So you’ve chased your non-paying customer in all the correct ways, and were unable to resolve the situation without taking them to court – but a County Court Judgment should be the end of it, right?
Unfortunately some people still choose not to pay, even when a court has ruled in your favour, perhaps because they are using all of their available income to service other debts and outgoings.
You do not have to sit back and accept this, or wait for them to get around to paying you; a CCJ is a legal ruling in your favour, so you should not be afraid to enforce it and make absolutely certain that you receive what you are owed.
The frustrating thing is that it is not free to do this, and it will typically cost you £50 to order the debtor to attend court, and £100 for each additional step that is required.
First of all, you can demand evidence of income, whether the debtor is an individual or a company, and this will require them to show their accounts and other evidence of their finances to the court.
You may be able to get the court to grant permission for the use of bailiffs to recover your money or, if it is not paid within seven days, to seize goods for sale to repay the debt.
The court may be able to put in place a regular deduction from the individual’s earnings, so that you are paid directly from their income, rather than trusting them to make the payment to you.
You can apply to freeze their bank accounts, and may be entitled to claim money directly from those accounts to pay the debt.
And if they are cash-poor but asset-rich, you can place a charging order on their property, meaning if they choose to sell it, they must pay you in full from the proceeds of the sale, before they can keep any remaining profit.
The range of possibilities is fairly broad, so whatever your debtor’s circumstances, there is a good chance of finding a way to make them pay.
You are likely to incur certain court fees along the way, but if you have pursued the debtor this far, for this long, it is probably worth bearing a final cost to get your money out of them once and for all.