Choose Court & Enforcement Officer

The court and therefore the type of enforcement officer is usually determined by the value of the judgement debt.

County Court ¨C Bailiff

The county court Bailiff is attached to a county court and is a public servant. The Bailiff can assist in the recovery of debts up to, not but not exceeding £5,000.

High Court ¨C High Court Enforcement Officer

Only debts greater than £600 can be collected by a High Court Enforcement Officer. Sheriff¡¯s Officers or High Court Enforcement Officers work privately or in private companies. A Sheriff¡¯s Officer works under the authority of a writ of control (previously called a writ of fi fa). This is issued when a County Court Judgment, Order or Tribunal Award is transferred to the High Court. If successful, the Sheriff¡¯s Officer will collect your judgment debt, your court costs, your £60 transfer up fee, interest at 8% and enforcement fees from the debtor.

A Sheriff¡¯s Officer earns their fees from the judgment debtor, but only when they collect. If the Sheriff¡¯s Officer is unable to collect, there is a compliance fee of £75 plus VAT paid by the creditor. Other than the compliance fee, the Sheriff¡¯s Officer receives no income for an unsuccessful enforcement. As a result, a Sheriff¡¯s Officer tends to have significantly higher collection rates than those of the County Court Bailiffs, who are salaried without any financial incentive to collect.

NB: For debts between £600 and £5,000 can be enforced by with a Bailiff or a Sheriff¡¯s Officer.


Oral Examination

When unsure how to enforce your judgement an application to the court for an oral examination is a method of trying to having the debtor to tell the Court (and you) what assets/incomes they have. If the debtor either refuses to attend or answer the questions or perhaps economical with the truth there is the possibility of them being found in contempt of court, which could see the debtor face a fine, or in an extreme case, a spell of imprisonment.

When you apply for an oral examination, the Court will order the Defendant to attend a hearing where he will be expected to provide details of his income, capital and savings. The creditor can then use this information to assess the best method of recovery in terms of sums due under the judgement they have.At the hearing, the debtor will be asked a series of standard questions as well as any pertinent questions the creditor has requested

Third Party Debt Order

A Third Party Debt Order provides for a judgment creditor to obtain an order for the payment to him of money which a third party who is within the jurisdiction owes to the judgment debtor. A third party may include bank or building society.


Warrant of Execution

A Warrant of Execution is used by County Court Bailiffs to enforce a judgement and to enter an individual's home or business premises to seize their belongings to sell and pay off the debt. A Warrant of Execution can be used where the debt owed ranges from £50 - £5,000. No additonal court hearing is necessary. The Bailiff will go to the individuals address and can accept payment from the debtor and/or remove their goods. They may ask the debtor to sign an agreement that he or she will not remove or dispose of their goods until he or she has paid the debt they owe.

Writ of Control (Used to be Writ of Fifa)

The Writ of Control is the High Court equivalent of the County Court's Warrant of Execution ¨C although its powers are considerably greater. transferring your judgment to the High Court, and thereby to the High Court Enforcement Officers can help you get the money you¡¯re owed quicker.


Attachment of Earnings

This form of enforcement is applicable only for employees not contractors or self employed.

You can use this method of enforcement as long as the debt is not less than £50. With the debtor in employment you can apply to the court for an Order compelling the debtor's employer to deduct a certain amount from the Debtor's wages each week or month in order to pay the sums due under the Judgement.

Charging Order

If the individual owns property in England or Wales (not Scotland) a creditor can apply to the court to "Register a Charge" at the Land Registry against the debtor's property to show that they have an interest in that property. While this action may forewarn any person intending to buy the individuals property. It helps recovery in terms of any free procedings from the sale the heritable property. Once a creditor has registered a Charge against the individual¡¯s property they can apply to the court to order that the property is sold so that your Charge can be paid as soon as possible.