If there has been no response to the Letter Before Action (LBA) and a County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been issued, you are then eligible to commence enforcement in order to reclaim the money owed to you.

At this stage in the process, the Debt-Claims Solicitors team will advise you of the most appropriate course of enforcement action for your claim. There are many different methods of enforcement depending on the individual circumstances of the case. We are in the best position to support you through this stage of the process.

What happens if the Debtor does not respond to your county court judgment?

Enforcement action commencing from as low as £152.00

It is important that you act quickly at this stage because one cannot predict what steps a Debtor may take during the period from the judgment to enforcement.

Do you have an existing CCJ or judgment to enforce? Contact Debt-Claims today for help.

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Enforcement options

High Court Enforcement Officers

If the debt you are reclaiming is of high value, a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) might be the best enforcement option for you. They are authorised by the Ministry of Justice to enforce higher value judgements known as High Court Writs. This option is typically used if the debt is more than £600 and can include the execution of goods from the Debtor.

County Court Bailiff

If the money owed to you is below £5,000, a County Court Bailiff can enforce the court order for you via a Country Court Judgment (CCJ). The County Court Bailiff is issued a warrant of control which authorises them to act on your behalf in the collection of your money.

Third Party Debt Order

Defendants do not often hold money themselves, usually keeping it in a bank account. If you have obtained a CCJ against your Debtor, you may choose to use a Third Party Debt Order, also known as a Garnishee Order, in which you ask the Court to request the funds directly from the bank.

Attachment of Earnings

An Attachment of Earnings Order instructs the Debtor’s employer (if employed) to deduct money directly from their wages to satisfy a judgment debt. Your employer sends the money to the Court that made the order, and they then forward the money to you. You cannot use an Attachment of Earnings Order against a Debtor who is self-employed or against a pension income.

Charging Order

If the Debtor owns or co-owns property, you may choose to enforce a Charging Order against it, which will be registered formally with Land Registry. If the Debtor jointly owns the property, their share of the property will be charged and not the property as a whole.

A Charging Order or restriction does not guarantee swift settlement of your debt and payment is usually only received if your Debtor re-mortgages or the property is sold. You may therefore not receive payment for a number of years, if at all.

Information Order

If you are unsure which enforcement method is best, you may want to consider an Information Order, which requires the Debtor to attend Court for questioning. This will give you more information about their circumstances so that you can select the right enforcement option.

The Order to attend gives the Debtor a date and time they must attend Court to answer formal questions on their income and expenditure. If the Debtor fails to attend, they can be held in contempt of Court and committed to prison for a short period. It is therefore a requirement that the Information Order is personally served on the Debtor.

At the appointment, the Debtor is also given the opportunity to offer payment proposals. If these are accepted, the Court will create a Variation Order which can be enforced in the same way as a Judgment Order should the Debtor fail to keep to the arrangement.

Winding Up Proceedings

If the CCJ is worth more than £10,000 you may decide to enforce a Winding Up Petition. Debt-Claims will assist you in drafting the petition to send to the Court. The Court will then seal the petition and issue a date for a Court hearing before serving the notice upon the Debtor.

The petition can be advertised in the London Gazette seven days after service and this will freeze the Debtor’s bank account, creating a real incentive to make payment as quickly as possible.

Once the petition has been advertised, other companies who are chasing the same Debtor may wish to support the petition. Care is needed in any withdrawal after advertisement, as the Court will require an explanation.

Bankruptcy Proceedings

If the judgement debt is more than £5,000, you can choose to issue a Statutory Demand which sets out the basis of the debt and gives 21 days to pay. It must be served personally upon the individual and this service must be proven.

If the debt isn’t paid, and no application is made by the Debtor to set it aside, then a Bankruptcy Petition can be issued to the Court (this must also be issued personally). The Court will give a date for a hearing.

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