If you have a judgment against you which you don't pay, the court can enforce payment.
Judgment enforcement methods
If a court has ruled that you owe money and you don’t pay all of it on time (e.g. you miss some instalments), the claimant can return to the court to enforce the order.
The claimant will have to pay a fee to do this – and this fee will be added to what you owe.
Methods the court can use to enforce judgments include:
- Attachment of earnings order Takes the money directly from your wages. The employer is forced by law to deduct money from your wages and pay it to the claimant that’s owed it.
- Charging order What’s owed is taken from the sale of your house.
- Third party debt order Freezes money held in, say, a bank account so it can be used to pay what is owed.
- Warrant of execution This results in a court bailiff attempting to seize your goods to sell to pay the money.
- Transfer to High Court This results in a High Court Enforcement Officer collecting the money or seizing your goods to sell to pay the money.
You may also receive an ‘order to obtain information’. This is an interview to discover information about your financial situation – it’s part of the judgment enforcement process.
Act before judgment enforcement is an issue
If you think you’re going to have problems meeting the repayments ordered by the court, you can ask the court to reduce the payments (there’s a court form that lets you do this).
It’s also worth speaking to a debt advice charity like the StepChange Debt Charity.
It’s far better, and cheaper, for you to stick to the terms of the original CCJ if you can.