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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

CCP: Writs of fi fa: Writs of fi fa

A writ of fi fa (short for the Latin term fieri facias) is the High Court equivalent of a warrant of execution. It is an order to the Authorised High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) to levy, remove and sell the goods of the judgment debtor to satisfy the judgment debt.

A writ of fi fa can only be issued for the full amount of the judgment debt, and must be for at least £600.00.

HCEOs operate differently from county court bailiffs as the following table illustrates.

County court bailiff Authorised High Court Enforcement Officer
Will tell the judgment debtor in advance of their intention to levy No notice is given
Attends 10am - 4pm on weekdays only Will make at least 3 attempts to contact the judgment debtor, including early and late visits on any day of the week
A fee of £20 (fee 12.2) is payable if the warrant of execution is to be executed at a new address Will pursue the judgment debtor at other addresses within the county boundary at no extra cost. The HCEO can force entry into commercial properties, including shops
Is a salaried public sector employee Is in the private sector and paid by results
Can only execute a warrant for less than £5,000 Writs of fi fa have no upper limit