If a court has decided that someone must pay you an amount of money (judgment) and you have not received it, you may want to ask the court to enforce the order.
You can try to get your money by asking the court for any of the following:
In addition, if the amount you are owed is more than £750, you can also apply to make the defendant bankrupt. However, this can be expensive.
A warrant of execution gives court bailiffs the authority to take goods from the defendant's home or business. Bailiffs will try to either:
A warrant of execution will only help if the defendant has:
Before the court can issue a warrant, the defendant must have:
This is called 'being in arrears'.
An attachment of earnings order is sent to the defendant's employer. It tells the employer to take an amount from the defendant's earnings each pay day and send it to a collection office. The money is then sent to you.
The defendant must be employed by someone before you can issue an attachment of earnings order. An order cannot be made if the defendant is unemployed or self-employed. Also, the court may not be able to make an order, or may only make an order to pay it back in small instalments, if the defendant's living expenses are greater than what is earned.
Before you can ask the court to issue an attachment of earnings order:
Freezing the defendant's money that is held, for example, in a bank account.
A third party debt order is usually made to stop the defendant taking money out of his or her bank or building society account. The money you are owed is paid to you from the account. A third party debt order can also be sent to anyone who owes the defendant money.
If the defendant has a bank or building society account, the bank or building society will freeze the account when it receives the order from the court. If the account is overdrawn on the day the bank or building society receives your order, you cannot be paid from the account. The defendant will know about the order and may stop paying money into the account.
A charging order prevents the defendant from selling his or her assets (such as property, land or investments) without paying what is owed to you.
You will not get your money until the defendant sells his or her assets. In some circumstances, you may be able to ask the court for an order to force him or her to sell the assets.
You can also request that the defendant is called into court for an order to obtain information. This is not a method of attempting to retrieve the money owed, but an interview to discover information about the defendant's financial situation.
An order to obtain information is not a form of enforcement which will get you your money. But it is a way of getting information from the defendant (called the 'judgment debtor' when you use this procedure; you become the 'judgment creditor') which will help you decide:
If you use this procedure, the judgment debtor will be ordered to come to the court to be questioned, on oath, by a court officer. The sort of information you will receive from the questioning includes: