PLEASE DON’T IGNORE THE LETTERS
One of the most important things for you to do is to open the letters from your creditors although this is the last thing you probably want to do, but if you choose to ignore the letters, the consequences will not only affect your credit rating but the creditors may obtain a money judgment against you and take enforcement action.
Below you will see reasons why it is so important to open all your letters
If a summons is issued against you, your creditor can obtain a county court judgment by default against you, without having to attend court and if they know you are employed they can apply for an attachment of earnings order against you. This means that the court will order your employers to take payments direct from your salary to re-pay the debt.
Can you stop an attachment of earnings order from being made
You can ask for the court not to make an attachment of earnings order if your creditor will agree to a new payment plan to pay back what you owe.
This is called asking for a suspended attachment of earnings order.
Can you do anything about an attachment of earnings order once it‘s been made
If you can‘t afford the payments
If you think too much money is being taken out of your wages, you can tell the court you don’t agree with what your creditor has asked for.
You have 14 days from the date the original order is made to do this. If the order has been in place for some time and your circumstances change, you can still apply to the court to change the terms of the order. A hearing will be arranged and a judge may make a different order
If you leave your job for any reason, the attachment of earnings order stops being paid but that isn’t the end of it, it will come back into operation if you get a new job.
If you get a new job, you must tell the court about your new employer. If you don’t, this is a CRIMINAL OFFENCE.
They can also FREEZE YOUR BANK ACCOUNT by asking the court to make a third party order.
If your creditor wants to get a third party debt order, they will first apply for a temporary order called an interim third party debt order. This order tells your bank to freeze your account. At this point, your account will be frozen at the final hearing the judge will make a decision.
Your creditor doesn’t have to provide specific bank account details to apply for an interim third party debt order but they must have a good reason for thinking you have an account with that bank.
So remember if you have already written cheques or had a standing order or direct debit paid to your creditor, this could be enough evidence for them to apply for the order.
Can you stop the final third party debt order
An interim third party debt order will be made final unless you can show there are good reasons for it not to be made.
You must have good reasons to show that the order should not be made final. For example, you may be able to argue that:
• your money is in a joint account and the other account holder does not owe the debt.
Creditors will now use bailiffs now called enforcement officers to collect the debt
Most Enforcement officers don’t have the right to force their way into your home there are some areas where there are exceptions:
They have a right of peaceful entry only. This means that they can’t use force to enter a home, for example by breaking a window or a door. However, they can enter through an open door and can climb over fences and gates.
You don’t have to let them into your home
They can’t force their way past you and if all doors are securely closed they can’t gain peaceful entry to a house unless they’re allowed in.
Once a they has gained peaceful entry into a property and levied they can come back at any time to remove the goods.
TIP OF THE DAY:
Just by opening your letters and speaking to your creditor to negotiate a way to pay back the money you owe, you can avoid a county court judgment and enforcement action, and as my mother used to say:
Prevention is better than cure