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Enforcing a debt

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Once a judgement has been made in court against a defendant that owes money they have 14 days in which to pay and avoid a black mark on their credit file in the form of a judgement. Although most defendants will settle the debt to avoid this, there are occasions when payment still does not happen. In these circumstances enforcement options may need to be considered. Here we will take a look at some of those options.

First of all, with the help of a lawyer, you should seek to establish the status of the defendant in order to decide the best course of action. You should consider whether they own any property, are in active employment, are still trading as a business if it is a company debt, or if they own any other assets which might help to cover the debt.

A Third Party Debt Order may be applied for as one form of resolution. This is a court judgement which prevents the debtor from removing money from their bank account until money that is owed to the creditor is settled. However, money for living costs will be deducted for any debtor who is able to demonstrate that they are in financial hardship.

Another technique that can be used is a Charging Order. This secures the debt against assets in the debtors name such as vehicles and property, forcing them to sell them off. Similarly a Warrant of Execution can be applied for which summons a bailiff to enter the debtors property and seize goods to the value of the debt owed.

If the defendant is in employment then they can have deductions made directly from their wages through means of an Attachment of Earnings which can be applied for through the court. However, members of the armed forces and merchant navy are exempt.

With commercial debts, a Freezing Order can be used if you suspect that the defendant may try to hide or disperse their assets. You can read more about them here.

If you are owed money and need help enforcing a debt, please contact us online or call us on 020 7611 4848 to arrange a complimentary telephone consultation.

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