If your business is suffering from late payments, there are vital steps you need to take to help you recover your debt as quickly as possible.
In the final instalment of our four-part guide, we outline what you need to do if you have obtained a Judgment but have still not been paid.
The next step is enforcement action. There is a variety of options available dependent on your circumstances, including:
- Warrant of execution (County Court Bailiff) – this is for debts below £5,000. The County Court sends Bailiffs to the debtor’s address to try to obtain payment and/or remove goods that are of value that can be sold at auction – the sale of these goods is then used to pay off the debt.
- High Court Enforcement Officers – Writ of Control– to apply for this method, the debt needs to be £600 or over. The Judgment obtained at the County Court is then transferred to the High Court for a Writ of Control or Writ of Possession. High Court Enforcement Officers attend the debtor’s address (similar to Warrant of Execution).
- Attachment of Earnings Order– this is an order obtained by the court and served upon the debtor’s employer. An amount decided by the court is then deducted from the debtor’s wages and paid directly to the creditor/claimant. However, this is only applicable to debtors that are employed and not self-employed or receiving benefits.
- Charging Order- this secures the debt owed to you against the debtor’s property. If the property is then sold or re-mortgaged the debt will be paid if there is sufficient equity in the property.
- Bankruptcy/Winding up Petition – this is considered to be the nuclear option. The threat of such action can be very effective and will definitely focus the debtor’s mind on paying what they owe.
- Third Party Debt Order- in this case, the court orders that money owed by a third party to the debtor, is paid directly to the creditor/claimant. This type of order can also be used against a bank account in the debtor’s name; this sometimes leads, from a practical perspective, to the bank account being frozen until the date of a hearing of the application.
Our specialist debt recovery experts can advise you on the best route to maximise your recovery and guide you through each step.
For further information on possible enforcement proceedings or advice on any step of the debt recovery process, please contact us.