Have you issued a money claim through Money Claims Online (MCOL) and assumed that meant your debtor would automatically pay?
Then this is definitely for you!
Whether you are using the system for the first time, or you’re a seasoned user, the ONE thing that can prevent the recovery of your debt is how you actually proceed with the next step in the process – Enforcement of your hard-earned County Court Judgment.
Although the form says that the debt must be paid “forthwith”, you may be disappointed to hear that the payment process is NOT automatic!
That is unless, the debtor chooses to pay the judgment voluntarily…
But if they choose not to pay, (which is often the case) you need some real money solutions to compel payment.
The Good News! The Court AGREES with you!
So the first positive thing to say is that if you have received your “Judgment in Default (for Claimant)” form from The County Court Online, you can be sure the Court agrees with you that the debtor has to pay you the amount you claimed. You will see the amount of the judgment along with costs and interest all set out in a simple clear format.
Although the form says that it has to be paid “forthwith” you may be disappointed to know that the payment process is not automatic! Unless the debtor decides to pay the judgment voluntarily, you as the creditor, are going to need to take further steps to compel payment. While this is an irksome task, rest assured Shergroup has you covered through its various money solutions to help you achieve the best outcome – payment.
As a first step, you may want to try the negotiation route and speak to your debtor to encourage settlement. You can remind your debtor that you do now have a judgment against them and if they pay the full amount due within one month of the date of this judgment it won’t appear on their credit file. If they pay after one month from the date of judgment, it will be recorded on their credit report for 6 years. This is a big incentive to encourage payment because a CCJ on a credit report can upset plans for a mortgage, credit car, or buying a car on finance. All the information on how to pay the judgment so it is marked as satisfied can be found at www.trustonline.org.uk. This website holds all the information about how to deal with a judgment and keep it off the county court register.
Government statistics confirm that in thousands of cases many debtors are not persuaded to pay and won’t pay until you as the creditor actually begin another court application to compel payment. This is called “enforcement”. If you are at this stage, or if you are advising people with judgments on how to compel payment read on for the various money solutions that Shergroup can offer you.
In simple terms you can enforce your judgment by asking the court for any of the following:
- a High Court Writ of Control (which means instructing High Court Enforcement Officers to collect payment or sell the debtor’s goods at auction);
- a County Court Warrant of Control (which we advise only to use if you have a judgment under £600 or one which is regulated under the Consumer Credit Act, these sorts of judgments usually relate to credit having been granted);
- an Attachment of Earnings Order (which means the court orders deductions to be made automatically from the debtor’s salary);
- Third Party Debt Order (which freezes money in the debtor’s bank account); or
- a Charging Order (which secures your judgment debt against property owned by the debtor – and works in the same sort of way to a mortgage so that when the property is sold you get paid – provided there is enough money of course!)
We recommend using a High Court Writ of Control.
If you are a MCOL or Money Claim user you will have the option to use the County Court Warrant of Control. We recommend NOT using this for judgments over £600. Instead we recommend using a High Court Writ of Control. The names are similar but the underlying approach is very different. Whilst both provide for the debtor’s goods to be taken into legal control, the High Court process is far more pro-active.
Want to really drive the process forward?
Choose Shergroup to drive the Enforcement Process forward on a No Win No Fee basis. The bottom line is we get paid on results so its in our interest to drive the enforcement process forward.
CASE STUDY | Money Claim User Finally recovers £3,437 including costs and interest after getting the correct advice!
Take the case of our client Spencer (for confidentiality purposes we are not disclosing his full name). He obtained a judgment against a local car dealer when the car he purchased was found to be faulty. He was a Money Claim Online user and when he got to the stage where he could enter judgment he did this and was presented with the option to issue a Warrant of Control. He went with this option as it seemed easy enough and county court bailiffs were instructed. His judgment was for £3,437.00 including costs and interest.
After a few weeks of no reports or results, Spencer came to Shergroup looking for a better solution. He was immediately assigned a Business Solutions Advisor, who reviewed the judgment paperwork. He paid the £156 one-time fee and let us get to work. Within days we had transferred the judgment and got a local High Court Enforcement Agent on the forecourt of the car dealership. The debtor was warned that if payment was not made the enforcement agent would start to remove the cars on the forecourt to pay the debt. Within hours of the agent’s attendance the judgment was paid in full and Spencer was absolutely thrilled with the service. His investment paid off and he recouped all his costs and a small amount of interest on top.
So if you would like to follow Spencer and use the High Court rather than the county court option, just complete our online form and a member of our team will contact you to support you through the process.
What law or enforcement problem are you facing? Fill out this form to get in touch.