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Enforcement of Judgement

21 Jan 2015


Obtaining Judgment in your favour through the Courts does not necessarily result in the debt being paid.  There will be instances whereby the debt will be paid in accordance with the Judgment.  However, if it is not, our litigation team is on hand to offer continued advice as to the options available.

There are a number of enforcement methods which our team can implement. These include:

  • Charging Order – 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 type of order can be obtained and secured against an individual debtor’s property or property owned by a debtor company.

The debtor must fully or partly own the property.  We can check this for you at HM Land Registry and ascertain whether other Charging Orders are secured against the property.

Should the debtor’s property be sold in the future, you may be paid the debt owed to you together 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 an Order obtained against a third party holding money on behalf of the debtor (normally a bank or building society) or someone who is known to owe   the debtor money.   A Third Party Debt Order essentially “freezes” any funds with the proviso they are released to you.

  • Attachment of Earnings Order – where the debtor, an individual, is 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 – enforcement by County Court Bailiff to recover monies or goods that can be sold off to pay the debt
  • Enforcement by High Court Enforcement officer- including county court judgments worth more than £600.00.

High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEO’s)

County Court Judgments with a value of £600 or more can be enforced by HCEO’s anywhere in England and Wales.  If successful the HCEO will collect your Judgment debt, your court costs and fees, interest and their own fees, costs and charges from the debtor.

The HCEO can seize goods owned by the debtor and remove these to sale at auction to obtain funds to clear the debt.

  • Order to obtain information – to establish financial income and expenditure
  • Bankruptcy

This enforcement can be used against an individual debtor for undisputed debts over £750.  A Judgment does not need to be obtained first.  We can issue a Statutory Demand on your behalf giving them 21 days to pay in full.  If no payment is received, a Bankruptcy Petition can be issued.  Often the threat of bankruptcy can be enough to force payment.  The cost of making a debtor bankrupt is significant so you need to be sure there are sufficient assets for an appointed receiver to pay any other creditors (secured creditors will be paid first).

  • Winding Up Petition- these enforcement proceedings can be issued against an individual or company respectively. As judgment is not required in these circumstances, the Court has to be satisfied that an undisputed sum in excess of £750.00 is owed.  This would allow you to issue a Statutory Demand giving the debtor 21 days to settle the debt, failing which the petition can be issued.
  • Winding Up Order – This enforcement is used against companies for debts in excess of £750.  A Judgment is not required to be obtained first.  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 can produce payment.  If you proceed and a Winding Up Petition is granted, a liquidator is appointed to realise and then distribute assets to all creditors.  The cost of this enforcement is significant and a thorough review with you of the matter would be carried out prior to proceeding.