The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Enforcing a Judgment

How to Enforce a Court Judgment

Enforcing a judgment means you are asking the court to collect a payment from your debtor. This page explains how to enforce a judgment to a person or a business that owes you money.

COLLECT A PAYMENT: A defendant's refusal to pay a court order is the foremost reason for enforcing judgment.

But, there is a fee to pay when you ask the court to collect the payment on your behalf. The fee pays for the court to issue enforcement proceedings.

The current fee for the court to obtain information using an 'Application for an order to provide information' is £55.

Asking the Debtor to Provide Evidence

The court can order a debtor to make an attendance. As a rule, they will need to provide evidence of their income or spending. In most cases, this means producing bills and bank statements to the court.

The process is a little different if it is a business that owes the money. In this case, you would ask for an officer from the company to attend the court. The company officer would need to produce details of their trading accounts.

These procedures allow the claimant to get financial information about their debtor. It then allows the claimant to decide whether to ask the court to take further action on debt collection.

Sending a Bailiff to Collect a Payment

If you decide to continue with court action you can ask them to send bailiffs to collect the debt. The role of a court bailiff is similar to that of a private debt collector - but with stronger legal powers.

You can make a request for bailiffs using Money Claim Online if that is the process you used in the original claim. But, if the original claim is a paper version you will need to download the correct form. Check the HMRC court and tribunal form finder website and fill in either:

Being owed an amount between £600 and £5,000 means you can apply to a county court or the High Court. But, you may need the services of a legal adviser if you make an application to the High Court.

The powers of a bailiff allow them to request payment from the debtor and to get paid within 7 days. The bailiff will make a visit the home or business of the debtor if it they do not pay. The purpose of visiting the home or business is to see what goods can get sold to settle the debt.

How Courts Enforce Judgment

Deducting Money from Wages

The court has the power to deduct money from the debtor's earnings to pay off their debt. If you ask the court to do this they will send an order to the employer of the debtor.

Freezing Money in an Account

In some cases, the court can freeze money that the debtor has in their bank and building society. They can also freeze business assets or money in a business account. The court decides whether to use money in the account to settle the debt.

Charging Land or Property of the Debtor

The claimant can ask the court to make a charge on the debtor's property or land. Selling the land or property means the debtor must first pay the court charge before they get the money.

Also in this section...

Court Claims: Find out how to take someone to small claims court in the United Kingdom.
Court Fees: Check how much you need to pay to the court when making a claim for money.
Calculating Interest: How to work out the interest added to money owed by a defendant.
After the Claim: What happens after you make a court claim for money in the United Kingdom?
At the Hearing: Find out the process if a court hearing goes ahead in a courtroom or county court.
Using Money Claim Online: A secure internet based service for claimants and defendants.

How to Enforce a Court Judgment in the United Kingdom