How To Enforce A Judgment

If you have a judgment you are struggling to enforce, or you need help resolving a commercial dispute, please contact our commercial team at Aticus Law.

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By Joshua Keifer - 23rd June 2022

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If a court has settled a dispute in your favour, but the other party is refusing to comply with the court’s judgment, then you have various options open to you. This includes applying for a charging order, a third party debt order and petitioning for bankruptcy.

If you want to enforce a judgment, contact us at Aticus Law to discuss the best way forward. There are different avenues available. The right one depends on the circumstances.

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Do you need to enforce a judgment?

Imagine the scenario: you have taken a dispute to court, and the court has returned a verdict in your favour. However, the other party is unwilling or unable to comply with the court’s judgment.

If this has happened to you, then there are ways to enforce the judgment. The right approach depends on the facts of the case, including (but not limited to) costs, commerciality, chances of success and the identity of the party you are pursuing.

Types of Enforcement

There are different ways of enforcing a judgment, including:

  1. Warrant or Writ of Execution

This is when an enforcement agent attempts to seize and sell goods from the debtor’s home or business to pay the judgment debt, incurred costs, and enforcement costs. The items seized are sold by public auction. After settling the costs, any surplus funds are returned to the debtor.

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  1. Charging Order

This is an option only where the debtor is a landowner. An application is made to the court for an order charging the debtor’s land with the amount due under a judgment. Upon the sale of the debtor’s land or property and provided there is sufficient equity, the charge holders will be remunerated from the sale proceeds.

However, there is no guarantee that the debtor will sell their property. Therefore, it may be necessary to consider an order for sale application. If granted, it forces the debtor to sell the property. Should there be sufficient equity, you will recover the monies due under the judgment.

  1. Third Party Debt Order

This may be a viable option whereby the judgment debtor cannot make payment, but they are owed money by a third party. The court can order that the third party pays the judgment creditor the whole of the debt to cover the judgment amount and costs.

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  1. Attachment of Earnings

The judgment debtor will be compelled to make payments directly taken from their employer by way of regular deductions from their earnings. A central collection office will take the monies, and then distribute them to you.

  1. Insolvency

Where the judgment debt is £750 or more, you may petition for bankruptcy of the judgment debtor. This option requires careful consideration. There is no guarantee that the debtor’s property will be sufficient to satisfy each of their creditors.

Get expert legal advice

If you have a judgment you are struggling to enforce, or you need help resolving a commercial dispute, please contact our commercial team at Aticus Law. We can offer you practical legal advice and assistance to find a solution that fits.

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