Enforcing a judgment in debt cases 

The method used to enforce a judgment will depend upon the amount owed and the circumstances of the debt. We will advise you about the best route in your case, and support you to pursue your choice of enforcement.  
 
The options available to discharge a judgment relating to a debt are listed below. Click to expand each item for more detail. 
 
The County Court Bailiff will attend the debtors property to seize goods which will then be sold at auction. The Court fee of £55 is payable regardless of whether or not monies are recovered. If the Bailiff is successful, they will attempt to recover sufficient goods to cover their costs. 
 
The High Court Enforcement Officers costs are deducted directly from monies recovered. Even if no monies are recovered, you will still be liable for costs of instruction and attempted enforcement. 
 
An arrangement for the debtor’s employer to deduct an amount set by the Court from the debtor's earnings on a regular basis, usually monthly. Deductions are usually sent directly to the Court, then subsequently to the creditor. Sometimes a trace is required to confirm whether or not the debtor is currently employed. This method of enforcement is not available if the debtor is self-employed or is a limited company. 
 
The debt is secured against the debtor’s property. If the property is jointly owned, the charge will only be secured against the debtor's share of the property. The debt will only be discharged once the property has been sold. Debts are discharged in order of priority. If the property is repossessed and sold by the mortgage lender, your charge will be cancelled. A Charging Order is not available if the debtor is a limited company.  
 
An application can be made to recover monies directly from the debtor’s bank account. If the account is in joint names, the Judgment debt can only be discharged from the debtor’s share of the funds. 
 
A statutory demand will be issued to discharge the debt. If no response is received within 21 days, bankruptcy proceedings can be issued. The debtor must owe at least £5,000 for bankruptcy to be an option.  
 
If the debtor is made bankrupt their assets, such as property or cars, will be sold to discharge the debts. Their bank accounts will be frozen and they will be unable to apply for credit. A notification of the bankruptcy is advertised in the local newspaper, which is often a strong deterrant. The bankruptcy lasts for one year, but credit reference agencies will keep a record of the bankruptcy for up to 6 years.  
 
A statutory demand will be issued to discharge the debt. If no response is received within 21 days, winding up proceedings can be issued. The debtor must owe at least £750 for winding up to be an option.  
 
To petition for compulsory liquidation there is a £280 court fee and a £1,600 petition deposit. You will also need to pay to advertise the petition and court hearing in the Gazette. Which court you apply to depends on the amount of ‘paid-up share capital’ the business has – you can find this information on the Companies House register. 
 
If the petition is successful, the court will issue a winding-up order and put a liquidator in charge of winding-up the company. The liquidator will take control of the business to manage the sale of assets and settling existing disputes. Where the liquidation has been brought about by a petition, rather than by the directors’ choice, the liquidator will act in the interest of the creditors. The business’s assets are used to pay its debts and any money leftover will be split among shareholders. 
 
You may not recover all of the money you are owed. This will depend upon the value of the assets available and the amount owed in debts to other creditors. 
 

Get in touch 

Do you have a legal matter you'd like to discuss with us? Get in touch using the details below or use the form here and a member of our team will be in touch to discuss your enquiry. 
Phone: 0121 452 5130 
Address: Spencer Shaw Solicitors Limited 
Vancouver House, 111 Hagley Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B16 8LB 
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