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“There are no shortcuts when it comes to repaying your debts”

Are you feeling frustrated and annoyed that you have been unable to recover a debt that is owed to you? Does your debtor prioritise others over you? Are you tired of being fobbed off and receiving broken promises from your debtor?

Is your debtor funding their lifestyle with your money?

You are not an Overdraft Facility or a Bank!

Covid-19 is not an excuse for non-payment of your debt.

Do not allow your debtor to fob you off with excuses. It is time to get what you are owed.

In this article, we set out the debt collection steps that you can take to enforce a County Court Judgment (CCJ).

1. What is debt enforcement?

2. When does the Judgment debt need to be paid?

3. Who carries out an enforcement order?

4. What are your enforcement options?

1. What is debt enforcement?

Debt enforcement is the process of recovery of a debt from an individual or a company against whom a County Court Judgment (CCJ) has been obtained. It is used when the judgment debtor has failed to pay the judgement debt.

2. When does the Judgement debt need to be paid?

Generally, judgment debts must be paid within 14 days of the date of the judgment and interim instalments may be ordered by the court if there is a realistic prospect of payments being achieved through the use of interim payments. If the debtor fails to pay the debt within the 14 day period you will need to take steps to enforce payment of the debt.

3. Who carries out an enforcement order?

Enforcement orders are usually executed by a County Court Bailiff or a High Court Enforcement Officer. Court officers do have the right of entry and can seize goods to cover the cost of the debt, as long as they are sure the assets belong to the debtor.

The debtor is generally responsible for the Enforcement Officer’s fees.

4. What are your enforcement options?

There are several enforcement options depending on the circumstances of the individual case.

  • High Court Enforcement Officers

The majority of County Court Judgments (CCJ) are enforced by the High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) who will attend the debtor’s address. The HCEO can also force entry to commercial premises if they have reasonable grounds to believe that goods belonging to the debtor will be found at that location. The HCEO can recover their costs of attendance and any reasonable additional charges from the debtor. This acts as an incentive for them to recover the debt.

  • County Court Bailiff

County Court Bailiffs can enforce debts under £600 and are employed by the Court. County court bailiff fees are generally less than the fees charged by the High Court Enforcement officers. County court bailiffs will only make visits during office hours and not as flexible as HCEOs.

  • Third party Debt Order

A third-party debt Order is a method of legally enforcing a County Court Judgement by obtaining payment from a third party that owes money to the debtor. This method is often used by creditors who know the debtor’s bank account details, or who are aware of a large contract that the debtor may have.

  • Attachment of Earnings

If your debtor is an individual who is employed and you have the name and address of his/her employer, you can apply for an Attachment of Earnings Order resulting in the debtor’s employer deducting a certain amount of money from the debtor’s salary each month or each week to satisfy the Judgment debt. Therefore, it cannot be made against a debtor who is self-employed, unemployed or on a pension.

  • Charging order

A charging order can be secured against any property your debtor owns. If the debtor jointly owns the property, the charge will then be on their share of the property and not on the whole property itself. This is much less secure and is often known as a restriction.

  • Information Order

An Information Order is a Court Order that requires the debtor to attend Court for questioning. It does not require the debtor to make payment, however it may be used to enable you to make a more informed decision on which enforcement method to use.

  • Winding up proceedings

You can issue a Winding Up petition against a Company if your County Court Judgment (CCJ) is more than £750.

The petition will be sealed and issued by the court and then served upon the company. Once the petition has been advertised in the London Gazette 7 days after service,. other creditors may decide to support the petition.

  • Bankruptcy Proceedings

In order to start insolvency proceedings against an individual, the Judgment debt must be worth more than £5,000.

The Statutory Demand will be issued and served on the debtor. If the debt is not paid (and no application is made by the debtor to set it aside) then the next step is to issue a bankruptcy petition to the Court. The Court will give a date for a hearing. The petition should be served personally on the debtor and proof of service must be produced to the Court.

How can Pure Business Law help?

We are specialist Commercial Debt Recovery Solicitors based in Bedford and London. We operate nationally.

If you would like legal advice on any of the issues that we have raised in this article or on our website, or would like to discuss our fee options

including our fixed fee option, please contact us and speak with one of our special experts.

We are waiting for your call.

Pure Business Law is regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA) and is a licensed member of the Law Society of England & Wales.

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