Claire Sandbrook
My Debtor Owns Property – What Enforcement Option Can I Use?
Charging Orders secure the judgment debt over property or shares. They are not an instant way to compel payment but their importance shouldn’t be underestimated as no one wants a charging order to pay your judgment over their property!

They become more effective in our experience if combined with a visit from a High Court enforcement agent, so that the debtor’s goods are taken into legal control and the judgment debt is secured on any available property.

At their simplest, a charging order application consists of a creditor asking the court to make an order granting a charge over the debtor’s property or shares, in the amount owed, together with costs and interest.

If the property or shares are sold the debtor will need to pay the charge before getting hold of the proceeds from the sale.

Once the charge is registered – usually with the Land Registry – it will sit waiting for the debtor to sell the property which can then only be done once the charge is paid.

If that doesn’t happen, then in certain circumstances the judgment creditor can make an application for an Order for Sale. This application is separate and is charged separately but it means that if there is the opportunity to compel payment sooner rather than later the Court will look at the situation and make an Order to do just that.

We should say these orders are rare – only 460 such orders were made in 2012 – but in the right situation the court may be persuaded that a sale is required. As you might expect the judgment debtor can oppose such an order being made.

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Resources for this method of enforcement: