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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: county court proceedings: administration orders: reviewing the AO

Timing of review

The court may review an AO

  • where this was provided for in the original order
  • if it decides to do so
  • on application by the debtor
  • on application by a scheduled creditor.

Make sure that you liase closely with the court to avoid the possibility of a review taking place without your knowledge.

Whether or not the court give any direction for review you should review each AO case periodically and consider whether an application for a review hearing would be worthwhile, that is would it produce an increased rate of payment.

Evidence of means

Where you believe that the debtor’s circumstances may have improved, you will require up to date evidence of means either from form 36A (obtainable from SEES), or any return of income or information from Customer Ops.

Where a review is specified in the AO, collate any necessary information so that it is available to you at the review hearing.

Approaching the debtor

To avoid allegations of harassment, do not make a direct approach to the debtor unless you also have reason to contact him/her about later arrears.

Applying for a review

If you decide that a review is appropriate and one is not imminent, send a letter to the officer shown on form N94 as conducting the AO giving your reasons for applying for a review and asking the officer to make the necessary approach to the court.

If the court agrees that a review is appropriate continue as shown at DMBM667910.

If the court rejects your application accept that decision without question but consider a further application at a later date if you have sufficient fresh evidence to support it.

Notification of review hearing

The court will normally only send notification of an AO review hearing to a creditor

  • who was present at the original AO hearing
  • whose application for a review has been approved by the court.

When you receive notification of a review hearing, you must attend if you made the application to review. You may also attend if you did not apply for review but have sufficient evidence to seek a variation of the AO.