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Method of Enforcement | Attachment of Earnings

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If the person who owes the money (referred to as the “judgment debtor”) under a County Court Judgment or another form of a court order, is employed but has no other assets then asking the court to deduct what you are owed from the debtor’s wages or salary often the most effective method of enforcement.


What is an attachment of earnings order?

An attachment of earnings order directs your employer to turn money directly from your wages to pay back a debt. Your employer sends the wages to the court that made the order, and they then send the money to your creditor. An attachment of earnings is different from a ‘direct earnings attachment’ (DEA).

Does My Judgment Qualify for an Attachment of Earnings Application?

An Attachment of Earnings Order can be made against a person’s salary or wages.


We will help you with all the formalities of this application. Just make sure you’re are still owed more than £50 and you are at least one payment behind.


An Attachment of Earnings Order can’t be made against a self-employed person as the order requires an employer to regularly make deductions from the judgment debtor’s salary and make payments into the court in order to satisfy the judgment debt.


When an Attachment of Earnings Won’t Work

An Attachment of Earnings Order won’t work in the following situations:

  • If the judgment debtor is unemployed or self-employed;

  • If you have a CCJ against a partnership/firm or limited company;

  • If the judgment debtor is serving in the army, navy, or air force; or

  • Your judgment debtor is a merchant seaman.

Pursuing someone who has no ‘earnings’ using an Attachment of Earnings Order will lead to your application being dismissed by the Court and you will have wasted your court fee. But don’t worry we will look into all these points for you if you use our Attachment of Earnings Boxed Up Product which you can buy in our shop.


What Makes a Successful Attachment of Earnings Application?

The key information you require, to ensure the best chance of success for this method of enforcement is the debtor’s employment details.


There are also special arrangements for getting money from someone in the armed forces or a merchant seaman and we can help with these situations if that applies to you so please call us if you are faced with that situation).


How Can We Help You?

We can help you make an application for an Attachment of Earnings Order. All you have to do is click on our full-service option and complete a couple of small steps. A fee of £599 is payable which includes the fee payable to the Court and VAT.


What you do is fill in your details, and upload a copy of your County Court Judgment, or other order. We will carry out a free review of your information and call you to discuss the next steps.


Progress of the Application

The application can be straightforward if the debtor co-operates, but no one can say co-operative a judgment debtor is going to be. The end result is very much dependent upon the cooperation of the debtor and his or her employer in providing information and making the necessary deductions.


What If My Judgment Debtor Doesn’t Co-Operate?

Sanctions for non-compliance do exist and can be taken against anyone who doesn’t co-operate in this process (because they are technically in contempt of court). That said, this strict approach doesn’t guarantee complete co-operation from all parties.


Does an Attachment of Earnings Order Come in Standard Form?

Once made, an Attachment of Earnings Order can take one of three forms:

  1. A ‘suspended’ order is where the order is not imposed so long as the debtor voluntarily makes payments at the prescribed rate directly to the judgment creditor. Many debtors may prefer this because in this way their employer does not get to find out that they have a judgment against them, whilst some creditors are happier to receive the direct rather than via the courts

  2. A ‘full’ order is where an order is made by the court and deductions are made by the employer and funnelled back to the creditor via the courts

  3. A ‘consolidated’ order is where more than one creditor is owed money by a single judgment debtor. In the case of a consolidated order, all the Attachment of Earnings Orders are brought together into one single order and all the creditors are paid out pro-rata from one single deduction taken out by the employer and administered by the courts

Ideally 1. is the best outcome. The judgment debtor acknowledges that the CCJ has to be paid and is going to do that without further compulsion. The voluntary nature of the payment means you are more likely to be paid.


Outcome 2. will happen if the co-operation is not there.


Outcome 3. will happen when you are one of a number of creditors who is all looking for payment. We will tell you if this is going to affect you as soon as we have made the relevant search.


Summing Up

At Attachment of Earnings, an Application is the best way to enforce a judgment against an employed person with a judgment debtor under £600 or where the judgment is based on a consumer credit agreement.


A Writ of Control is a more direct form of enforcement against a person who is employed and has a judgment over £600 and we encourage you to use this method first in that situation. It is a cheaper solution with an investment of just £156 including VAT. Writs of Control allow enforcement agents to knock on the door of the employed person and ask for payment in full. An Attachment of Earnings Order application won’t do that.


Next Steps

Before deciding on whether to use this service – use our FREE JUDGMENT CHECKER to let us help you make the best choice for enforcement for your CCJ.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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