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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Debt and return pursuit: tax credits overpayments: household breakdown cases: enforcement

Enforcement

If court action becomes necessary, you must start any actions manually rather than through the County Court Bulk Centre.

You should:

  • start two separate court actions for the remaining separate balances of each defaulting debtor’s share of the debt, as appropriate
  • update IDMS to reflect the respective amount(s) of debt(s) and debtor(s) being pursued.

Note: Remember that where one of the defaulters is unable to repay their share of the debt, for example due to hardship, you should only start an action against the other defaulter for their own share of the debt; not the entire debt.

Enforcement action already commenced

Where county court action was commenced prior to the policy change implemented on 21 September 2009 (see DMBM555410), whether or not judgment has been entered, you should continue the action for the amounts already entered into court. You should remember that legally the debts are recoverable from both defendants jointly and severally and that the 50/50 rule described in this guidance does not affect the legal status of the debt.

The 50/50 rule does not apply to these cases, but, if, exceptionally, either a defendant or the court queries a case in writing, specifically citing the 50/50 rule, you should

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