Expert advice on Enforcing a CCJ ✔️ CCJ ENFORCEMENT
Enforcing a CCJ and CCJ Enforcement can be a challenge for any business. You have obtained a County Court Judgement and still have not been paid. It is a common scenario that many businesses and individuals face. Gone are the days where it was a straight forward exercise however we will try to simply it in this article.
If a County Court Judgment has been awarded in your favour, it still requires to the debtor to pay. The CCJ simply means that the debt has been ratified by the court and an order made to pay. Very often this order is ignored and that is where CCJ enforcement becomes necessary.
Obtaining the CCJ can sometimes be the easy part. When it comes to CCJ enforcement, there is no one size that fits all. The most effective way of enforcing a CCJ will differ from case to case.
Before proceeding with enforcement, it is important to understand the situation of the judgment debtor. If they have no assets then it may be a waste of money to proceed with bailiffs or high court enforcement officers. Likewise, it would be pointless to attempt going down the charging order path if they had no property to put a charge on.
Every debt collection scenario is very different. Knowledge is key to a successful CCJ enforcement and this article looks at those options. These options to enforce payment of a CCJ will hopefully provide some guidance and help.
CCJ Enforcement options
Here, this article details the most common strategies of enforcing a CCJ
- Warrant of control – Sometimes used for judgment debts under £5,000 and usually enforced via a county court bailiff. Goods can be seized and sold at auction. Previously known as a warrant of execution.
- Writ of control – Sometimes referred to as a high court writ. If a CCJ is above £600, it can be escalated to the high court. This is a more robust method of enforcing a CCJ and will add further cost to original CCJ amount awarded. High Court Enforcement Officers are able to enforce payment of the CCJ and are usually far more tenacious in their efforts than County Court Bailiffs.
- Charging order – If the judgment debtor owns property, the debt owing can be secured against the property by way of a charging order. The is not the most expedient of methods as it does not automatically mean that funds are released to pay the CCJ amount owing. It does secure the debt but an ‘order for sale’ would need to be applied for to enforce a sale. An order for sale is not automatically granted by the court as it will consider the circumstances of the debtor and if there is dependents such as children etc residing in the property.
- Attachment of earnings order (AEO) – These are issued via the county court and intended for personal debt collection purposes. It is not appropriate for business debt collection. It is a useful way of enforcing a CCJ by way of a deduction from the monthly wage of the judgment debtor.
- Third party debt order – This is an order made by the court to freeze monies held within a specified bank account by the debtor. This prevent the debtor from accessing monies within this account until payment of the CCJ has been made. This is an effective method of CCJ enforcement where there is sufficient monies known to be within the respective bank account of the debtor.
- Orders to obtain information – This is not exactly CCJ enforcement but what it does is orders the Judgment debtor to court to explain their financial means and ability to pay the CCJ in question. If the judgment debtor fails to comply, there are powers of arrest available to the court also so a useful tool.
As well as the above listed options, there is also the insolvency proceedings route available. This would result in bankruptcy for the individual or liquidation if the CCJ is owed by a company. This can be a timely and expensive method of enforcing a CCJ but may be appropriate in some instances. Especially where it is a high value debt and the debtor holds many assets and suchlike.
Enforcing a CCJ
There are many available options to be considered. Enforcement of a CCJ is not always a straight forward process. Furthermore, it is not always necessary as the judgment debtor may pay upon the judgment being awarded. It can be a tricky process as well as a stressful and costly exercise. You will also need to be aware of the civil procedure rules and the appropriateness of your actions.
At Federal Management, we have helped our clients recover millions of pounds over the years. If you need assistance with CCJ Enforcement and are not sure which way to go with enforcing a CCJ, speak to our friendly expert team today.