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You have an unpaid County Court Judgement against your debtor. You have been to the court and successfully obtained your County Court Judgement. But your debtor has ignored the court order and hasn’t paid your money. However, while a CCJ will have that person/company blacklisted with credit agencies, it will not guarantee that the judgment debt will be paid; the debtor may not be willing to pay, and you will not receive your money. This is frustrating, time-consuming, and may have a negative influence on your company’s cash flowing.

Learn how to change that state of affairs and turn your judgment into cash!

What is a County Court Judgment (CCJ)?

A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a type of court order in England and Wales that might be filed against you if you fail to return the money you owe. A CCJ is also known as a County Court Summons.

How do You Enforce a County Court Judgement?

The first thing you should know is that your judgment debtor has one month to pay the money before the judgment is registered against him/ her, for 6 years. This is an opportunity for you to settle things with your debtor and encourage them to pay. The benefit to the debtor is that they will not have a negative entry on their credit report for the next six years.

However, if the payment is still not forthcoming, how do you enforce the order?

The good news is that there are a variety of options for collecting money from debtors who refuse to pay your past-due invoices.

Things you should consider before proceeding to enforce a judgment |

Opportunity to Make the Payment | The debtor must be allowed an opportunity to settle the judgment debt (usually 14 days).

Service of Notices | You should also confirm that the debtor has been served with the judgment and is aware of its existence, as well as that the debtor has not filed an appeal, requested to have the judgment set aside, or sought a stay of execution.

Assets Search | You need to find out if the debtor has any assets that can be seized and auctioned to recover your debt. Enforcement costs money, which is wasted if the debtor has no assets with which to pay the judgment.

If the debtor has been given the opportunity to pay, you are aware the judgment has been served and not been appealed by the debtor and the debtor has assets that could be used to pay their debt then you have a number of options that need exploring depending on your type of business or objectives for payment. We can help you decide which is the best route for you to take and provide clear benefits and costs for each option.

For a limited company

County Court Bailiff / High Court Enforcement Officer | A County Court Bailiff or a High Court Enforcement Officer will file an application for a Writ of Control to attend the Defendant’s premises and collect the money owed or take steps to enforce payment by seizing and selling goods, or report back to you on the Defendant’s assets. The things seized must usually be auctioned off.

Company Liquidation | In the instance of debts more than £5000 due by a limited company, you can file a Winding Up Petition with the courts to have the firm closed down. The assets of the Judgment debtor will be gathered by a liquidator and divided among all creditors according to priority under insolvency law after a winding-up order is issued.

For a sole trader

Third Party Debt Order | A Third-Party Debt Order is usually made to stop the defendant from taking money out of his or her bank or building society account. The money you are owed is paid directly to you by the debtor’s Bank/Building Society from their account. A Third-Party Debt Order can also be made against anyone who owes the defendant money.

Charging Order | A Charging Order is a means of securing the debt against property owned by either the individual or the company in debt to you. If your application is granted, the Courts will first of all issue Interim Charging Order, which is registered with the Land Registry. There will then be a hearing to decide if the order is justified and whether it will be made binding.

This itself may be enough to prompt the debtor to start paying.

Otherwise, you have two choices. You can choose to sit on the order and wait until the property is sold or mortgaged. When this happens, the money owed to you will be deducted from the property’s equity, assuming it is sufficient. It should be noted that if any other charges are older than yours, they will take precedence.

Another alternative is to force the issue by obtaining a Sale Order on the property. Again, the prospect of this can be a strong motivator for the debtor to begin discussing payment options.

Attachment of Earnings Order | You can apply to the courts for an Attachment of Earnings Order if your debtor is employed by a company. This means that their company will deduct a certain amount from their pay on a monthly or weekly basis until the debt is paid off, this is often an appropriate method of enforcement.

A letter informing the debtor that this will be your next move is typically enough to convince them to cooperate. Not many people are pleased when their employers learn about their condition or when their income is essentially deducted in this way.

Bankruptcy | In the case of Judgement debts over £5000 owed by individuals you can use insolvency proceedings against your debtor.

First, you serve them with a Statutory Demand. Essentially, this gives them 28 days to make payment of the full sum outstanding.

Should the money still not be forthcoming, the second stage is to issue a Bankruptcy Petition against the person. Again, the threat of this potential outcome is often enough to make things happen. The Judgment debtor’s assets will be collected by a trustee in bankruptcy and distributed among all the creditors according to priority under insolvency law.


Shergroup stands tall as one of the top enforcement service providers in the UK. Our CEO

Claire Sandbrook is a leading figure in the world of High Court Enforcement services having trailblazed many of the initiatives you see today used by High Court Enforcement Agents.

Services such as transferring judgments, providing universal online coverage across all 105 postcodes in England and Wales, as well as working to clear standards in health and safety and insurance risks have all been developed through the Shergroup brand.

You’re at a clear advantage of working with an experienced enforcement team, and an internal fulfilment team with over 150 years of service to the High Court system of enforcement. By choosing Shergroup as your High Court Enforcement provider you will be accessing our experience, systems, and customer service which is designed to support you through the enforcement process.

If you need more details on how we can help you enforce your CCJ call our business solutions advisors today.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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