If you are looking at enforcing a Judgment you have obtained against a debtor by way of an Attachment of Earnings (AOE) Order, with effect from 6 April 2016 some changes apply which are hoped to simplify and speed up the process.
The 6 April 2016 sees changes within the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) and some of those changes apply to Attachment of Earnings (AOE) Orders, a method of enforcement whereby money is taken direct from a debtor’s wages to pay off a Judgment debt. The new Part 89 of the CPR will deal with AOE Orders.
It is hoped that the changes will simplify and speed up the process, and reduce the amount of judicial time spent on dealing with this method of enforcement. The fact that applications can be submitted online and fees paid through a fee account is also expected to help speed up the application process and the enforcement of the debt.
The changes to the CPR requires that an application for an AOR Order must be made to the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC), thus centralising the process. Any response from the debtor will also be handled by the CCMCC. If a reply form is received from the debtor and sufficient information has been supplied in order to make an AOE Order, then the Court officer may do so without the need to refer the matter to a District Judge. If the debtor does not respond to the application then the matter will be transferred to the debtor’s local County Court hearing centre.
The Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payment System (CAPS) will keep an eye on payments made pursuant to an AOE Order and if any payments are not made then CAPS will refer the matter to the debtor’s local County Court hearing centre.
Whilst the new centralised system is hoped to simplify and speed up the process, only time will tell if the new changes will bring the results in efficiency and lower costs that has been hoped for and intended by those who have put together the changes.
For legal advice on this subject and other enforcement options contact Solicitor and Debt Recovery specialist, Natasha Biggs, on 01634 828277.