How can you recover money from a debtor if you obtain a court Order which orders your debtor to pay you the debt but your debtor does not make payment?
Do you know what you do next? This is a predicament frequently faced by individuals and organisations who seek to recover debt. Do not give up as there are various options available!
If you wish to pursue the debt, the first step is to serve a Charge for Payment. This is a statutory notice served by Sheriff Officers and requests that the debt is repaid within 14 days.
If no action is taken by the debtor, the following options are available:
Arrestment - Provided you have bank account details for the debtor, you can attempt to arrest the funds within their account. To arrest these funds, the debtor's account must hold in excess of £417 and any funds over this amount can be arrested. Arrestment can be unsuccessful, as you have no prior information on whether sufficient funds are available.
Earnings arrestment - If the debtor is employed and you have employment details, you can ask Sheriff Officers to arrest their wages. If successful you will then receive a set amount (determined by their earnings) towards the debt. If earnings exceed £12pd/£85pw/£370pm a percentage of the earnings can be arrested. This is a popular method for recovering outstanding sums due by a debtor and has a good success rate.
Attachment - You can ask Sheriff Officers to attach goods outside of the debtor's property if they are of value, i.e. vehicles. To attach goods inside the property, an application for an Exceptional Attachment Order must be made to court; this is at the discretion of the Sheriff. If you obtain the Order, Sheriff Officers will remove the items and sell them. Please note that if a debtor is staying with their family or friends, it is usually impossible to proceed with an exceptional attachment as they will have very little items in the property belonging to them.
Sequestration - Where the debt exceeds £3,000 you can apply to sequestrate the debtor. This is usually a last resort and is the most costly form of recovery.
There are a variety of options available, if you'd like legal advice specific to your circumstances, to assist with identifying the most suitable method to recover money from a debtor please get in touch.