Help regarding 'order of examination' and 'attachment of earnings'

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  • Help regarding 'order of examination' and 'attachment of earnings'



    Hi all, I could really do with some advice.

    I have a judgement against my ex tenants for 3 months unpaid rent (£3600 total). I opted to go down the 'attachment of earnings' route in an attempt to get the money back. I was advised by the court that I would need to know the ex tenant's employment details before applying for the order. As the tenant had changed jobs a few months earlier I did not have his up to date employment details so I asked for an 'order of examination'.

    The tenant went to the examination and told the court that he was unemployed, and his way of proving this was to show the court that he had made a claim to receive JSA. His JSA application WAS MADE ONLY 2 DAYS BEFORE THE COURT EXAMINATION.

    I was 99% that he lied in the examination, so I did some further investigating to try and find out if he was still in employment. Within a week i managed to track down his new landlord who was happy to supply me with my ex tenants employment details. After contacting the employer (I called up and pretended to be someone else) it became obvious that my ex tenant was indeed still employed. In fact they were expecting him to come into work that evening as normal.

    I contacted the court to tell them that i'm certain that he lied in his examination, but they seem uninterested in doing anything about it.

    I then decided to just go ahead with the attachment of earnings order, since I now knew where he worked. I asked them what the process was...and they told me that they will send a form out to him (I would have to pay a further £120 for this) to disclose his employment details. I was surprised by this because I had previously been advised that they would contact his employer directly. The problem I have now is even though I know he is in full time employment, if he just says he's unemployed again then they just take his word for it, rather than contacting his employer who would be able to confirm/deny whether he is working or not.

    I'm now in the situation where i'm wondering what is the point of the examination and the attachment of earnings is, as I've been told by the CCMCC that if he says he's unemployed then that's that, and they just take his word for it.

    What can I do next? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    If you have proof that he had/has made a claim for JSA while employed report it to the DWP.

    Doesn't help you in the short term, but will give him a shock for trying to be a clever ******* when he gets pulled in for benefit fraud.

    Comment


    • #3

      Originally posted by nukecad View Post
      If you have proof that he had/has made a claim for JSA while employed report it to the DWP.

      Doesn't help you in the short term, but will give him a shock for trying to be a clever ******* when he gets pulled in for benefit fraud.
      I've thought about that, and probably will, although it wouldn't surprise me if he cancelled the JSA immediately after the examination.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mikeyc View Post


        I've thought about that, and probably will, although it wouldn't surprise me if he cancelled the JSA immediately after the examination.
        Possibly but the offence is still committed if he applied knowing he was in work and not entitled - whether DWP would pursue it or not is a different matter.

        Do you think he has any other attachments ? - you can ask for a free search of the court's register and they'll tell you if any attachment is in place and you can then ask the court to consolidate the orders. Use form N336. It would still cost to issue the attachment but it could give you a clue as to whether he is working or not.

        The debtor is always given a chance to dispute any attachment order from the county court and they will be given the chance to provide a 'statement of means' (form N56) before the court will issue the attachment order.
        Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

        If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

        Comment


        • #5




          I've reported him anonymously to the DWP.

          As for the attachment of earnings, I spoke to the people at Money Claim this morning and was told (I get told something different almost every time I call) that if I states that he is unemployed then the case will get passed to my local court where there is either some kind of appeals process or better still, they actually investigate themselves whether he's telling the truth or not.

          It seems madness that on the form I can provide the debtors employment details (I know the company, his boss' name, phone number and email address) yet the case would simply be dismissed if he was to claim that he's unemployed. I think i'll pay the £110 to apply for the attachment of earnings and just hope the authorities actually investigate it properly. The alternative would be to just write off the £3600 which I have no intention of doing, although it is frustrating having to pay yet more money out in the hope that i'll get some back.

          Thanks for the tip about the N336 form. Is there an additional cost for that?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ss002d6252 View Post
            ... the offence is still committed if he applied knowing he was in work and not entitled - whether DWP would pursue it or not is a different matter.
            Oh they will;
            they have to investigate any report of possible fraud made to them, even anonymous reports have to be investigated.

            Even if he made a JSA claim and then withdrew it before any benefit was paid he will still have made an attempted fraudulent benefit claim.
            It's slightly different if it was UC he claimed because in 'Full Service' areas you can claim (parts of) that while still working. But if he put on his application that he was unemployed while actually working then it's still attempted benefit fraud.

            If the proof is there he will be called in for an "Interview Under Caution" which is an evidential process the same as a police interview, twin tape recordings, etc.
            He might not get taken to court, but it will be noted that he tried which will make any future benefit claim awkward for him.

            As you may have noticed they are red hot on suspected benefit fraud these days.
            https://www.gov.uk/benefit-fraud
            https://www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud

            Comment


            • #7
              I feel that I should declare here that I have an outstanding Attachment of Earnings (CCJ) decision against me.

              When I became disabled and unable to work I contacted the court and they sent me a form to declare that I was no longer working and defer payments.
              I have heard nothing more about it in the six years since then, either from the court or from the debtee.
              The CCJ still stands, and the A-o-E could be restarted if I do return to work, CCJs don't become statute barred after six years.
              (Oddly enough though after six years the CCJ does not show on your credit record even though it still exists).

              Just pointing out that if you do get an Attachment of Earnings, it can be defered if he genuinely becomes unemployed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks nukecad.

                Yes I am aware that if my ex tenant becomes unemployed, the payments will stop. My concern is that he will lie from the outset (he already has on the order of examination), and it will become a hassle even getting the first payment.

                He has no valuable assets so there's no point going down the bailiff route.

                Can I ask....when you had the attachment of earnings against you, presumably you gave the details of your employer? Or did the court just go straight to your employer (providing they knew who your employer was)?

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's a while ago but if I remember right-
                  Once the AoE order was granted the court sent me a form that had to be completed CORRECTLY with employer details, earnings, etc. and returned by a certain date or face a contempt of court charge.

                  They then contacted my employer to set up the deductions from wages.

                  The employer paid to the court who passed it on to the debtee.
                  That way the employer does not get to know who the debt is owed to.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mikeyc View Post



                    I've reported him anonymously to the DWP.

                    As for the attachment of earnings, I spoke to the people at Money Claim this morning and was told (I get told something different almost every time I call) that if I states that he is unemployed then the case will get passed to my local court where there is either some kind of appeals process or better still, they actually investigate themselves whether he's telling the truth or not.

                    It seems madness that on the form I can provide the debtors employment details (I know the company, his boss' name, phone number and email address) yet the case would simply be dismissed if he was to claim that he's unemployed. I think i'll pay the £110 to apply for the attachment of earnings and just hope the authorities actually investigate it properly. The alternative would be to just write off the £3600 which I have no intention of doing, although it is frustrating having to pay yet more money out in the hope that i'll get some back.

                    Thanks for the tip about the N336 form. Is there an additional cost for that?
                    The N336 is free.

                    Previously served 10 years as a council tax advisor with a local authority but now self-employed with my own council tax consultancy.

                    If your local authority disagrees with any aspects of your council tax claim, as they are free to do so, a Valuation Tribunal appeal may be required.

                    Comment

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