tools of the trade if the person is in IT or similar, but in practice for many small businesses losing their computers would shut them down.
They have more power than county court bailiffs, don't have to notify the debtor in advance, and are paid by results, so are more keen.
It depends how much money you're owed, but in the worst case that they are unable to find the debtor and unable to get any money off them, it is £120 down the drain. If you use county court bailiffs, they have a bad reputation for getting money back, and if they fail it is £100 down the drain. For me the extra twenty quid was a no brainer.
Some stuff about them here.
Obviously you have to look at whether the person is actually likely to have the money - if they don't actually have the money, or goods worth that money, then you won't get it back, their 3 properties could be mortgaged up to the hilt, car could be a lease car. But if you think they have the money, it is very very easy to get enforcement done. Once I had the judgement it took me about 30 minutes work filling in forms and chatting on the phone to the person from the enforcement agency, and two weeks later Derby Car Centre had paid me back my money.