Recovering debts quickly, efficiently and in the most time effective way is essential for you and your business. In these uncertain times debts can quickly mount up, get out of hand and for any business; become a labour intensive chore to recover.
Even if a debt is less than £600 or hasn’t been pursued for a while, it is still a debt and hopefully can be recovered any time within a 6-year period (or longer for some debts).
The process to chase a debtor for payment can be messy and time consuming. What happens if you go through the process of getting Judgment from the County or High Court for monies outstanding and the debtor still doesn’t pay?
There are a number of options:
Enforcement by seizing goods
If the debtor has assets with a financial value which covers the amount owed, an application for a Warrant of Execution (“Warrant”) can be made. The County Court Bailiff will attempt to enforce the Warrant. If the Judgment sum is more than £600.00, an application can be made in the High Court for a Writ of Control (“Writ”) and High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEOs”) will attempt to enforce the Writ. If successful, HCEOs will recover your costs, fees and interest.
Attachment of Earnings Order
If the debtor (individual) has a regular income the Court can order the employer to deduct money from their salary and send to you. This is a long process and payments are made at a slow rate. If the debtor leaves employment the payments cease and you will need to consider an alternative.
Third Party Debt Order
This is an enforcement method used to freeze a debtor’s bank or building society account. The money owed is then paid to you from the account. This method of enforcement applies only when the debtor has enough funds in the account.
If the debtor has a property, land or investments, then a Charging Order prevents the debtor from selling these assets without paying what is owed to you. In most cases, it is unlikely that you will get your money until the debtor sells the asset. However, in some circumstances, you may ask the Court for an order to force the debtor to sell the asset.
Information regarding the debtor’s asset(s) and the enforcement method used may increase the chances of successfully enforcing a Judgment. Enforcement of a debt will very much depend on the circumstances of the debtor and advice should be sought before commencing enforcement.