Attachment to earnings – what is your experience?

Attachment to earnings – what is your experience?

10:43 AM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago 15

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Recently, we have seen a lot of discussion about using HCEO to recover debts. People started sharing their experiences, give us more inside view on how HCEO works. It may help other people to make better decision in the future.wages

I would like to bring on another enforcement method: an attachment to earnings. After the court received an application about an attachment to earnings, the judgement debtors were sent a form to fill in – their statement means of course they would state their outgoings are greater than their income, based on information they provided, application was dismissed.

Then you put an objection in, and then the matter will be transferred to home court for hearing.

Can anyone share their experience and advice on this please?
Many thanks



16:00 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Hi – Yes use Attachment to Earnings only if you have too. From experience it can be long winded and a pain. A brief overview - The County Court, once you have judgement and the order is processed, and you use this way to enforce the debt is passed for collection to a central processing unit, which collects from employers and pays you. The down side- if the employer is un-cooperative (had this a few times) then it drags on and on till the court issues another order to force the employer to cooperate and give the information and deduct sums from debtor’s wages or if the debtor is not cooperating then an order to have him/her arrested and sent to prison ( sounds good but has its downsides- though had one case many years ago when the debtor was playing games and got arrested and ‘dragged to court’ and had to laugh at the Judges’ comments – Mr %^& you are lucky Mr Fisher was available to come to court so quick otherwise you would have been in a cell for days and days). There is more to all this enforcement action but would take me ages to go into full details - I would personally seek to use other enforcement actions and this as a last result.

by Robert Taylor

16:08 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

I have used an Attachment of Earnings Order twice. Once through Worksop County Court and once through MoneyClaim Online which I then transfered to the defendant's local county court for enforcement.
I found the process straightforward although you must follow the precise procedure. In both cases a monthly payment was agreed and their employer was instructed to deduct the amount from their wages and send to the court which then passed the payment to me.
As you say, the process does rely on the defendant having sufficient money from their employment after expenses to be able to pay, but if they had sufficient to pay the rent when they took on the tenancy they should be able to pay off the arrears.
Once an Attachment of Earnings Order is made you are sure to receive what is owed including costs provided the defendant is employed.

by Dr Rosalind Beck

17:08 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

I've had great experience of it. It can sometimes take a whole year before you get any money, and you have to chase it up, but if the person is in a steady job and unlikely to change it, it can be great. I have recovered in the region of £20,000 off the top of my head (£6,000 plus from a group of 3 boys all in decent jobs who didn't pay the rent, a few thousand off a couple with kids, where the husband was earning a few thousand a month as a courier etc... Got a few hundred off another before she lost her job, so didn't get all of it, even got double rent via an attachment, gaining an extra maybe £800ish because the person had agreed in an email to leave at the end of January and didn't go till mid-April..) Generally got anything from £40 to a maximum of £100 a month, often spread over a few years. Good luck with it.

by Brian Jackson

17:10 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Hi Wanda
Yes I agree with Peter about being long-winded but I have had one Attachment of Earnings Order which was successful, fully paid including all Court costs. I have another pending at the minute. It has been half successful up to now having obtained the Order on June 2nd, however I have had nothing. I contacted Attachment of Earnings office who told me 44 days has to pass before they go back to employer to enquire why no funds have been transferred (this 44 days Is done automatically)
This expired on the 16th July. I now have to wait a further 23 Days for a response from employer.If no response a Court Order is issued against the employer presumably for Contempt of Court. I was informed by attachment of Earnings that the defendant (the tenant) has to be left with £180 per week. My tenant was a weekly wage earner. I dont know whether this is a general rule or just my case.
My feeling is be optimistic,stick it out if you want your money. Dont let tenants get away with not paying what they owe.
Best regards


by Jack Craven

21:02 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

I helped to start this conversation so you may have read my previous comments. How can I claim for attachment to earnings from an ex tenant who is a self employed window cleaner and claims housing benefits and working tax credits? I have already been advised that I can only claim £2.70 per week but only if he is living in my property.
How good would it be if someone could work on a no win no fee basis. I would gladly pay them the £2000 plus I am owed to get justice.

by Dr Rosalind Beck

21:11 PM, 22nd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jack Craven" at "22/07/2015 - 21:02":

Hi Jack.
Not good news from me, I'm afraid. We have never got a penny off a debtor who is self-employed. In fact, I never grant tenancies now to anyone self-employed unless they have a guarantor who is working full-time for an organisation. I don't even think you can get anything from his benefits. I've tried all this in the past and got nowhere. I think what you need to do now is come to terms with having been cheated. I've had to do this several times I'm afraid and can't say I've been entirely successful. If i see one particular woman who owes me £2,500, as I do from time to time, I still give her an earful and feel very worked-up. All the best and be kind to yourself.

by Jan Martin

14:20 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ros ." at "22/07/2015 - 21:11":

I am the same as Ros I stay away from self employed as I know from previous that getting AOE is not possible . I have been very successful with getting AOE . I don't give up at the first hurdle as when its up and running I have this nice cheque sent to me once a month from CAPS . With guarantors I have also done quite well but what I do now if I am uncertain is I ask for extra deposit .

by wanda wang

20:46 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Fisher - Fixed Fee Law" at "22/07/2015 - 16:00":

What other enforcement actions could I use, country court bailiff , waste money, then HCEO, doesn’t make any difference, what other options available for hard working landlords? The law is not on our side !

by wanda wang

20:54 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Brian Jackson" at "22/07/2015 - 17:10":

Did you go to the court for hearing ? Or the court just made the order based on their outgoing and income ?


by Robert Mellors

21:08 PM, 23rd July 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "wanda wang" at "23/07/2015 - 20:46":

Hi Wanda

There is a process where you can get the court to ask questions about the debtors finances. The debtor has to complete a very detailed 12 page Record of Examination Form, which asks about bank accounts, employment, self-employment, assets, people who owe them money (e.g. for work they've done but not got paid for yet). If they debtor does not answer fully or honestly then they are in contempt of court and I believe they can be arrested and imprisoned. If you get this done then it will give you a much better idea of what enforcement action may be possible (or most likely to be effective).

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