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i The advice on this page applies to residents in England and Wales only.

Order to obtain information

If a creditor has obtained a County Court judgment (CCJ) against you they may want to find out more about your circumstances to help them decide what action to take next. They can do this with an order to obtain information.

After the CCJ has been issued a creditor can ask the court to call you to find out more about your income and assets.

This is called an order to obtain information, or you may hear it referred to under its old name of ‘oral examination’.

A creditor can apply for this even if you haven’t missed any payments to your CCJ.

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What to do if you receive an order to obtain information

You’ll get a form N39 ‘Order to attend court for questioning’. This will give you a date to go to your nearest County Court hearing centre to answer questions. You’ll get at least 14 days’ notice of the hearing.

You’ll be told to bring some documents with you, such as:

  • proof of your income,
  • recent bank statements, and
  • household bills.

You must attend the hearing or tell the court if you can’t make it. If you don’t turn up and you don’t let the court know they’ll send you a second letter with a new hearing date. If you miss the second hearing, you can be arrested and taken to court.

At the hearing a court officer will ask you to complete some questions under oath, and make an offer to repay the debt. The questions are shown in form EX140 ‘Record of evidence’ (pdf).

The creditor will use this information to decide what to do next. For example, if you miss payments to your CCJ and you have savings, they may consider a third party debt order.