Enforcing a County Court Judgment
There are many stages along the road of litigation when it comes to recovering debts and one of the most significant is the point at which a county court judgement (CCJ) has been obtained against the debtor, meaning that the law of the land has ruled in your favour and monies need to paid to settle the account. The enforcing of a county court judgment is sometimes an afterthought for some but it should be at the forefront of anybody seeking a judgment in the first place.
The Weight of a CCJ
The receiving a CCJ on someone’s credit file is, more often than not, enough to motivate the individual or business in question into paying, but there are instances when not even this drastic step results in a debt being cleared.
In this scenario, the next step is to enforce the CCJ.
There are a number of ways this can be done and a professional debt collection agency will be able to advise you of the most suitable method, should you find yourself in this position. Depending on the debtor’s particular set of circumstances, a court judgement is (in theory) all you should need to recovery your owed monies.
The appropriate method of enforcement will depend very much on the personal situation of the person you are dealing with. They include:
A Charging Order – A debtor may have property assets, which it is possible to secure a judgement against if equity exists. It may be a slow-ish process, but this method guarantees that you will, given a little patience, recover your money.
An Order for Sale – Once a charging order is in place, the next step is to apply to sell the property to release the funds owed. This is possible where appropriate and deemed necessary to do so.
Seizing goods and assets – If the amount is small (under £600) the court bailiffs can do this however their effectiveness is often questioned.
For Debts over £600, another option is that we can escalate the matter to the high court to obtain a writ. Then we can send our high court enforcement officers to collect what is owed. They have the power to seize and sell goods and sell them at auction to raise part or all of the outstanding funds.
A note of caution with this route though, it is only appropriate where you believe the debtor to have goods and/or assets to 3 times the value or part thereof.
Attachment of Earnings Order – If the debtor is in paid employment, this can be the most suitable option to enforce the judgement. In this instance, the debt is taken straight out of their wages.
There are other options, such as an information order, a third party debt order and in severe cases, insolvency, all of which can applied to those being evasive and attempt to avoid complying with a court judgement.
A CCJ isn’t just another word for a marker on someone’s credit file. It is a legally enforceable order and exists to give you the power to take steps to recover the money from your debtor. Enforcing a County Court Judgment is not as straightforward as some people would suggest.
Once a judgement has been made, the option taken to enforce it will very much determine the final outcome. At Frontline Collections we deal with the enforcement of CCJ’s on a daily basis at minimum cost to our clients. Whether it is a Private Debt Collection or a Small Business Debt Collection, we can advise on the most suitable options. If you are Self Employed and not been paid, it is important you seek appropriate advice and help.
We will review and investigate the debtors and advise of the most appropriate course of action to ensure you get your money back as quickly as possible.