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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: distraint: after the levy: bills of sale

Claims that goods are subject to a Bill of Sale

Sometimes ownership of goods can be transferred to a third party but possession remains with the seller as security until it is paid for and this fact is recorded on a ‘Bill of Sale’. Bills of sale must be registered under the Bills of Sale (1878) Amendment Act 1882 with the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Queen’s Bench.

Debtors will sometimes allege that property on which you have distrained (often a vehicle) has been sold to a third party but they still have the use of the asset until it is fully paid for. You should ask for documentary proof that the agreement has been registered under the Act.

In cases of doubt, ensure that you have a copy of the alleged Bill of Sale and seek advice from your manager.