Call Us TODAY on 020 3588 4240

Writ of Control | My Judgment Debtor has Died | What Next

Enforcement can be tricky at the best of times. It the back end of litigation and the time when you should be looking forward to receiving what you are due from the court’s order for payment of your CCJ or other judgment.

 

But we all know life isn’t that straightforward and certainly not after the horrendous impact of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2021 when so many lives have been lost far too soon as folk have succumbed to the ravages of this wretched disease.

 

So, this blog piece addresses the sad situation where you as the Judgment Creditor are trying to enforce against a Judgment Debtor who has sadly died.

 

It may seem very harsh to talk about this, particularly in 2020 and 2021, but this has always been a difficult subject.

 

There is no data available to say how many times High Court Enforcement Officers meet this situation in carrying out their duties. Claire Sandbrook as Shergroup’s authorised High Court Enforcement Officer has only met it a couple of times in 40 years.

 

But as it can happen, and we have passed through the eye of the storm in a global pandemic we write about it just in case it does affect you.

 

It will affect your enforcement strategy if you have a judgment against a sole trader or an individual consumer. This debtor may have bought goods and/or services from you and not paid for them. They may have litigated against you and lost, and you have a costs order to enforce against them. You may be an employee of a sole trader who has won an Employment Tribunal Award, and before you get paid, your former employer has died.

 

The Positive News | Who Can Still Enforce Your Judgment

We need to say this straight away. If a judgment has been entered against your Judgment Debtor, or you have your final order in your Employment Tribunal proceedings, before the Judgment Debtor died, then you can still move forward to enforce that judgment or award against the estate of the deceased Judgment Debtor.

 

The mechanics of this are that the judgment becomes a debt of the deceased’s estate and the Executors or Administrators of the estate will have to deal with the situation.

 

The High Court Enforcement Officer can take control of the goods of the late Judgment Debtor which will be held by the Executors or Administrators. These goods may be in a business or residential setting.

 

High Court Enforcement Agents will attend the addresses permitted under the Taking Control of Goods Regulations to locate goods and take them into control in the normal way. Goods can be sold by auction or by private treaty depending on the nature and type of goods.

 

Antiques and collectables are often best sold by private treaty or by specialist auctioneers. Sometimes a member of the family may want to buy an item that is in the residuary estate and which has sentimental value. This sale becomes a sale by private treaty but will require an Order of the Court permitting the sale at the best price possible.

 

If goods are sold which achieve more than the value of the face of the Writ of Control, then once the judgment debt, interest, court fees, and High Court Enforcement Officer fees are discharged, the remaining balance will be returned to the Executors or Administrators to distribute in the normal way.

 

What if Only the Executors or Administrators Have Goods?

Goods belonging to the Executors and Administrators cannot be taken into legal control to pay the judgment debt of a deceased person.

 

A Writ of Control can be issued against Executors or Administrators, perhaps for non-payment of an invoice, or for costs order obtained, in the course of their handling the deceased’s affairs. However, if this happens then the goods taken into legal control must be the Executors or Administrators, and not the Judgment Debtor.

 

What Happens if You “Pop Your Clogs” Before You Are Paid?

 

In covering all the potential aspects of this sorry tale, if you are a judgment creditor with a judgment against a judgment debtor of any type, and you “pop your clogs” before seeing the money, then it may be cold comfort to know that a High Court Enforcement Officer can still enforce the judgment on behalf of your estate.

 

Summing Up

High Court Enforcement Officers and those working in their name, can offer you a personal and tactful approach when it comes to enforcing judgments in sensitive situations. When choosing a High Court Enforcement TEAM to look after your judgment in such situations that tact and empathy with the plight of the Judgment Debtor should come across.

 

At Shergroup we offer a service that takes all the circumstances into consideration and which ensures Executors, Administrators, family members and business colleagues know you are trying to do the right thing to enforce your judgment in difficult circumstances.

 

Call us on 0845 890 9200 for a chat on your next steps or email us at [email protected].

 

I would recommend that, under any of these circumstances, you make sure the HCEO you work with will act with due consideration and discretion when dealing with the deceased’s family and friends.

You Might Also Like

Content Writer​

DISCLAIMER NOTICE |

The following disclaimer applies to Shergroup Limited and its platform, shergroup.com. Please read this notice carefully before accessing or using any information provided on our platform.

  1. No Legal Advice | The information presented on shergroup.com, including but not limited to articles, blog posts, FAQs, and other resources, is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be considered, legal advice. The information provided does not create a solicitor/client relationship between Shergroup Limited and the user.
  2. Not a Substitute for Legal Advice | The information on shergroup.com should not be relied upon as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified professional. The application of laws and regulations can vary based on specific circumstances, and legal advice tailored to your particular situation is crucial. Therefore, we may refer you to a member of our partner firm -Shergroup Legal – on legal matters or encourage you to take your own legal advice from your preferred advisor.
  3. No Guarantee of Accuracy | While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, Shergroup Limited does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any information on shergroup.com. The legal landscape is constantly evolving, and laws may vary across jurisdictions. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information provided is at your own risk.
  4. No Liability | Shergroup Limited, including its officers, employees, agents, and affiliates, shall not be held liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages arising out of your access to or use of shergroup.com or any information contained therein. This includes, but is not limited to, any errors or omissions in the content, or any actions taken or not taken based on the information provided.
  5. Third-Party Links | Shergroup.com may contain links to third-party websites or resources. These links are provided solely for convenience and do not imply endorsement or responsibility for the content, accuracy, or legality of such websites or resources. Shergroup Limited shall not be liable for any damages or losses incurred as a result of accessing or using any third-party websites or resources.
  6. Changes to Disclaimer | Shergroup Limited reserves the right to modify or amend this disclaimer notice at any time without prior notice. Any changes will be effective immediately upon posting on shergroup.com. It is your responsibility to review this notice periodically for updates.

By accessing or using shergroup.com, you acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agreed to this disclaimer notice. If you do not agree with any part of this notice, you should refrain from accessing or using shergroup.com.

Last updated | 19 July 2023

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this disclaimer notice, please contact us at [email protected]