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i England and Wales only

What is a third party debt order?

A third part debt order makes someone who owes you money pay it to the people you owe instead. The people you owe can apply for it if you have a County Court judgment (CCJ) and do not make the payments.

Third party debt orders usually make your bank or building society pay money from your current or savings account to the people you owe.

It can also be used to take lump sums from redundancy payments or endowment policies, but this is rare.

Third party debt orders only apply in England or Wales, but similar actions can be taken in the Scottish courts and Northern Irish courts.

Third party debt orders are not used often. But they can be applied to any type of debt including:

  • Overdrafts
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans

When you do not pay a CCJ, it is more likely the people you owe will use:


The old name for third party debt orders is ‘garnishee orders’. Some creditors may still call it this.

Need help with a third party debt order?

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How does a third party debt order work?

1. The creditor applies to the court for the order

  • A fee of £110 is added to your debt
  • The court writes to your bank or building society telling them to freeze your account
  • Your bank or building society can also charge you up to £55 for this

2. The court sends you a N349 Interim third party debt order a week later

  • This tells you the account is frozen
  • It gives you a date and time to attend your local County Court hearing centre
  • You get at least 28 days notice

3. You have a hearing where a judge decides whether to make a final third party debt order

  • Your bank or building society pays the frozen money to your creditor if the judges agrees
  • You can use the hearing to explain why you do not want the third part debt order to go ahead. For example, if you cannot pay your bills


Only money in your account at the time of application is frozen.

Money paid in later is not frozen and you can withdraw it.

Only the amount needed for the CCJ and court costs is frozen, so you can withdraw anything extra if you have more money in your account.

Hardship payment order

You can apply to the court to release some of your frozen money if you need it to cover essential living costs. This is called a hardship payment order.

There is a fee of £255 to apply for this but it can be waived if you are on a low income.

Contact us if you need advice on applying for a hardship payment order.

Joint debts and third party debt orders

Joint debts in the same names as a joint bank account can use a third party debt order.

But the people you owe cannot take money from a joint bank account if the debt is in your name alone.