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Debt Collection

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 958W, on debt collection, what assessment HM Courts Service made of the risk of persons in debt incurring further debts by charging bailiff payments to credit cards. (286075)

The inclusion of credit card facilities extends the range of options available for payment. Payment routes available elsewhere were considered—there is precedent for the acceptance of credit and debit cards in other areas of public services. In addition, payment by credit card is already well established in many magistrates courts and all fixed penalty offices. Bailiffs operate under well-defined behaviour standards and there are no incentives to favour credit cards over the other current methods of repayment. There are a range of routes available to any debtor who genuinely cannot afford to pay. HM Courts Service is currently evaluating the scheme of taking payments by credit and debit cards. I am awaiting the results of the evaluation.