Methods of Enforcing Your Court Judgements

A winning party (“judgment creditor”) may obtain a judgment for a lump sum from the losing party (“judgment debtor”) however, this does not necessarily mean that the judgment debtor will voluntarily pay what is owed under the judgment.   The burden is on the judgement creditor to take enforcement steps.

If the judgment debtor fails to do so voluntarily by the date determined by the court, then the judgment creditor would need to consider commencing enforcement actions in order to seek recovery of the money owed to them under the judgment.

It is vital for judgment creditors to investigate the judgment debtor’s assets / financial position first before commencing lengthy litigation proceedings.

We have briefly set out below a number of enforcement methods a judgment creditor may commence upon receipt of a court judgment.

  1. Taking control of goods is suitable when the judgment debtor owns assets, and this allows an enforcement officer to seize the judgment debtor’s goods and sell them in order to use the proceeds of sale to satisfy the judgment debt. Goods that are exempt include the basic domestic needs and tools of trade. The County Court dealt with debt sum up to £600 and the High Court dealt with debt sum of more than £5000.
  2. Third-party debt orders allow the court to intercept money that is owed to the judgment debt, such as credit balance in the judgment debtor’s bank account and divert this to us in settlement of the judgment debt.
  3. Charging orders are suitable where the asset in question is considered a land, but this only provides security for the judgment debt and not payment. For payment, an order for sale will be necessary after the charging order has been obtained.
  4. Attachment of earning orders enables the judgment debtor’s salary to be intercepted and diverted to us in settlement of the judgment debt. It is important to bear in mind that only a small percentage will be deducted from their salary so if the judgment debtor is on a fairly low income then it could sometime before the debt is repaid.
  5. Insolvency proceedings are another effective way to obtain payment. The threat of bankruptcy of an individual or winding up of a company can often be enough to prompt payment, should the judgment debtor has assets available to pay.

If you have a judgment debt that you wish to enforce or require assistance in obtaining a judgment, please contact us. Our experienced civil and commercial litigation team can advise the best course of action for your case and commence the enforcement proceedings on your behalf to assist you in recovering the judgment debt.

Our experienced civil and commercial litigators have many years’ experience in supporting businesses and individuals through challenging times. We have provided a speedy, effective debt recovery services to all our clients’ needs.

Across our team, we speak many languages including Mandarin and Cantonese, Gujarati, Russian, Portuguese, Korean and Spanish. With access to our solicitors at two locations, one in City and one in Mayfair, we cover a very broad spectrum of varying clients needs.