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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: CCP: general: supervisory reviews - considerations

The following is a guide to what to look for when reviewing a case and can be used by any officer involved in county court work.

The guidance is presented as a series of questions.

Whilst the review is aimed at checking how well particular cases are worked, you should always consider the case as a whole.



Is the total debt owing, including linked items, clearly shown?

Is there up to date and comprehensive information about the debtor’s means and circumstances?

Is the information in the file easy to find?

Has the best use been made of opportunities to obtain information from the debtor

  • by phone
  • by personal call
  • at court hearings
  • at interviews?

Are the right questions asked and are the debtor’s answers challenged?

Have Customer Ops been consulted for information on either the debt or the debtor?

Where appropriate have employers or contractors been approached to confirm pay and tax details?

Examination of all cases

Check the total amount owed, including the linked items not subject to judgment

How long will it take for the whole debt to clear?

Is liability (including interest) accruing faster than it is clearing?

Consider alternative recovery methods for linked items such as:

  • distraint
  • bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings.

Court hearings

Where a hearing is imminent:

  • has a RP check been completed prior to the hearing
  • is all the information ready
  • are all necessary documents there for example certificates of debt
  • is the claimant aware of what is expected of them?

Where a hearing has taken place:

  • are reports of hearings adequate
  • are results of hearings quickly followed up
  • is the information clearly recorded in the file
  • has any information been interpreted properly
  • are the debtor’s circumstances monitored for changes (for example, loan paid up)?

Enforcement of judgment

Is the enforcement strategy clearly shown?

Was the decision as to how to enforce judgment made at the appropriate level?

Is full use made of the information known about the debtor to inform the decision on enforcement?

Have appropriate enquires been made to obtain full information about the debtor?

Are staff and managers aware of all the enforcement methods open to them?

Are enforcement methods varied as the debtor’s circumstances change?

Following up enforcement

Are actions monitored and delays avoided?

Are the court bailiffs informed of effects in warrant of execution cases?

In AEO cases are salaries monitored regularly by reference to the employer and application made to increase orders as appropriate?

Are the debtor’s circumstances reviewed at regular intervals?


Does the review highlight a training need?

Review programme

Is there a review programme in place?

Are reviews thorough, constructive, helpful, recorded clearly in the file, and acted upon where necessary?