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What is a Tomlin order?

i England and Wales

A Tomlin order can stop a County Court Judgment (CCJ) going ahead if your lender agrees. A CCJ could have serious impact on some people's jobs. Such as people who work in the financial sector. Apply for a Tomlin Order (a form of consent order) to avoid your job being put at risk.

The Tomlin order process

  1. Your lender applies to the court for a CCJ
  2. You apply for a Tomlin order, due to the impact on your job
  3. You and your lender agree to hold or 'stay' court proceedings. You must make agreed payments to them
  4. Court proceedings restart if you miss payments. You get a CCJ

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How do I apply for a Tomlin order?

Act fast if you want a Tomlin order. You can apply:

  • After the lender has issued a County Court claim, but
  • Before the judgment

You could have as little as two weeks from getting the forms to act. It depends how fast your lender deals with the County Court claim.

When you get a County Court claim form in the post:

  • Contact your lender
  • Explain your situation
  • They may want proof that your job is in danger
  • Send them a copy of your job contract or similar to show how a CCJ would impact you

If they agree

1. You and the lender need to draw up and sign an agreement. 

  • The agreement comes with a ‘schedule’ setting out the payments and conditions

2. Your lender puts the claim on hold and you do not get a CCJ

  • As long as you meet the terms of this agreement

3. Before you sign

  • Check the terms in the Tomlin order schedule
  • Make sure you know what you are agreeing to
  • It is a good idea to get it checked by a solicitor
  • You need to pay for this

Do I need a Tomlin order?

It is often not worth applying for a Tomlin order unless your job is at risk.

There can be more drawbacks than benefits.

Benefits of a Tomlin order

  • The court claim is put on hold if you pay the agreed amount
  • There is no CCJ on your credit file or the public Register of Judgments
  • The terms of the Tomlin order are confidential between you and your lender

Drawbacks of a Tomlin order

  • Lenders do not have to agree
  • Tomlin orders are not well known or understood
  • A lender may not accept your request after issuing a County Court claim
  • Lenders may ask for payments you cannot afford
  • Extra costs are added to your debt, like:
  • Extra court fees
  • Legal costs of drawing up the agreement
  • It can be hard to change the Tomlin order payment amounts if you need to
  • You can only change these if the lender agrees
  • The court has no power to get involved
  • By contrast, CCJ payments can be changed easily by applying to the court

What if a lender refuses a Tomlin order?

You can make a complaint if a lender refuses a Tomlin order. For example if:

  • They do not agree to it
  • They ask for payments you cannot afford

But by the time court action starts you have had many chances to come to an agreement.

This means a regulator or ombudsman will probably think the lender has acted fairly.

If you cannot agree a Tomlin order:

The CCJ proceeds.

To stop the CCJ going on your credit file and the public Register of Judgments, you must:

  • Pay the CCJ in full within one month of the judgment
  • Apply to the court for a 'certificate of cancellation'
  • This stops the CCJ being added to the register

This stops your employer finding out about the CCJ from the register or from your credit file.

If you are not able to pay the full amount within a month of the judgment:

  • The CCJ will be visible on the public register and your credit file
  • You will need to deal with any consequences of this with your employer

Help and advice if you have received a CCJ

We can help if you are facing a CCJ or struggling with debts.

We can:

  • Offer expert advice on how to deal with a CCJ
  • Help you find solutions to help with debts

Use our online debt advice tool to get expert advice.