Money Wellness
Illustration of woman cowering on the floor with the shadow of her abuser looming over her
category icondebts
calendar icon01 May 2024

Domestic violence survivors' safety at risk from rise in court fees

Rises in court fees coming into force today (1 May 2024) could be putting vulnerable people at risk of violence.

If you’re granted an insolvency solution because you can’t afford to repay your debts, your details, including your address, are usually listed in the public insolvency register. Domestic abuse survivors and others at risk of violence can ask for their address to be withheld from the register.

This is done by applying to the court for a person at risk of violence (PARV) order. But there’s a cost. Until today, that cost was £280. It has now risen to £308.

In some cases, the fee may be waived if applicants meet certain income-related criteria.

But should we be forcing domestic violence survivors to jump through these hoops?

We warmly welcomed the scrapping of the £90 debt relief order fee announced in the spring budget. But the government needs to take it one step further. Expecting vulnerable individuals who are already experiencing extreme financial problems to find over £300 seems at best unrealistic and at worst cruel. So we’re calling for the PARV fee to be dropped as well.

Other court fees going up

It’s not just the cost of applying for a PARV order that’s going up. A range of court and tribunal fees are becoming more expensive from today, including the cost of applying to set aside a county court judgment. From today, this costs £303, up from £275.

It also now costs £15, instead of £14, to apply to suspend a warrant of possession. A warrant of possession allows bailiffs to evict you from your home.

And these won’t be the last increases for the foreseeable, as the government has confirmed court and tribunal fees will go up every two years from now on to reflect changes in costs and inflation.

 

Avatar of Rebecca Routledge

Rebecca Routledge

A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.

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