Step 4 Dealing with your non-priority debts

Further action the creditor can take

Usually, if you do not pay the monthly amount the court orders, the creditor can ask the court to take further action. The following methods are most commonly used.

Bailiff’s warrant

The creditor can ask the court to instruct bailiffs. You do not have to let the bailiffs in. The bailiffs cannot force their way into your home unless you have let them in before. Bailiffs can force entry into a business premises with the court’s permission. The court can only grant permission for this if there is no living accommodation attached to the business. If a creditor is threatening to use bailiffs, contact us for advice.

Attachment of earnings

If you are also employed, the court can order your employer to make deductions from your wages to clear your debt. The court uses a set formula to work out the rate of the deductions. This order can be suspended by the court if it might affect your employment and you can then make the payments yourself. If a creditor is threatening to make an attachment of earnings against you, contact us for advice.

Charging orders

If the court makes a county court judgment, the creditor can ask for a legal charge on your business premises or home. This is called a ‘charging order’. This only applies if you own, or have a mortgage on, your business premises or home, and not if you rent or lease them. The charging order means the debt is secured like a mortgage and may put your property at risk.

See our fact sheet:

County Court – charging orders

If you object in time, there must be a hearing in the court before a charging order is made final. It is up to the court to decide and there are several arguments you can use against a charging order being made. If a creditor is threatening to apply for a charging order, contact us for advice.