Speeding Up Attachment of Earnings and Charging Orders
New rules to help creditors get paid faster have now come into effect.
Court staff have new delegated powers to process two important orders for enforcing court judgments:
- Attachment of Earnings Order – which allows the court to instruct a debtor’s employer to stop money from their wages to pay the debt.
- Charging Order – which secures the debt against the debtor’s home or any other property they own. They may have to sell their home if they fail to pay.
Attachment of Earnings Orders can now be made by a court officer following completion of an N56 statement of means filed by the defendant, rather than by order of a Judge.
Charging Orders will now initially be considered by a court officer. He or she (rather than a Judge) will issue the orders if the required criteria are met.
The officer will issue an Interim Charging Order (ICO) and an Unless Order which stops a party from proceeding with a subsequent application unless they comply with the original order.
There will no longer be an automatic hearing date. Instead the defendant will have 28 days from service of the ICO to file an objection to the application.
If the defendant objects, the matter will then be referred to a District Judge who may decide to list the matter for hearing.
If there is no objection, the court may make a Final Charging Order, streamlining the process and saving time.
At Coles Miller we recover debts for clients all over the country. So we know that some courts are faster than others.
Anything that speeds up the system and improves consistency is to be welcomed (although we suspect that these new changes may take a little time to bed in).
Also, there may also be another upside for creditors: court officers may now be less likely to accept any mistakes in applications submitted by debtors representing themselves in court.
This bodes well for creditors who employ the services of experienced debt recovery lawyers like us.
Outsourcing your debt recovery is extremely cost effective. And remember – the longer a debt drags on, the less chance you have of getting paid.
So act swiftly and decisively. Get expert help from Coles Miller Debt Recovery Manager Eric Holt at our Poole office (01202 355695).