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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Enforcement action: county court proceedings: reviewing the enforcement strategy: deciding whether to apply for a new or variation order

Applying for a new or variation order for earlier payment

Application for a new order for earlier payment is appropriate only where

  • you have firm evidence of a marked (and sustained) improvement in the judgment debtor’s finances since the date of the original order or
  • you learn that the judgment debtor has income or other resources of which you were previously unaware.

An improvement in the judgment debtor’s finances may result from an increased income, reduced outgoings (for example, clearance of a mortgage, loan or HP commitments) or a combination of both. You should always consider income and outgoings together (an increase in income may be countered by an increase in outgoings) and support any application with evidence, preferably an up-to-date ‘Statement of County Court Judgment Debtor’s Circumstances’.

You should not apply for a new order where

  • the improvement in the judgment debtor’s finances is small in relation to the amount of the debt or is only temporary (for example, due to seasonal work) or
  • the balance of the debt is small and is likely to be cleared in a short time anyway.

Authority for application for a new order

The higher debt manager should, using the above guidelines

  • decide whether to apply for a new order for payment and if so
  • give authority in writing.