Judgment & enforcement - debt recovery

On your instruction, a request for default judgment is lodged at court where a debtor has failed to respond to the claim issued against them at court. Judgment is entered by the court for the total amount payable including all interest, compensation, solicitors fixed costs and court fee paid.

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A judgment - often referred to as a CCJ (County Court Judgment) is simply a piece of paper issued and stamped by the court setting out the amount of the judgment.

The judgment normally states that the amount of the judgment is payable forthwith and contains a notice to the debtor that details of the judgment will be entered in the Register of Judgments Orders & Fines. If the debt is paid in full within one month of the date of the judgment, the debtor can ask the court to cancel the entry in the register.

You should note that the court will not help you to enforce your judgment so if your judgment is not paid you will need to take steps to enforce the judgment if you want to be paid.


There are several enforcement methods. These include:

  • Warrant of execution - enforcement by County Court Bailiff 
  • Writ of control - enforcement by High Court Enforcement Officer or Sheriff - previously known as a writ of fieri facias or fi fa for short
  • Attachment of earnings order - where the debtor is in paid employment
  • Order to obtain information - to establish financial income and expenditure
  • Charging order - security over the debtor's property
  • Third party debt order - attaching monies owed by a 3rd party to the debtor
  • Winding up or bankruptcy proceedings

The most common type of enforcement is issuing a writ of control under which a High Court Enforcement Officer is instructed to seize goods to satisfy the judgment.

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