A County Court Judgment in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is a type of court order which you can enforce against a debtor should they fail to pay what they owe.
Once you have secured judgment against a debtor this will remain on the debtors credit file for 6 years, having an impact on their ability to obtain credit from elsewhere.
If the judgment amount is paid (including any claims for interest and court fee’s and / or solicitors fee’s) then the judgment will remain on the credit file marked as satisfied. If the payment is made within 28 days of the judgment being registered then the judgment can be set aside, being removed from the credit file without any trace.
When the judgment remains unpaid you may want to consider your enforcement options. There are a number of different options to consider and a decision should be made on which one you move forward with based on the value of the debt, the costs incurred so far and the potential costs of enforcement . You should also consider what you know about the debtor and seek expert advice before making any decisions.
One of the most used enforcement methods is to instruct a Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer. The purpose of this is that the Bailiff or HCEO will make visits to the debtor and attempt to take control of goods or take payment of the debt.
You should consider the addresses you have for the debtor. If your debt is with a Ltd company and the only address you have is the registered office, try and establish if this is an office that will have goods owned by Ltd company. Or does the address belong to the Ltd company’s accountant?
If you chose to instruct the Bailiff / HCEO then the more information you can provide at the time of instruction the better.
Other options include securing your debt against property or land owned by the debtor. Whilst this doesn’t automatically release funds owed to you, having a secured debt certainly helps you if the debtor / debtor company becomes insolvent. Once you have secured your debt you can always look at another enforcement method to try and elicit payment.
There of course many options when you decide to take legal action to recover a debt. Information is key, the more information you can provide and consider the better. Consider your local knowledge, previous customer activity, credit information and information gathered through the collection process, the more information you have can only improve your chances of a successful collection through legal action.
If you require enforcement advice or more information on the options available to you, please contact our helpdesk by calling 01527 518800 or email email@example.com