Claire Sandbrook
The debtor has a bank account - what are my options?
You may be able to make an application for a “Third Party Debt Order” which effectively "freezes" the money held in your debtor's bank or building society account until the Court has decided whether you should be paid from this fund.
Immediately after making the application to the Court, an Interim Order is served on the bank or building society which prevents your debtor from withdrawing any funds in account until the Court has made its Final Order.
We need to tell you that this type of application is the least popular method of enforcement according to court based statistics on enforcement applications and the reasons for this are that the application is more complex than other methods of enforcement.
We say this because the money held in the bank or building society account must first of all belong solely to the judgment debtor. An application involving a joint account will not be successful.
Then when the application is made, the Court serves an Interim Order on the bank or building society to freeze the account. On the day the Interim Order is served there must be enough money in the account to pay your debt. If there is only part of the debt in the account or no money at all the application will fail.
Of course the problem is how do you know if there is going to be enough money in the account on any given day?
We suggest the answer is to do your homework by using:
  • your own background information about how the debtor is paid, and/or
  • results from any Order To Obtain Information, and/or;
  • results from a Shergroup Enforcement interview with your debtor, perhaps from an enforcement officers doorstep visit, or an income and expenditure schedule prepared by our Debtor Services Team
The creditor has to pay a court fee to apply for the Third Party Debt Order.
The debtor can attend the hearing and send written objections to the court and you as the creditor. If the debtor’s account is frozen, they can also apply to any county court for a hardship payment to be made. At this hearing a judge will decide if money in the frozen account should be used to pay the debt.
Shergroup Enforcement also has a separate legal team who can also advise on all the other court based enforcement options.
If you would like more information on any aspect of enforcing your judgment please contact us on all our open channels