Judgment Enforcement Options

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  • Judgment Enforcement Options

    Following a number of people asking the same question on various forums recently, "How can I enforce my Judgment" This may help people in the future. I've tried to ensure the content is 100% correct but I advise whatever route you decide to take always take legal advice.

    Judgment Enforcement Options
    There are a number of methods you can use to enforce your judgment but all of them will cost more money and time, however, if you are successful in enforcing the judgment you can claim back any fees incurred from the defendant and don’t forget your interest. Whatever method you choose to enforce your judgment there are no guarantees that the method will be successful or that you will get your money back.

    Some defendants simply cannot afford to pay their debts and some defendants will do everything in their power to avoid payment even though they have the funds available for payment. These days there are many people who set up a limited company to obtain as much credit as possible and then jump ship when it’s time to pay, they then set up another limited company and do it all again. These sorts of people make the honest businessman suffer, as the limited status protects the company Directors and the company staff from the company debt. If a company is struck off or dissolved then you have no alternative but to write off the debt as it can be quite difficult to get the company reinstated or get the directors to pay the company’s debts.

    Below are a number of methods that creditors can use to enforce their judgments:


    HIGH COURT ENFORCEMENT
    The use of a High Court Enforcement officer (HCEO) can be the most effective way of getting your money. HCEO’s generally have more power than County Court Bailiffs and do tend to recover more debt, principally because, unlike the Bailiff, they do not need to give advance notice of a visit thus giving the element of surprise and stopping the defendant from hiding any assets. To use a HCEO the case must be transferred to the High Court which costs £60.00. The debt value must be over £600 and you must have a sealed judgment. Once your case has been transferred up to the High Court the High Court Enforcement Officer will attend the defendant’s property and attempt to recover your money.

    Pros – Can be very effective and the HCEO will generally act immediately from the issue of a writ of Fieri Facias (fi-fa), HCEO fees are paid by the defendant and the HCEO only gets paid on successful recovery.
    Cons – The defendant must have some assets to seize in order for this method to be successful.

    Costs: £60.00 for the issue of the writ and £60.00+VAT if the case is unsuccessful.
    More information about High Court Enforcement (please use Google due to site rules)


    WARRANTS OF EXECUTION (USE OF COUNTY COURT BAILIFFS)
    Pros – If you have a Judgment with any amount up to £5000 then this route would be useful to enforce such judgments as they can seize the defendant’s items and re-sell them to pay their debt to you.
    Cons – County Court Bailiffs do not have a great success in recovering goods and will often only make one of two visits to a defendant’s property. This is not because they are lazy or cannot do the job but is often due to the amount of work they have ongoing at any one time. If the judgment amount is over £5000 you cannot use this method of enforcement and it must be transferred to the High Court for enforcement.

    The current cost to issue a Warrant of Execution is £100.00
    HMCTS Form N323 - Request for Warrant of Execution



    ATTACHMENT OF EARNINGS ORDER
    Pros – If the order is granted the Court will order the employer of the defendant to pay the Court who will then pay you. If the employer refuses to pay, the employer can be fined by the Court. The Court will decide how much will be paid and the frequency of the payments.
    Cons – You’ve got to know if the defendant is employed and who the employer is. The Court may order small amounts to be repaid and if they lose their job you will have to start the whole process again. This order can take a long time to gain full payment.

    You can ask for an attachment of earnings order unless the defendant is:
    · Unemployed or self employed;
    · A firm or limited company;
    · In the Armed forces
    · A merchant seaman

    You can find out information about the defendant by asking for an Order of Information

    [B]The cost to issue an Attachment of Earnings order is: £100.00
    HMCTS Form N337 – Request for Attachment of Earning Order
    HMCTS Form N446 – Request for an Order to Obtain Information from Judgment Defendant



    THIRD PARTY DEBT ORDER
    A third party debt order is made against a party who holds or owes money to the defendant such as a bank or a customer who owes the defendant money. The organisation or the person who owes the money is known as the “third party”. A third party debt order will prevent the defendant having access to the money until the Court makes a decision about whether or not the money should be paid to you.

    Pros – This can be the best option if the defendant has funds available in his/her bank account or if you can identify a customer that owes them money.
    Cons – The order can be time consuming and difficult to get. If you obtain an order against a Bank and the account has insufficient funds available then you will not be able to get your money.

    You can find out information about the defendant by asking for an Order of Information.

    The cost to issue a third party debt order is: £100.00
    HMCTS Form N349 – Application for a Third Party Debt Order
    HMCTS Form N446 – Request for an Order to Obtain Information from Judgment Defendant



    CHARGING ORDER
    A charging order can be placed on a defendant’s property, such as a house or a piece of land. The charge will be the amount you are owed including costs and interest. A charging order can also be placed on stocks or shares. In some cases an order of sale can be granted which will force the defendant to sell his/her property.

    Pros – If this is the defendant’s only asset you will get your money eventually.
    Cons – If there are other charges on the property such as a mortgage or loans then these will be paid first which may leave no money left to pay your charge. The defendant may decide not to sell the property for years which means your money will be tied up for the duration the defendant owns the property.

    Remember to do a land registry search to see if the defendant owns the property and to see what other if any charges are on the property.

    The cost to issue a Charging Order is: £100.00
    HMCTS Form N379 – Application for a Charging Order on Land or Property




    BANKRUPTCY ORDER
    You can use this method against an individual defendant for undisputed debts over £750. No judgment is required first; you simply send a statutory demand giving them 21 days in which to pay in full. If they fail to pay then you can issue a bankruptcy petition. If the defendant is made bankrupt, their house and other assets may be sold to pay their debts.

    Pros – The threat alone of Bankruptcy can scare defendants into paying. The defendant will not be able to obtain credit while bankrupt and it will also affect future credit applications.
    Cons – The cost of such an order can be in the region of £2000, and if the defendant cannot genuinely pay then the threat of bankruptcy will not work.

    Directgov Website Advice on Making Someone Bankrupt


    Useful links and downloads:
    HMCTS Form - EX50 Civil and Family Court Fees
    Land Registry
    Registry Trust
    HMCTS Form Finder
    Directgov Website Advice on Making Someone Bankrupt
    Business Link Website Advice on How to Wind a Company Up
    Insolvency Service

  • #2
    Fantastic post! Thanks very much

    Comment


    • #3
      Great thread & contribution Vick:

      You don't have a version applicable to Scots law do you??

      {{btw for anyone wanting to enforce English judgments on persons resident in Scotland I suggest trying this lot...
      http://www.debtscotland.com/
      .. no, I am not connected with the firm (but have used them to enforce from Scotland on ex-tenant living in England..).}}

      Cheers!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
        Great thread & contribution Vick:

        You don't have a version applicable to Scots law do you??

        {{btw for anyone wanting to enforce English judgments on persons resident in Scotland I suggest trying this lot...
        http://www.debtscotland.com/
        .. no, I am not connected with the firm (but have used them to enforce from Scotland on ex-tenant living in England..).}}

        Cheers!
        Hi,

        No Sorry am afraid not,

        I believe Scotland doesn't have Bailiffs only Sheriffs.

        I do have a link some place for advice on enforcing English Judgment in Scotland, I will find it and post back for future reference.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks,...

          Originally posted by vicksenforcement View Post
          ....

          I believe Scotland doesn't have Bailiffs only Sheriffs.

          ....
          Almost. Sheriff is the Judge: Sheriff officers are the equivalent (-ish) of Bailiffs,..see
          http://www.smaso.org/
          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

          Comment


          • #6
            What if I don't think there is a chance of getting a penny from a debtor, but I want to make sure the CCJ is registered?

            I am aware that a possession order itself does not register a CCJ in the tenants name because the amount that is owed is not quantifiable at the time the order is made, but I haven't a clue how you do it!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jghomer View Post
              What if I don't think there is a chance of getting a penny from a debtor, but I want to make sure the CCJ is registered?

              I am aware that a possession order itself does not register a CCJ in the tenants name because the amount that is owed is not quantifiable at the time the order is made, but I haven't a clue how you do it!
              Charge the Judgment against any available assets that the tenant might own. Marston Group offer an asset search I believe.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does anyone know the answer to the following please - if you have a charging order against a debtors property can you still use one of the other methods (baliffs/3rd party debt order for example) to try to get the money (obviously lifting the order if you get paid)?
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
                  Does anyone know the answer to the following please - if you have a charging order against a debtors property can you still use one of the other methods (baliffs/3rd party debt order for example) to try to get the money (obviously lifting the order if you get paid)?
                  Bit of a late reply but.

                  You may use more than one method of enforcement at the same time as per:

                  PART 70 - GENERAL RULES ABOUT ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS AND ORDERS
                  http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pro...l/rules/part70

                  Methods of enforcing judgments or orders
                  70.2
                  (1) Practice Direction 70 sets out methods of enforcing judgments or orders for the payment of money.
                  (2) A judgment creditor may, except where an enactment, rule or practice direction provides otherwise –
                  (a) use any method of enforcement which is available; and
                  (b) use more than one method of enforcement, either at the same time or one after another.
                  Hope this helps.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very helpful thread, I wanted to mention leaflet EX323 ( I don't think I can link to it, but google finds it fairly easily ). This is titled 'How do I ask for an attachment of earnings order?' and I found it very useful.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can you use the charging order against the debtors property if it is a jointly owned house? Also, if you go for the bankruptcy route can a jointly owned house be seized as property ( I guess not but what actually would happen? )

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Note to all

                        I am currently looking to review the above advice, may I suggest you read with caution as some of the above may be outdated now.

                        Happy to try and help if anyone has a specific question.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          See Lime House Legal's most recent newsletter..
                          http://www.limelegal.co.uk/hlwemails...k23032016.html

                          Possession proceedings against tenants

                          In response to complaints that some High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) have been using Form N293A to transfer County Court Possession Orders against tenants for enforcement to the High Court, the Queen’s Bench Senior Master has issued a practice note providing that (1) the Queen’s Bench Division Enforcement Section will not accept Form N293A for transfer to the High Court for enforcement of a possession order of the County Court other than for possession orders against trespassers; and (2) the Queen’s Bench Masters will not accept applications under Section 41 of the County Court Act 1984 for transfer of a County Court possession claim for enforcement – such applications must be made under Section 42 of the County Court Act 1984 to a judge of the hearing centre of the County Court where the possession order was made. There has been re-drafted Form N239A and drafted a new form of draft order (PF52) giving permission to enforce a judgment or order for giving possession of land in the County Court (other than a claim against trespassers under Part 55). etc etc etc etc etc
                          I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone. I have that information already. What I wanted to know was/is, can I add a note of the Section 42 of the County Courts Act to any Section 21 or Section 8 that I issue? Or does this only apply to the Court Application submission forms?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A very good informative post. Thanks

                              Comment

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