Enforcing a County Court Judgment which has been obtained against an individual may seem to be unfeasible during the pandemic however, there are several enforcement methods which remain available to include; 1) Warrant of Execution, 2) Attachment of Earnings Order, 3) Charging Order, 4) Order to Obtain Information and 5) bankruptcy proceedings.
Warrant of Execution
A warrant of execution gives an Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) the power to visit the debtor’s home to collect the money owed or see whether there are any goods of value which can be seized and sold at public auction.
For the most part, attendances are still going ahead subject to social distancing rules however, enforcement agents are prevented from taking control of goods at residential premises and on highways while the restrictions preventing people from leaving the place in which they live, without a reasonable excuse, are in place. Virtual enforcement is still permitted.
Attachment of Earnings Order
An Attachment of Earnings Order requires the debtor’s employer to make deductions direct from their salary and pay it to you. This is useful where you do not trust the debtor to keep up with the payments as it removes the control away from the debtor.
If the debtor owns a property then a charge can be placed over the judgment debtor’s beneficial interest in land. Charging Orders are most effective if there is substantial equity in the property and the judgment debtor is the sole owner. However, the Charging Order does not result in immediate payment. To realise the charge there must be a disposition of the property. This can be court ordered.
Order to Obtain Information
If you are uncertain of the debtor’s financial circumstances you can apply to court for an Order to Obtain Information. This means that the debtor will be ordered to court and questioned about his/her financial circumstances.
It may be possible to petition for the debtor’s bankruptcy if the County Court Judgment is not paid however, this should be seen as a last resort as opposed to a standard method of enforcement.