Enforcing Your Judgment
If your debtor fails to pay the debt once you have obtained a court judgement against them, there are five main ways of enforcing the judgement.
1. Seizing and selling the debtor’s goods
It is possible to send County Court Bailiffs to seize your debtor’s goods, however many years of experience has shown us that this method is extremely ineffective. We recommend instructing a sheriff’s officer instead. After action by a sheriff’s officer the client will always receive a written report – and often a cheque. Their fees are slightly higher: please call us on 0800 068 5151 for current costs, or contact us for more information.
2. Summoning your debtor to court
This is another popular service that often forces the debtor to pay. The debtor or company director receives a personal summons to attend the court at a specific time to give full details in relation to their finances; e.g. bank and mortgage accounts. Such information can be useful at a later stage. In our experience many debtors will pay up rather than submit themselves to this process.
Once in court, the debtor is also questioned on oath regarding their ability/offer to pay, we succeed in getting many installment payers this way.
3. Attachment of your debtor’s earnings
Any debtor currently in PAYE employment (as opposed to being self-employed) can be subjected to this procedure. An order is made to the debtor’s employer to deduct a proportion of the judgement debt from their wages or salary every week or month until the debt is paid.
4. Third party debt orders
Formerly known as garnishee orders, third party debt orders are aimed at obtaining settlement from the debtor’s bank or building society account. It is prudent to obtain the name, number and sort code of the account in advance, either by summoning the debtor to court for questioning or by taking the details from a photocopy of a cheque previously received from the debtor. Please contact us for further information about third party debt orders.
5. Charging orders
A charging order is a very useful tool – especially in the case of a debtor whose property is up for sale. The objective is to register a caution against the debtor’s property, so that the solicitors dealing with the sale have to settle your judgement debt from the net sale proceeds.
You can also use a charging order as a safety net if the property is not on the market, but do be sure to check ownership with the Land Registry first. If you need help with performing a Land Registry check, get in touch.
Please email contact us for more information about charging orders.