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ICM highlights concerns over mediation in latest MOJ consultation

6 July 2011

The Institute of Credit Management (ICM) has welcomed proposals to shake up the process of solving disputes in the County Courts but highlighted specific concerns over the role of mediation.

Responding to the Ministry of Justice Consultation: Solving Disputes in the County Courts, Philip King, Chief Executive of the ICM says that some of the proposals somehow miss the mark: “What is the point,” he says, “in automatically referring all claims to mediation?

“If the debt is undisputed, what is there to mediate? The only conversation there needs to be is how the debt is going to be settled!”

Mr King is also scathing of the plan to define a threshold below which a creditor could not enforce a Charging Order for sale for debts: “This is clearly an area that requires further thought,” he says. “Imposing thresholds and limits are both unnecessary and pointless. It is a judge who determines whether to grant an Order for sale, and a threshold can’t make a decision in the way that a judge can.”

There was a broad welcome, however, for the proposal to extend the authority of the court judgement order to enable creditors to apply directly to a third party without further need to apply back to the court: “This is more commendable,” he says.

“Allowing creditors to apply straight to a third party enforcement provider would be a welcome step forward. Going back to Court after already obtaining a judgement order only results in unnecessary delays.”

The Ministry of Justice consultation was open to business leaders and stakeholders across the UK, and closes on June 30 2011, with the responses to be published in October 2011: “As the largest credit management organisation in Europe and the second largest in the world, it was thoroughly appropriate that the views of our Members was properly and forcefully expressed,” My King concludes.

“We now await the results of the next stage of the consultation process with interest.”