Practitioners are being asked for their views on a second consultation for creating a protocol for debt claims.
The new debt protocol has been proposed by the Civil Procedure Rule Committee with the aim of reducing the number of cases that end up in court.
The committee proposed its first draft of the protocol last year but following responses to a consultation, a number of amendments have been made.
In a letter to practitioners to be sent out next week, the CPRC says respondents are concerned about the volume of paperwork and information that creditors would be required to provide.
Solicitors have warned in the past about the risk of making the litigation process more confusing and adding unnecessary delays or costs to debt recovery claims.
The committee said providing debtors with sufficient information to obtain advice prior to a claim remains a ‘key principle’. But the protocol will be restructured to reduce the documentation burden on creditors.
A two-stage approach will be adopted, whereby some information will be provided to debtors as of right, with other documents available on request.
Debtors will also be provided with an information sheet to set out their rights and obligations in plain English, after concerns were raised that the language was too difficult for people to understand.
The second consultation opens on Monday and lasts for eight weeks.
The debt protocol was recommended by Lord Justice Jackson in his final report reviewing civil litigation costs and was under discussion as far back as 1996 in Lord Woolf’s report on access to justice.