Strictly speaking, where the Court awards a money judgment, the other side should pay up, right? In practice, this does not always prove to be the case. Whether it’s a business or an individual, if cash is in short supply, you may not be first in line for the payment that is legally yours.
Obtaining security for your judgment debt is therefore an important part of the litigation process and can be the difference between getting paid and not. Security is achieved by charging an asset owned by the debtor, most commonly a property, but can also be comprised of stocks and shares.
Order for Sale
Once a charging order is in place, you can take the next step and apply for an Order for Sale. As the name suggests, this is an application to the Court for permission to sell the asset, realise its value and ultimately discharge the sums owing under the judgment. Once the application is received by the Court, a hearing is listed and the Judge will hand down directions for the next steps.
The debtor is usually afforded one final chance to pay, failing which, the order for sale will take effect. The order for sale will include a date that possession will need to be given up by the debtor and provide a sequence as to how costs will applied. Where the debtor fails to give vacant possession by the date specified in the order, a writ or warrant may be obtained from the Court and bailiffs will be appointed to carry out an eviction.
Is this the right option for me?
You should only apply for an order for sale where there is sufficient equity in the property to discharge the judgment debt. It is therefore necessary to obtain professional valuations and details of other charges, such as the mortgage.
Where the Court has ordered repayment of the debt in instalments and there has been no default in payments by the debtor, the Court will take this into consideration when deciding whether to make the order for sale.
Where you have a Charging Order made on or after 6 April 2013, the minimum threshold for an order for sale application is £1,000.
It’s clear that an order for sale can be a powerful tool for a creditor. We’ve assisted a variety of clients in securing funds from debtors who for varying reasons have been unable to come to an agreement to pay, for more information on how we may be able to assist you please speak to Penny Daisley.