Is a judgment worth getting?

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When someone owes you money and your only option left is to issue court proceedings Catherine Green, Litigation Partner, explains what you should consider first;

Before starting court proceedings it is always worth thinking about if you obtain a judgment how you are going to enforce it and actually get your money. Unless the person who owes you money is anxious not to have their credit rating affected there are only certain methods of enforcement available.

Sending the county court bailiff or high court sheriff around can be effective. However, it only works if there are goods that can be auctioned. Anything on finance or owned by someone else cannot be touched. If the person owns a property a charging order can be obtained against their share of the property. This involves a 2 stage process and a court hearing but if the person sells their property in the future you should get your money after the mortgage company and other charges before yours. Of course if after the mortgage is paid off there is no equity in the property you will get nothing and the property might not be sold for years

If the person is employed you can get an order that their employer pays instalments to you every month so you don’t have to rely on the person paying you. Bank accounts can be frozen (again a 2 stage process involving a court hearing) but it is only effective if there is money in the account on the day it is frozen. Bankruptcy proceedings can be started but will that actually get you your money?

To discuss your situation further please contact Catherine Green.

Read more Civil Litigation articles from WSP.


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