Daniel Pidgley
Litigation Executive
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Date Published:11 Mar 2016 Last Updated:23 Jul 2021

I have a County Court Judgment – how do I get paid?

Dispute Resolution

It is one thing to have a County Court Judgement that says that someone owes you a sum of money, but it can often be something quite different to actually get paid.

So, what are your options?

Bailiff

If you are aware that your Debtor is likely to own goods at its home or trading address which exceed the value of your debt, these goods could be seized by the Court Bailiff and sold at auction to pay the sum owed.

High Court Enforcement Officer

A High Court Enforcement Officer works in a similar way to the Court Bailiff. However, the HCEO will normally work on a commission basis and reclaim all fees from the Defendant as part of the collection process. This will of course incentivise the HCEO to go the extra mile to ensure collection.

Third party Debt Order

A Third party debt order can be utilised to freeze your Debtor’s bank or building society account (if you are aware that the company/person is withholding funds). The money you are owed is then paid to you from the account.

Charging order

If debtor owns a Property, land or investments, then a Charging order prevents them from selling these assets without paying what is owed to you. You will not get your money until the debtor sells the asset(s) concerned. However, in some circumstances, you may be able to ask the Court for an order to force them to sell the assets.

Interestingly, you can use a Charging Order in addition to any of the other enforcement options. It acts as a security.

Obtaining information about the defendant’s assets or Income

Each of the above enforcement options targets the income or assets that your debtor may have.

If you are unsure what income or assets your debtor has, you can apply to the Court for an ‘Order to obtain information’. This is a useful way of getting information from the judgment debtor which will help you decide whether it’s worthwhile taking an enforcement step (at all) and if so, which of the methods of enforcement is most appropriate. If you use this procedure, your debtor will be ordered to attend Court to be questioned, on oath, by a Court officer. The kind of information you will receive from this process includes:

* Details of income/expenditure;

* Details of any property owned (house, car, caravan, etc.), which may have a saleable value;

* Details of any bank or building society accounts and the balances in them.

To discuss these options and gaining assistance with undertaking the enforcement process, please call Daniel Pidgley on 01202 525333.