FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers you may find useful.

General

Why have I heard from Jacobs?

We receive our instruction from Councils to collect unpaid Council Tax, Business Rates, Parking Fines, Commercial Rent arrears, Former Tenant arrears, Housing Benefit Overpayments, Sundry Debts (and associated High Court enforcement). We receive our instruction from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), for enforcement services in relation to the collection of financial impositions and Community Penalty Breach Warrants. The Court fines we enforce are:

  • Warrants of Control (for unpaid financial impositions)
  • Arrest Warrants (Bail, No Bail, Breach and Committal)
  • Compensation and Confiscation Orders

You have been issued a number of reminders and other notices, along with opportunities for challenges, before the debt progressed to the point of being sent to us.

What steps will Jacobs take to collect the debt?

Most debts we collect will enter the Compliance stage whereby we will make several attempts to contact you by letter, phone, email and SMS, to negotiate the repayment of your debt. A charge of £75.00 will be incurred when the first Notice of Enforcement is issued to you.

If we are unsuccessful the debt will escalate to Enforcement stage during which an Enforcement Agent will visit your property to collect full payment or to assess your valuables for removal at auction. A fee of at least £235.00 will be charged on their first visit.

Your debt could reach Sale stage if you do not cooperate with us and agree payment. This is where we will arrange to remove valuables (vehicle and/or household goods) for sale at auction to raise the funds to clear your debt. This stage costs an additional minimum of £110.00.

The best thing to do is to contact us, immediately, so that we can discuss the matter and try to reach a mutually beneficial arrangement. It’s important that you contact us to prevent further action taking place and additional fees being added to your debt.

What is the difference between an Enforcement Agent, Arrest Officer and Debt Collector?

An Enforcement Agent will visit in order to execute Liability Orders/Warrants of Control for unpaid Council Tax, Business Rates, Parking & Bus Lane PCN and Magistrates Court fines.

An Arrest Officer will visit in order to execute Arrest Warrants with Bail and Without Bail, Breach and Committal, Community Penalty Breach Warrants and execute Compensation and Confiscation orders issued by the court.

A Debt Collector will visit in order to collect unpaid Sundry Debts, Housing Benefit Overpayments and Former Tenant arrears.

What fees do I have to pay?

StageFeeNote
Compliance£75.00Charged once the Notice of Enforcement is issued to you. This is charged per debt.
Enforcement£235.00Charged once an Enforcement Agent visits you. If your debt is over £1,500 the fee will be higher as an additional 7.5% is charged of the difference over £1,500. For example if your debt is £2,000 the fee would be £235.00 + 7.5% of £500 = £272.50, which is then rounded up to the nearest pound, therefore £273.00.
Sale£110.00Charged once we have taken control of your goods and attended to remove them. If your debt is over £1,500 the fee will be higher as an additional 7.5% is charged of the difference over £1,500. For example if your debt is £2,000 the fee would be £110.00 + 7.5% of £500 = £147.50, which is then rounded up to the nearest pound, therefore £148.00.

Note: These fees are chargeable in respect of Liability orders for unpaid Council Tax and Business Rates, Warrants for unpaid Parking/Bus Lane Penalty Charge Notices and Warrants of Control for unpaid Court fines.

How long will I get to pay?

If you are unable to pay the debt in full, we may be able to offer you an arrangement to pay by instalments. This will depend on our Clients’ guidelines and your income, so you will need to provide us with some details about your employment along with evidence such as recent payslips or bank statements.

If you are in receipt of benefits, we will require proof of your entitlement in order for you to potentially qualify for a reduced arrangement.

Where can I get free and impartial advice?

Jacobs work alongside a number of local and national organisations who offer free and impartial debt advice.

Take our 60-second debt test.

Here are some organisations you can contact for help:

Citizens Advice

0800 144 8848 – (Adviceline (England))

0800 702 2020 – (Adviceline (Wales))

www.citizensadvice.org.uk

National Debtline

0808 808 4000

www.nationaldebtline.org

Money Helper

0800 138 7777

www.moneyhelper.org.uk

Step Change Debt Charity

0800 138 111

www.stepchange.org

What do I need to do if I think I don’t owe the debt?

Contact us right away and explain to us why you don’t think you owe the money. Do not ignore the situation in the hope it will go away.

We can contact our client on your behalf to get answers to any queries you have and to verify that the debt is correct. Please be aware that you may still be liable for any fees already incurred by us.

In respect of Court fines (Warrants of Control) if you believe that this Warrant has been issued incorrectly and you do not owe the debt outstanding you must contact the court directly to discuss this. Please note that we will continue to enforce the Warrant until such time the court withdraws the Warrant or payment in full is made.

What do I need to do if I have received a letter for somebody who doesn’t live at my address?

Contact us right away or telephone the Enforcement Agent, Arrest Officer or Debt Collector directly if you have received a hand delivered letter. We will need you to supply proof of your residency e.g. a recent utility bill, in order for our records to be updated and for our tracing process to begin.

If you know the debtor we would ask that you provide us with their forwarding address or that you ask him/her to contact us directly.

I forgot to make my agreed payment, what is going to happen?

You need to call us right away so that we can review your case and see what the next steps are. It may be that we can reinstate your arrangement once you have paid the arrears, but we will inform you of the next steps when you call.

The worst thing you can do is ignore us as this could result in your debt escalating and further charges being incurred.

My circumstances have changed and I can’t afford the repayments I agreed to make

Get in touch with us so that we can update your details and see whether we can renegotiate your payments. We will need to complete a Financial Statement with you and we may need to ask for proof of your income.

I have received a hand delivered letter from an Enforcement Agent, what should I do?

Call them right away on the mobile number on the letter.

An Enforcement Agent’s job is to collect the full amount or to remove goods for sale at auction. They may be able to allow you some time to raise the funds. You are best arranging a convenient time for the Agent to revisit you to discuss your options.

I have received a hand delivered letter from an Arrest Officer, what should I do?

Call them right away on the mobile number on the letter.

An Arrest Officer’s job is to collect the full amount owed or to execute the Arrest Warrant. If it is in respect of a Financial Arrest Warrant they may be able to allow you a short time to raise the funds otherwise it is best arranging a convenient time for the Officer to revisit you to discuss your options.

The Enforcement Agent is planning to remove my goods how can I avoid this?

Removing goods is the last thing we want to do, but if your debt has reached removal / Sale stage it is because you have either not contacted us to arrange repayments or because you have defaulted on agreed payments.

The Enforcement Agent in charge will always assess your circumstances to ensure there are no other suitable options before proceeding with a removal. Please speak to the Agent as a matter of urgency.

How can I make a complaint about Jacobs?

We are committed to getting things right and any complaints received are treated very seriously.

If you would like to lodge a formal complaint you can do so by email to [email protected] or by post to Jacobs 6 Europa Boulevard, Birkenhead, Wirral CH41 4PE.

All complaints will be acknowledged within 2 days and a full response will be issued within 10 working days. Our response will also be shared with the client as we are acting on their behalf.

If you wish to see full details please refer to our Complaints Handling Policy.

Warrants of Control – Magistrates Court Fines

What is the fine for I do not know what it is about?

A Warrant has been issued following non-payment of a fine that was imposed on you by the criminal courts. Details of the court that issued the fine, the court reference and hearing date(s) are detailed on all of the letters Jacobs have sent to you.

If you believe that this Warrant has been issued incorrectly and you do not owe the debt outstanding you must contact the Magistrates court directly to discuss this. Please note that we will continue to enforce the Warrant until such time the court withdraws the Warrant or payment in full is made.

What does Forced Entry mean?

If you fail to pay or communicate with us in order to resolve this matter, we may apply under Paragraph 17 of Schedule 12 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 to enter your property, BY FORCE, using locksmiths where required, to execute a Magistrates’ Court Warrant and seize goods to cover the balance outstanding.

I have received a notice advising that you will apply to force entry into my property, how can I stop this?

Please contact us immediately to avoid further costs and forced entry action.

A Warrant of Control has been issued by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) following non-payment of a criminal fine. We have sent a number of letters, emails, SMS to you and our Enforcement Agents have attended your property in an attempt to resolve this matter.

We are required to recover the sums outstanding, or take control of your goods using forced entry if necessary if you continue to ignore our payment requests. If you cannot pay in full immediately we may be able to agree a payment arrangement to clear this debt.

Please be aware that we may also refer this matter back to the court for consideration of issuing a Warrant for your arrest.

Financial Arrest Warrants

I have received notification that there is a warrant for my arrest, what shall I do?

A Warrant for your immediate arrest has been issued by the criminal courts and sent to us for execution. The only way to avoid arrest is to pay the outstanding amount in full either online, via our automated 24 hour telephone payment line or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If you are unable to pay in full contact our Enforcement Team immediately to agree a date for you to attend court voluntarily.

If you do not pay or contact us an Arrest Officer will attend your property to arrest and transport you to court. Please note that an Arrest Officer may enforce this Warrant anywhere (e.g. public place, place of employment) at any time.

If you are arrested outside of court hours you may be detained overnight in police custody until the court is available to hear the matter.

I cannot afford to pay in full immediately; can I agree to pay by instalments?

No, the Warrant requires you to be arrested if you fail to pay the amount owing in full. However, there are other ways this matter can be resolved:

  • You can pay 50% of the debt to us and you can then apply to the court to pay the balance by instalments direct to them

The 50% payment must be made before you make your application via us to be presented to the court. If you wish to do this please contact us. Please note that if the court refuses the application a further Warrant for your arrest will be sent to us for immediate execution.

Note: This option is only available if you have not previously broken a payment agreement with the court regarding this Warrant and only if the Warrant is not a Breach Warrant, Warrant of Commitment or Committal to Custody Overnight in a Police Station.

  • If you are employed or in receipt of benefits you can make a payment off the debt to us and you can then apply to the court to pay the balance by instalments direct to them through Deduction of Benefits or Attachment of Earnings

The part payment must be made before you make your application via us to be presented to the court. If you wish to do this please contact us. Please note that if the court refuses the application a further Warrant for your arrest will be sent to us for immediate execution.

Note: This option is only available if you have not previously broken a payment agreement with the court regarding this Warrant and only if the Warrant is not a Breach Warrant, Warrant of Commitment or Committal to Custody Overnight in a Police Station.

  • You can agree to voluntarily attend court on a fixed date – Planned Surrender

If you wish to do this please contact us.

Note: If you fail to attend a planned surrender date a further Arrest Warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest and your non-attendance will be taken into consideration by the court when making any further orders.

I cannot pay, how can I avoid being arrested?

The Warrant requires you to be arrested if you fail to pay the amount owing in full. However there are other ways this matter can be resolved:

  • You can pay 50% of the debt to us and you can then apply to the court to pay the balance by instalments direct to them

The 50% payment must be made before you make your application via us to be presented to the court. If you wish to do this please contact us. Please note that if the court refuses the application a further Warrant for your arrest will be sent to us for immediate execution.

Note: This option is only available if you have not previously broken a payment agreement with the court regarding this Warrant and only if the Warrant is not a Breach Warrant, Warrant of Commitment or Committal to Custody Overnight in a Police Station.

  • If you are employed or in receipt of benefits you can make a payment off the debt to us and you can then apply to the court to pay the balance by instalments direct to them through Deduction of Benefits or Attachment of Earnings

The part payment must be made before you make your application via us to be presented to the court. If you wish to do this please contact us. Please note that if the court refuses the application a further Warrant for your arrest will be sent to us for immediate execution.

Note: This option is only available if you have not previously broken a payment agreement with the court regarding this Warrant and only if the Warrant is not a Breach Warrant, Warrant of Commitment or Committal to Custody Overnight in a Police Station.

  • You can agree to voluntarily attend court on a fixed date – Planned Surrender

If you cannot pay the amount on the Warrant in full you can still avoid arrest and transportation to Court by contacting the Arrest Officers or Enforcement Team to arrange to attend court yourself at a date and time to be agreed. If you wish to do this please contact us.

Note: If you fail to attend a planned surrender date a further Arrest Warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest and your non-attendance will be taken into consideration by the court when making any further orders.

I cannot attend the court date I agreed to attend, what shall I do?

If you fail to attend the court date as agreed it may negatively influence the decision of the court when making any order against you. It is therefore an utmost priority that you attend. If you cannot attend due to unforeseen circumstances which cannot be avoided (e.g., illness, Covid-19 self-isolation) then please contact us immediately.

How can I stop being arrested where there is a commitment warrant/committal to custody order issued?

A Warrant for your immediate arrest has been issued by the criminal courts and sent to us for execution. The only way to avoid arrest is to pay the outstanding amount in full either online, via our automated 24 hour telephone payment line or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If your circumstances have changed since the Warrant was issued you can be taken back before the court for them to re-consider whether immediate imprisonment remains appropriate.

Where can I be arrested?

You can be arrested anywhere in England and Wales. This can be are your home, place of employment, whilst visiting a friend, at your children’s school, in the local pub or whilst shopping etc.

Arrest Officers will make every effort to be discreet and avoid sensitive locations for arrest however if you consistently refuse to engage with us they are required to arrest you on sight regardless of location.

What does ‘circulated to the police’ mean?

Details of the Warrant have been added to the Police National Computer system. This means that the Police as well as Jacobs Arrest Officers have been requested to arrest you and bring you before the court.

The Police can arrest and detain you during any routine checks or enquiries they may make including at airports when departing or arriving.

When can I be arrested?

You can be arrested and detained when executing a Financial Arrest Warrant at any time. If you are arrested outside of court hours you may be held in police custody until a court is available to hear the matter.

What does Forced Entry mean?

If you fail to engage with us to agree your attendance at court and actively avoid arrest, as Approved Enforcement Agents, we have the power to force entry and search property and/or premises under the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980, Schedule 4a.

If we are required to use force to execute the Warrant this will be taken into consideration by the court when it considers any further orders it makes against you.

Community Penalty Breach Warrants

I do not know what this is about

This Warrant has been issued by HMCTS on behalf of the Probation Service or Young Offenders Service. Details of the court that issued the fine, the court reference and hearing date(s) are detailed on all of the letters Jacobs have sent to you.

If you believe that this Warrant has been issued incorrectly you must contact the Magistrates court directly to discuss this. Please note that we will continue to enforce the Warrant until such time the court withdraws the Warrant or you appear before the court.

How can I avoid arrest?

The Breach Warrant requires your attendance at court and has been circulated to the Police who may arrest you on sight or during any routine checks.

To avoid immediate arrest, you must contact us straight away. If you do so we can book a court, date and time for you to attend court voluntarily. Please be aware that if you fail to attend a planned surrender date a further Warrant will be issued for your immediate arrest and your non-attendance will be taken into consideration by the court when making any further orders against you.

I cannot attend the court date I agreed, what should I do?

If you fail to attend the court date as agreed it may negatively influence the decision of the court when making any order against you. It is therefore an utmost priority that you attend. If you cannot attend due to unforeseen circumstances which cannot be avoided (e.g. illness, Covid-19 self-isolation) then please contact us immediately.

Where can I be arrested?

You can be arrested anywhere in England and Wales. This can be at your home, place of employment, whilst visiting a friend, at your children’s school, in the local pub or whilst shopping etc.

Arrest Officers will make every effort to be discreet and avoid sensitive locations for arrest however if you consistently refuse to engage with us they are required to arrest you on sight regardless of location.

What happens if I refuse to agree a date to attend court?

An Arrest Officer will attend your address and any other location you are associated with for example place of employment, local gym to arrest and transport you to prison.

Breach Warrants do not expire and both the Police and Jacobs Arrest Officers will continue to enforce the Warrant until your attendance at court is confirmed or the court withdraws the Warrant.

What does ‘circulated to the police’ mean?

Details of the Warrant have been added to the Police National Computer system. This means that the Police as well as Jacobs Arrest Officers have been requested to arrest you and bring you before the court.

The Police can arrest and detain you during any routine checks or enquiries they may make including at airports when departing or arriving.

When can I be arrested?

You can be arrested and detailed under a Breach Warrant at any time. If you are arrested outside of court hours you may be held in police custody until a court is available to hear the matter.

What does Forced Entry mean?

If you fail to engage with us to agree your attendance at court and actively avoid arrest, as Approved Enforcement Agents, we have the power to force entry and search property and/or premises under the Magistrates Courts Act 1980, Schedule 4a.

If we are required to use force to execute the Warrant this will be taken into consideration by the court when it considers any further orders it makes against you.

Commitment Warrants

What is a Commitment Warrant?

The court has imposed a term of imprisonment at a court hearing in your absence and issued a Warrant to Jacobs Arrest Officers to execute by arresting you and transporting you to the Prison directed on the Warrant.

You can avoid arrest and transportation to prison by immediately paying the outstanding amount in full either online, via our automated 24 hour telephone payment line or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If you cannot pay in full you must contact the Arrest Officer and/or Enforcement Team to arrange for a voluntary surrender for us to meet you at home and execute the Warrant and transport you to prison.

If your circumstances have changed since the Warrant was issued you can be taken back before the court for them to re-consider whether immediate imprisonment remains appropriate. Please note that we will continue to execute the Warrant until we are instructed otherwise by the court.

How can I stop being arrested where there is a Commitment Warrant issued?

A Warrant for your immediate arrest has been issued by the criminal courts and sent to us for execution. The only way to avoid arrest is to pay the outstanding amount in full either online or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If your circumstances have changed since the Warrant was issued you can be taken back before the court for them to re-consider whether immediate imprisonment remains appropriate.

Where can I be arrested?

You can be arrested anywhere in England and Wales. This can be at your home, place of employment, whilst visiting a friend, at your children’s school, in the local pub or whilst shopping etc.

Arrest Officers will make every effort to be discreet and avoid sensitive locations for arrest however if you consistently refuse to engage with us they are required to arrest you on sight regardless of location.

What does Forced Entry mean?

If you fail to engage with us and actively avoid arrest, as Approved Enforcement Agents, we have the power to force entry and search property and/or premises under the Magistrates Courts Act 1980, Schedule 4a.

What does ‘circulated to the police’ mean?

Details of the Commitment Warrant have been added to the Police National Computer system. This means that the Police as well as Jacobs Arrest Officers have been requested to arrest you and transport to prison.

The Police can arrest and detain you during any routine checks or enquiries they may make including at airports when departing or arriving.

Committal to Custody Overnight Warrants

What is a Committal to Custody Overnight Warrant?

The court has issued a Warrant for you to be arrested and transported to a police station and held in custody overnight.

You can avoid arrest and transportation to police station custody by immediately paying the outstanding amount in full either online, via our automated 24 hour telephone payment line or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If you cannot pay in full you must contact the Arrest Officer and/or Enforcement Team to arrange for a voluntary surrender for us to meet you at home to execute the Warrant and transport you to police custody.

If your circumstances have changed since the Warrant was issued you can be taken back before the court for them to re-consider whether immediate custody overnight remains appropriate. Please note that we will continue to execute the Warrant until we are instructed otherwise by the court.

How can I stop being arrested where there is a committal to custody order issued?

A Warrant for your immediate arrest has been issued by the criminal courts and sent to us for execution. The only way to avoid arrest is to pay the outstanding amount in full either online, via our automated 24 hour telephone payment line or by contacting us to make payment in full.

If your circumstances have changed since the Warrant was issued you can be taken back before the court for them to re-consider whether immediate custody to a police station overnight remains appropriate.

Where can I be arrested?

You can be arrested anywhere in England and Wales. This can be are your home, place of employment, whilst visiting a friend, at your children’s school, in the local pub or whilst shopping etc.

Arrest Officers will make every effort to be discreet and avoid sensitive locations for arrest however if you consistently refuse to engage with us they are required to arrest you on sight regardless of location.

What does Forced Entry mean?

If you fail to engage with us and actively avoid arrest, as Approved Enforcement Agents, we have the power to force entry and search property and/or premises under the Magistrates Courts Act 1980, Schedule 4a. In such circumstances we will apply to the court for authority to take such action and use locksmiths to enter a property where we believe you are present.

What does ‘circulated to the police’ mean?

Details of the Commitment Warrant have been added to the Police National Computer system. This means that the Police as well as Jacobs Arrest Officers have been requested to arrest you and transport to prison.

The Police can arrest and detain you during any routine checks or enquiries they may make including at airports when departing or arriving.