Enforcement of a Judgment by Third Party Debt Order

This is a very effective method of recovering money due under a Judgment which not many people are familiar with.

The application can be made against any "third party" (i.e. bank, individual or business) as long as they owe money to the debtor. 

The application is most commonly made against a bank and you only need to know the name of the bank, although it does assist if you know the account details.  The bank has a duty to search their records for all accounts held in the debtor's name (as named on the Judgment) so it may be that the debtor will have more than one account that the Order can be used against. 

Upon receipt of the Order the bank must freeze the debtor's bank account(s) to cover all monies up to the value of the Judgment plus fixed legal costs of the application.  Due to the difficulties this causes, especially to a business, this often results in immediate payment being made by the debtor from other sources so the freezing Order can be lifted.

The application can also be made against an individual or company who owe money to the debtor and the Court would order that entity to withhold payment to the debtor and pay the amount owed under the Judgment plus fixed costs of the application to the applicant.

A crucial aspect to consider when making this application is timing as the entity receiving the Court Order can only freeze any money owed to the debtor on the day it receives the Order, therefore if you know a particular date when the debtor is likely to receive money (for example wages into their bank account or payment from another source) it would be more effective to submit the application in good time prior to that date so it can be served on the bank on the day the money is due to go into the debtor's account.

This method of enforcement is used by us regularly with good results, however if the application is not successful in capturing any or all of the money due by the debtor a second application can be made or other methods of enforcement can be taken.

Posted on: 20/05/2015

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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