Enforcing a judgment
How do I enforce a judgment?
As long as your judgment is for £600 or above, you can transfer it to the High Court for enforcement by The Sheriffs Office. Please visit our 'Judgment enforcement' page for more information.
Why should I use High Court Enforcement Officers instead of County Court Bailiffs?
Simple. Our success rate is far, far higher. County Court Bailiffs are salaried civil servants whereas we are paid on results. It is also cheaper to obtain a writ of control (known as a writ of fieri facias or fi fa prior to 6th April 2014) than the warrant of execution needed by the County Court Bailiffs. Furthermore County Court Bailiffs cannot enforce Judgments or Orders over £5,000. Read more about this in our article.
I already have a judgment or order over £600 (including costs), what should I do?
Simply instruct us, pay the court fee and we will handle the rest FREE OF CHARGE.
What additional information on the defendant do you need from me?
The more information you can provide the better the chances of successful enforcement. If you can, provide details of the following:- what the debt relates to, any additional addresses, phone numbers, places of work, vehicle details, asset details and any other information that may assist enforcement.
My judgment or order is fairly old, can I still use the High Court for enforcement?
We can enforce Judgments or Orders up to 6 years of age.
Does my County Court Judgment (CCJ) or Order become a High Court Judgment?
No, it remains a County Court Judgment and is only passed to the High Court for the purposes of enforcement. Any representations by either party would still be made to the issuing county court.
How much does it cost to get a writ?
Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) charges £71.00 for a writ of possession or writ of control (known as a writ of fieri facias or fi fa prior to 6th April 2014)
How long does it take to ‘transfer up’ my judgment or order to the High Court for enforcement?
This depends on the speediness of the issuing County Court. It is normally 5 to 28 days. You can speed up the process by personally attending the issuing Court and having part 2 of the Form N293A sealed. Once we have received the sealed Form N293A from the court we will arrange for the Writ to be sealed by the High Court (or district registry) within 24 hours.
Once you have collected the monies due, how long will it be before I receive them?
We legally have to hold the funds for 14 days. Payment will be issued after this period.
Is it likely that goods will be removed from the defendant?
No. Usually the attendance of an Enforcement Agent and the threat of removal will result in payment. Less than 1% of all cases end in removal.
If the goods removed are sold and they do not cover the full balance, what happens next?
Our Enforcement Agents would advise if there may be further assets. If there are, then they would return to remove these also. If not, we would request your further information on any further assets you may be aware of.
Can you remove goods owned by other people?
No. However, if they are part of the seizure and ownership has been claimed but not been proved then we would request that you either admit or deny the claim.
If goods are removed where will they be sold?
In the unlikely event that goods are removed they will be sold by public auction. This may be a physical auction or an online auction. Very occasionally we can sell goods by private treaty but would need the authority of either the Court or the defendant.
If you remove goods and sell them what happens to any surplus funds?
After payment of the judgment, interest, costs, fees and charges have been settled, any surplus would be repaid to the defendant.
If the defendant has moved from the address I gave you what should I do?
You can instruct our tracing agents to arrange an in-depth trace on the defendant before enforcement commences.
If the defendant makes an application to set judgment aside can you continue enforcement?
Yes, but we would usually request your permission first. If judgment is set aside, then enforcement action will cease.
What if I do a deal with the defendant outside the enforcement process, who pays your fees?
You will be liable for our full fees should this be the case. We would ask that once the enforcement process has started you allow us to continue until such time as the debt is repaid in full.
How quickly will an enforcement agent attend the address as directed?
Once the 7 clear days notice period has passed, we aim to have an enforcement agent in attendance as soon as possible, usually within a few days.
Do you provide process serving?
Yes we do. Please contact us on 0333 001 5100 for further details.
Can you enforce judgments in Scotland?
No, Scotland has a different system. However, if the defendant is based in England or Wales, we can enforce a Scottish judgment.
Can you enforce judgments awarded in other countries?
If the defendant is based in England or Wales or has assets located here, then the overseas judgment can be enforced by us. You can read more here.
We have a large volume of unpaid judgments - can you help?
Yes, we are set up to support organisations with large numbers of judgments. Please contact us on 0333 001 5100 to find out more.
What is your policy regarding vulnerable debtors?
Our policy is to ensure that the operations of the business do not have any negative impact upon vulnerable consumers, whose ability or circumstances require us to take
extra precautions in the way that we sell and provide our services in order to ensure that they are not disadvantaged in any way. Please read our full policy on vulnerable debtors.
What is the notice of enforcement?
The Notice of Enforcement forms part of the compliance stage of enforcement (the first stage). The notice of enforcement is served on the debtor giving them 7 clear days to pay the debt in full. If they do not, enforcement is moved to enforcement stage 1.
How long does a writ last?
The writ lasts for 12 months from the date of the Notice of Enforcement is served. If a payment arrangement is entered into by the debtor and then they break It, the writ will be valid for a further 12 months from that point. It can be renewed if required.
At which point do you collect your lawful fees?
Our fees are incurred as the enforcement progresses through the various stages of enforcement. When part payment is recovered, the amount is shared between The Sheriffs Office and the judgment creditor. Please see our terms and conditions for details on how this is undertaken.
Does a vehicle have to be immobilised before you can remove it?
Yes, the vehicle will be immobilised to secure it and the enforcement agent will serve a notice of immobilisation. If after two hours, the debtor has not paid either in full or entered into a payment arrangement, then the enforcement agent may remove the vehicle for sale.
How much notice is given for when the goods are to be sold?
Once goods have been removed for sale, the judgment debtor will be given seven clear days' notice of sale.