Enforcement of JudgementsOptions to enforce a judgement if your opponent does not pay

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Enforcement of Judgments/Warrant of Execution

If you have obtained Judgment against the Defendant for a monetary amount, it must be paid in full unless the Court agrees payment by instalments usually within 14 days.
Information about what a person who has had Judgment ordered against them can do can be found half way through this page.

It is when payment is not made that action has to be taken to enforce the Judgment. Enforcement can made through the Courts in various ways. The Court will not take any action to enforce a Judgment unless you request them to do so. Interest will usually be payable on a judgment debt until the payment is made.

There are various actions you can take, some of which are as follows:

Oral Examination

You can request that an Oral Examination Order be made by the Court. An Oral Examination is when the Court orders that the Defendant attends Court, and provides under Oath details of their income, capital and savings, and detail of his outgoings. This information will be useful when the Court decide what further enforcement action should be taken.

Application for an Oral Examination is made on an N316 which is lodged at Court with the appropriate fee. The Court will send an Affidavit or Questionnaire to the Defendant together with the Order to attend Court. When the Defendant attends Court, he will be questioned by a District Judge or an authorized Officer of the Court. You have the right to attend if you wish, or may write into Court with any information you have, or questions you wish to put.

Should the Defendant not co-operate, either by refusing to attend the Oral Examination, or by not answering questions, a penal notice can be applied to the Order (A penal notice is a warning endorsed on a court order, notifying the recipient that he or she is liable to committal to prison for breach of the order). If the Defendant continues to ignore the Court's request for an Oral examination this could be regarded as contempt of the Court, and can lead to imprisonment.

If the parties against whom the Judgment has been obtained do attend Court, you will be informed by the Court of the information provided.

Charging Order

This process allows a person who is owed money under a judgment to secure his debt by registering the amount as a Charge against property owned by the Debtor. Application can be made on Form N379 which you will need to file with the Court fee and a sworn affidavit setting out the amount owed, details of the property owned by the debtor and details of any other charges and interests which affect the property, plus a copy of a Land Registry Search which has been made against the property.

On receiving the application, the Court will make a temporary Order, a Charging Order Nisi, and fix a Hearing date. At the Hearing, the debtor and any other persons with an interest in the property may make representations. Providing any other legitimate interests are not prejudiced, the Court would be expected to make the Charging Order Absolute.

Once the Order is absolute, you may then apply for the property to be sold. The application is on Form N244 with the fee. It is also necessary to file a supporting affidavit confirming that the debt is still outstanding, and the probable value of the property.

A further Hearing date is fixed. The Court will consider the amount that would be realised by a sale, and the effect upon other persons, especially children, living in the property. Where there are young children who would be adversely affected by a sale, or there is a realistic prospect of the debtor making payment, a sale is likely to be delayed for a set period.

Warrant of Execution

A further remedy is a Warrant of Execution. This is an Order that the Court Bailiffs collect the judgment debt under the special powers they are awarded. Application is on Form N323

Court Bailiffs may enter a debtor's home or business premises and seize items they find for sale by public auction to pay the debt. Often they will agree a scheme of payment by instalments, secured by an agreement that the Bailiff will not remove the 'seized' items so long as payments are made, and that the debtor agrees likewise not to dispose of them until the debt is satisfied.

There are certain items which the Bailiff can not seize, such as tools of the trade and essential personal items such as clothing, bedding, and some furniture. The Bailiff cannot enter a property by force.

Attachment of Earnings Order

If the debtor is in employment, an attachment of earnings order can be obtained to require his employer to deduct a certain amount each week or month, and pay it to you in reduction of the debt. Application is on Form N337 together with the Court fee and a statement confirming the amount owed is unpaid. The Court will provide a hearing date and a notice will be sent to the debtor. If the Judge is satisfied that the debt remains outstanding and that the Defendant is in employment an Order will be made. However part of the debtor's earnings will be 'protected', for essential living expenses, and the Court will decide how much can be deducted under the Order.

Affordable Law For You can assist you by:
Obtaining a Land Registry Search on your behalf
Assisting you to fill in Forms 325, 379 etc

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