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  • Enforcing Court Judgments

    Obtaining Judgment in your favour through the Courts does not necessarily result in the debt being paid.  Sometimes obtaining Judgment is the easy bit.  No doubt it is excellent news when a debt pursuant to a judgment is paid in a timely manner.  More often the judgment is not paid and then should contact our Dispute Resolution or tenant eviction solicitors who can offer continued advice as to the options available.

    There are a number of enforcement methods which our lawyers can implement for you. These include:

    Charging Order

    This involves taking security over the debtor’s property or property owned by the debtor’s company which can be followed by an application for an Order for Sale.

    This can be obtained and secured against an individual debtor’s property or property owned by a debtor company. There is the requirement that the debtor must fully or partly own the property. This is something that can be checked at H M Land Registry and it can be determined whether other Charging Orders are secured against the property. If the debtor’s property is to be sold in the future, you may be paid the debt owed with interest and costs if and when the property is sold.

    Once a charging order is registered over the Defendant’s property, it will remain there until the property is sold and Claimants who have charges over the property will be paid in order of registration provided there is enough surplus in the sale proceeds. Claimants will receive payment before the Defendant and are entitled to the fixed costs of obtaining the charging order, together with all interest accrued to date.

    Third Party Debt Order

    An order obtained against a third party, such as a bank, holding funds on behalf of the debtor whereby the available funds up to the judgment amount are redirected to you.

    This is obtained against a third party holding money on behalf of the debtor (normally a bank or building society) or someone who owes the debtor money.   A Third Party Debt Order is the equivalent of ‘freezing’ any funds with the proviso they are released to you.

    Attachment of Earnings Order

    Where the debtor is an individual and in paid employment you can apply for the Court to deduct money from the debtor’s salary.  There are penalties for employers who refuse to do so.

    Warrant of Execution

    County Court Bailiff are used to recover monies or goods that can be sold off to pay the debt so to settle any judgment owed to you.

    High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO’s)

    When a County Court judgment either is or exceeds £600 there is the ability for enforcement through HCEO’s for property within England and Wales. They have the ability to collect the debt you are owed alongside costs incurred in court as well as their own fees. This is achieved through the removal of goods that are owned by the debtor which are in turn sold at auction so that the debt can be cleared.

    Bankruptcy

    This can be contrasted to the above procedure because a judgment is not needed before money can be recovered on your behalf. This applies to an individual debtor where debts are not disputed and go beyond the threshold of £750. Our role in such matters comes into play in that we can issue a Statutory Demand indicating to the debtor that they 21 days to pay the full amount. If the time lapses and no payment is obtained then a Bankruptcy Petition can be issued. It has been seen to be the case that often the threat of bankruptcy is sufficient in prompting payment. It should be noted that it is important to consider who else assets need to be paid off to as secured creditors will always be paid first.

    Winding Up Order

    Likewise when you are owed money by a company we can follow this enforcement which is used against companies in debts which are in excess of £750.  Similar to above, a judgment is not first needed. A Statutory Demand can be served on the company and if payment is not received and Winding Up Petition can be issued. The hearing of the Petition is advertised in the London Gazette.  Often the threat of a Winding Up Order is sufficient to bring about payment.  If you proceed and a Winding Up Petition is granted, a liquidator is appointed to realeasse and distribute assets to all creditors. As the cost of this enforcement can be expensive it is the general protocol that we sit down with you and carry out a thorough review before proceeding.

    Please contact us to speak to our Dispute Resolutions lawyers on how we can help you to enforce your judgments.

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