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Administration and Enforcement Restriction Orders

Volume 698: debated on Monday 21 January 2008

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

In response to an undertaking given to the Commons committee considering the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA) on 16 January, I published the consultation paper Administration and Enforcement Restriction Orders: Setting the Parameters.

This is a formal consultation exercise undertaken by Her Majesty’s Courts Service to seek views on the secondary legislation required to establish the constraints and limits that will set out the parameters of the administration and enforcement restriction order schemes introduced in the TCEA 2007. The administration order scheme is reformed, and the enforcement restriction order introduced, by the Act. Both are part of a package of measures designed to improve and extend the range of options available to assist the over-indebted.

The consultation document includes proposals covering debts that could be excluded from the schemes, the definition of debts that may be exempt from restrictions on legal action and the proposed total debt limit on administration orders. The consultation document also includes proposals covering the minimum amount of surplus income (the difference between income from all sources and allowed justifiable expenditure) and the amount of money debtors should be able to pay before they are permitted to enter the administration order scheme. It also seeks views on how often debtors should update information on financial circumstances as well as the amount of notice that should be given before assets above a fixed value are disposed of.

Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and are also available on the internet at www.justice.gov.uk/docs/cp0108.pdf. I will make a further Statement regarding the response shortly after the consultation period ends.