A creditor’s guide to enforcing a court order


When a judge issues one party with a court order they must abide by the decision made. The losing party can appeal this decision but if unsuccessful the court order will be the final, legally binding decision on the matter.

A court order in the civil courts is usually financial and comes in the form of a fine or repayment of debts owed. The legal matter is said to be settled at this point, however in reality many clients I speak to complain that after the time, money and stress spent in court arguing the case, the losing party has still failed to pay the sum dictated to them by the courts.

So, what next?

As a creditor you may apply to the court for the order to be enforced. In my experience your legal options include:

  • A warrant of execution

This gives instructions for bailiffs to attend the premises of the debtor to physically collect the payment, or goods in lieu of the payment owed.

  • An attachment of earnings order

An application can be made to the court to retrieve the money owed from the debtors’ salary. The debtors’ employer will deduct the funds from their wages.

  • A third party debt order

Bank accounts can be frozen and the debtor can be ordered to attend a further court hearing in which the judge will decide what use should be made of the remaining funds in any accounts.

  • A charging order

If the debtor does not have a great deal of cash but owns a property you can apply to put a charging order on the property. This means upon sale of the property you will be repaid the outstanding debt from the sale price of the property.

It is important to seek legal advice on which method will be the best means to regain the sums owed to you. The court will charge a fee to enforce a court order so it is important to first speak with a specialist solicitor to confirm which method is most applicable to your case and keep any further costs in enforcing the court order to a minimum.

To talk to a solicitor about enforcing a court order call Contact Law and we’ll be happy to recommend an expert for you.

Are you looking for expert legal advice? We can help to put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. Call us on 0800 1777 162 and let our dedicated case handlers find the right solicitor for your needs.

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