Enforcing A Money Judgment
After spending vast amounts of time and money in obtaining a favourable Judgment, your opponent simply does not pay your damages and/or costs? What can you do? Well not to worry as there are various steps that you can take in enforcing a money Judgment, they are as follows:-
Order the Debtor to Attend Court
The debtor will be summoned to attend Court either in front of an officer of the court or a Judge to disclose all of their income and expenditure. This will allow you to ascertain whether it is appropriate to pursue enforcing a money judgment action against the debtor following discovery of their financial position. It will save a lot of time and more importantly money to ascertain the debtor’s means, especially if the debtor has no assets or disposable income. If the debtor does have disposable assets then this will allow you to target those assets that are worth pursuing.
Third Party Debt Order (‘TPDO’)
You can apply for an ex-parte (without notice) application for the Court to freeze the money in the debtor’s bank account. This will be particularly useful as the debtor will be unaware of your actions. Upon obtaining an interim TPDO the Court will decide how the money from the account can be used towards clearing the Judgment debt.
Attachment of Earnings Order
You can request for the Court to deduct money from the debtor’s wages to contribute to the debt until it is cleared. If the application is successful, a copy of the Order will be sent to the employer, who will deduct the amount from the wages prior to the debtor receiving them. This is usually taken from any surplus income the debtor may have.
Send Bailiffs to Recover the Debt
You can instruct the court bailiffs to recover the debt from the debtor. They will provide the debtor with 7 days’ notice to clear the debt, and if the debtor fails to do so, the bailiffs will attend the debtor’s property and repossess the debtor’s items which they consider to be valuable. These items will then be placed into auction with the proceeds going to the creditor.
Obtain a Charging Order on the Debtor’s Property
If you believe the debtor has equity in their Property, you can make an application to Court to register a charge over the Property for the Judgment amount. Thereafter, if the debtor stills refuses to clear the debt you can apply to the Court for an order of sale of the Property.
The relevant Court fees are listed in Form Ex50. All of the above methods of enforcement can be used in conjunction with one another. Therefore, it is dependent on the material facts of each individual case before deciding which method is most appropriate. Please bear in mind, you cannot commence enforcement proceedings until 14 days after Judgment or unless the Court Orders otherwise.
If you are considering enforcing your money Judgment, contact our experienced litigation department today. Our dynamic team think outside the box to assist you in finding the best solution based on your needs and circumstances.