If you haven’t made payments to a count court judgment (CCJ), your creditor can ask the court to use an attachment of earnings order to collect the debt.
This order allows the creditor to take payments directly from your wages. They can only apply for an attachment of earnings if the amount you owe is more than £50.
You’ll receive a 'Form for replying to an attachment of earnings application' (N56) from the court. You need to complete this and return it within 8 days, along with a copy of your most recent wage slip. If you don’t reply you might get a summons to go to court for questioning. This is called an order to obtain information and if you don't attend this hearing the court has the power to arrest you and take you to court.
On the form you can offer to pay a monthly instalment and ask for the order to be suspended. If your offer is accepted you'll have avoided an attachment of earnings as long as you keep up with the payment you offered. If your offer is accepted your employer won’t be informed.
However, if the order is granted, the court will contact your employer and payments will be taken from your wage along with a £1 administration fee each time.
If you have any other county court judgments you can ask the court to include these in the same attachment of earnings order, this is called consolidation.
The magistrates’ court can also issue a similar attachment of earnings order if you can’t pay a magistrates’ court fine.
Free debt help
If you’ve received an N56 or you’re struggling to pay a CCJ, we can help. You can use our online Debt Remedy tool, or call our free Helpline on 0800 138 1111 as it’s important you get expert advice as soon as possible.