Procedural updates – The Debt Respite Scheme
This article follows our original briefing paper on the Debt Respite Scheme.
Procedural rules for applications
On 13 April 2021 Parliament considered two statutory instruments regarding procedural rules relating to applications under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1311) (the ‘Regulations’):
The Civil Proceedings and Gender Recognition Application Fees (Amendment) Order 2021 (SI 2021/462)
- The Civil Proceedings and Gender Recognition Application Fees (Amendment) Order 2021 amends both the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 (S.I. 2008/1053) and the Gender Recognition Application Fees Order 2006 (S.I. 2006/758);
- The court fee has been reduced from £140 to the nominal sum of £5, which is payable when filing an application with the County Court under Regulation 38(9) on or after 4 May 2021; and
- Regulation 38(9) grants debtors a right to appeal their debt adviser’s decision not to withhold the debtor’s residential address from disclosure to creditors.
The Magistrates’ Courts (Amendment) Rules 2021 (SI 2021/459)
- This is an amendment to the Magistrates’ Courts Rules 1981 (SI 1981/552) to provide that, where the permission of a magistrates’ court is required for the purposes of regulation 7(2)(b) of the Regulations, an application to a magistrates’ court for such permission must be made by complaint in writing and the complainant must serve a copy of the summons on the relevant debt advice provider; and
- Regulation 7(2)(b) prevents a creditor from taking any steps during a moratorium period in relation to a moratorium debt, unless the creditor has permission from the court where legal proceedings concerning the debt could be or have been issued.
Both statutory instruments come into force on 4 May 2021.
Practice Direction 70B – debt respite scheme under the financial guidance and claims act 2018
This practice direction comes into force on 6 April 2021 and supplements CPR rule 70.7.
It makes provision for procedural matters which are not covered by the 2020 Regulations.
Applications and appeals must be made under Part 23 of the 2020 Regulations and where a claim has not already been issued, under Rules 23.2(4) and 23.2(4A):
- permission to take certain steps – application under regulation 7;
- request for cancellation of a moratorium – application under regulation 9;
- applications under regulation 7 and 9 of the 2020 Regulations must be heard on notice, with notice being given to the debtor, any joint debtor and the relevant debt advice provider; and
- appeal against an unsuccessful application to a debt advice provider for non-disclosure of the debtor’s usual residential address – appeal under regulation 38(9) must be made on notice to the debt advice provider, however the debtor’s usual residential address must not be disclosed to third parties pending determination of the appeal.
For more information on the Regulations, see: