Debt Collection

Dispute Resolution

We assist both individuals and companies with debt recovery.

In the event that monies are still outstanding despite reminders by you and our firm, there are various methods available to recover the debt due to you. In the first instance, we will need to consider whether such action is required as this will depend on whether the debtor has the means to settle the debt.

In the event that Court proceedings are commenced against the debtor and a Judgment is obtained from the Court, the Judgment debtor should pay the amount of the debt. However, if the Judgment debtor fails to pay the amount, the Court will not take steps to enforce the Judgment debt; this is for you to do. We will therefore consider with you the best method of enforcing payment.

In some circumstances it will be appropriate to consider the service of a statutory demand instead of the commencement of Court proceedings. In the absence of payment of the debt prior to the expiry of such an unchallenged demand, one can seek to make the debtor bankrupt (if an individual) or seek the debtor’s winding up (if a company) – see paragraphs e. and f. below. A statutory demand is not appropriate if the debt is genuinely disputed or if the company has a genuine counter-claim or right of set-off.

There are various methods of enforcement some of which are set out below:

a. Charging Order on land
This is an Order over any property owned by the Judgment debtor for the amount due under the Judgment. Although this provides security for the Judgment debt over the property, the Charging Order only registers your interest on the title of the property.

In order to obtain the amount of the Judgment debt, you have to apply to the Court for an Order for Sale of the land charges. A Court may be unlikely to grant such an Order if the property is jointly owned, or if the amount of the debt is considerably lower than the value of the property or there is insufficient equity in the property to recover the debt.


b. Third Party Debt Order
This is an Order whereby anybody who owes money to the Judgment debtor is ordered to make payment to you directly for the amount of the debt. A bank or building society account which is in credit is usually the target of such an Order. However, you are unlikely to obtain an Order against a joint bank account unless the judgment debt is a joint debt of all the account holders.

Although this method can take effect relatively quickly, it is necessary to provide evidence to support such an application which is often hard to obtain.


c. Warrant of Execution
The County Court Bailiffs (or High Court Sheriffs) can be instructed to attend at the premises to remove items belonging to the Judgment debtor up to the value of the debt. The items seized are sold by public auction and, after deducting the expenses of sale, the Judgment debt and costs are paid.

This is appropriate for both individual and corporate debtors. However, it will only be effective if the debtor has enough goods which can be sold to pay the Judgment debt. There are various items such as tools for business use and essential personal items which are exempt from seizure.


d. Attachment of Earnings
This Order seeks to recover the debt from the Judgment debtor’s earnings and requires the Judgment debtor’s employer to make deductions from his earnings. Therefore, this method is generally inexpensive and fairly easy.

However, it is obviously only appropriate where the Judgment debtor is in paid employment; an Order cannot be made if the debtor is unemployed or self-employed. It may be the case that low payments are ordered and therefore it may take some time to recover the debt in full. Moreover, interest does not accrue on the debt.


e. Bankruptcy
If the Judgment debtor is an individual and the debt is for £750.00 or more, you may decide to petition for bankruptcy of the Judgment debtor. Although this method is more draconian than the other methods, it is no longer as final as previously as the bankruptcy will generally be concluded after one year. After the year, all debts will be wiped clean so as to allow the debtor to start again with a clean slate.

The proceedings are relatively expensive and secured or preferred creditors take priority. Therefore, if you are an unsecured creditor, you may only receive a small proportion of the debt, if anything at all.


f. Winding up/Liquidation
If the Judgment debtor is a company, you may consider winding up the company. In the event of this, a liquidator would be appointed to take control of the company’s assets from the directors. The liquidator will seek to deal with the assets in order to distribute payments amongst the company’s creditors.

Moreover, there is the risk that only a small proportion of the debt, if anything at all, may be recovered if there are other creditors.

We will assist you in deciding the most appropriate method to recover the debt as the method of enforcement will be dependent on a number of factors.


This document is for general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice. Dixon Ward accepts no liability in connection with any loss suffered as a result of reliance on the information contained in this Factsheet. If you require further legal advice, please get in touch with one of our specialist lawyers.

Our Dispute Resolution team

Dixon Ward | Business & Employment Law | Dispute Resolution | Leasehold Enfranchisement |Rob Horler| Our Story

Rod Horler

Business Law & Employment / Dispute Resolution
[email protected]

Dixon Ward | Business & Employment Law | Dispute Resolution | Leasehold Enfranchisement | Sharon El-Nawar

Sharon El-Nawar

Dispute Resolution / Business Law & Employment
[email protected]

Dixon Ward | Business & Employment Law | Dispute Resolution | Leasehold Enfranchisement | Aryana Odisho

Aryana Odisho

Dispute Resolution / Business Law & Employment
[email protected]

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Get in touch

Simply fill in the form on the right and we’ll put you in touch with the right person. However, if you would rather email, you can do so at: [email protected]

If you would prefer to speak to someone on the phone, you can reach our team on: 020 8940 4051

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Dixon Ward, 16 The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QD

Our reception is open 09:00 - 17:30, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).

Gregory White & Abigail Pfister are the
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