Judgment Enforcement – Knowing Your Options
What should you do if your debtor has money or moveables being held by a third party (such as shares or an insurance policy)? Arrestment could be the answer. Third party arrestment prevents the third party from paying the money to your debtor. Instead, these funds can be used to settle the outstanding debt owed to you. Or, alternatively, you could try bank arrestment. If you know the debtor’s bank account details, an arrestment can be placed on the account to pay the outstanding debt.
Inhibition prevents a debtor from selling or transferring his or her heritable property (such as land, houses or commercial properties). It also prevents the debtor from securing any new loans against the property. Since it affects all properties - as opposed to a specific address - it can be particularly effective.
There are many different ways of recovering debt after a judgment has been made. We will always tailor our approach to use the enforcement method that best suits your circumstances. Here are a few options available:
This is the first stage of the enforcement process. Once decree (judgment) is granted, Sheriff Officers visit the debtor and leave a formal demand for payment of the money owed (with interest and expenses) within 14 days. If the debtor fails to pay, further action can be taken.
If you have no other way of recovering the debt, you can apply to the court to force the sale of the debtor’s moveable property (for example, boats or motor vehicles). The Sheriff Officers will make an inventory of the debtor’s assets and arrange to sell them at auction. The net price for the goods auctioned will then be paid to you to help settle the outstanding debt. This approach is often best suited to small debts of up to a few thousand pounds, but it can also be used for larger debts too.
Exceptional Attachment Order
If a debtor has goods stored in their house (a consumer debtor), you can apply for the removal of the goods to be auctioned or sold to pay off the outstanding debt. However, the court will ask for evidence that other enforcement procedures have failed to settle the debt.
This is an order from the courts to the debtor’s employer instructing them to pay a regular amount to you from their salary. This can only happen if the debtor is an individual and his or her employer is known. The earnings arrestment will stay in place until the debt is cleared but there is a limit on how much can be taken, and this is dependent on the debtor’s salary.