Claire Sandbrook
Other Ways to Enforce Your Judgment
If a court has decided that someone must pay you an amount of money then this means you have obtained a judgment against the other party in the proceedings, but it’s not an automatic process that you will now be paid.

Instead the court leaves it to the judgment creditor and those advising him or her to take the next step. It may be that you can negotiate with the judgment debtor to pay you, because having a judgment against a person or business, does put you as the judgment creditor in a stronger position.

You can use the fact that if payment is made within one month of the date of the judgment, then the judgment will not be recorded against the judgment debtor for a full six years (even if they subsequently pay) which means you get your money and they keep their credit score clean. For more information about this visit

But in thousands of cases many judgment debtors are not persuaded to pay and won’t pay until the judgment creditor actually begins another court application to compel payment. This is called "enforcement".

If you are at this stage, or if you are advising people with judgments on how to compel payment this factsheet is designed to set out the various options. If you are an advisor for someone with a judgment debt that they want to enforce we also recommend the purchase of Claire Sandbrook’s book, “Enforcement of a Judgment” which is published by Sweet & Maxwell and can be purchased by clicking this link. You may be interested to know that all the royalties from Claire’s books go to the charity she set up to help people affected by enforcement action – visit

In simple terms you can enforce your judgment by asking the court for any of the following:
  • a High Court Writ of Control (which means instructing a High Court Enforcement Officer and enforcement agents (aka bailiffs) to collect payment or sell the debtor’s goods at auction);
  • an Attachment of Earnings Order (which means the court orders deductions are made automatically from the judgment debtor’s salary);
  • a Third Party Debt Order (which freezes money in the judgment debtor’s bank account); or
  • a Charging Order (which secures your judgment debt against property owned by the judgment debtor – and works in the same sort of way to a mortgage so that when the property is sold you get paid – provided there is enough money of course!)
With these options in mind we can help you decide on the most appropriate method or methods to choose to compel your judgment debtor to pay you. It’s all about turning your judgment into cash from this point on.

However just by way of friendly reminder - there is no automatic right to get your money back from the court even if you use one of the options we have outlined in this Factsheet. Enforcing a judgment is still a gamble. You can improve your odds of getting paid by choosing the right method of enforcement based on the best information you have about the judgment debtor’s financial situation. You can use our easy “Risk Manager” to help you find the best enforcement option.

And if you want more information or to check out any details you can contact us on all our open channels
We will solve your query and soon put you on the road to recovery!