Types of Attachment Orders in the UK
Attachment Orders are legal ways for creditors to recover unpaid debts from a debtor’s earnings, benefits, or third-party debts. The four main types of Attachment Orders available in the UK are:
Attachment of Earnings Orders: These orders require a debtor’s employer to deduct a fixed amount from their salary or wages and pay it directly to the creditor until the debt is fully repaid.
Direct Earnings Attachment: A DEA is applied to recover debts such as benefit overpayments and housing benefits. The debt recovery solution was brought into law in March 2012, allowing local councils and government bodies to retrieve benefits owed due to overpayments.
Deduction of Earnings Order: These orders are placed on behalf of the Child Maintenance Service to collect unpaid child maintenance costs, the amount deducted is based on a fixed percentage of the debtor’s benefit payment.
Third-Party Debt Orders: These orders require a third-party, such as a bank or a person who owes the debtor money, to pay the creditor directly. This type of order is usually used when the debtor has significant assets, such as savings or investments, but no regular income.
Can Attachment Orders be stopped or challenged?
Attachment Orders can be challenged or stopped in several ways. If you believe that you do not owe the debt, you can challenge the Attachment Order in court.
If you feel you cannot afford to pay the amount of the Attachment Order or are struggling financially, you can tick a box on the N56 form you received with the order and request a ‘suspended attachment of earnings’. You’ll need to give reasons, and ensure you stick to agreed repayments with the creditor. If you ignore an Attachment Order or fail to challenge it, you will have wages, benefits, or other assets collected by a creditor direct from your employer or benefit payments.
How long do Attachment Orders last?
The duration of an Attachment Order can vary depending on the type of order and the amount of debt that you owe. Earnings Attachment Orders can last until the debt is fully repaid or until you change jobs. Deduction from benefits orders can last for as long as you continue to receive benefits, while third-party debt orders can last until the debt is repaid in full.
An Attachment Order can be reviewed or revoked if your financial circumstances change significantly, or if the creditor’s claim for debt is found to be incorrect.
What is the process for obtaining an Attachment Order?
To obtain an Attachment Order, a creditor must first obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against a debtor. The creditor can then apply to the court for an Attachment Order, providing evidence of the debt owed and the debtor’s income or assets. The court will then consider the evidence and decide whether to grant the Attachment Order.
How do Attachment Orders affect your credit scores?
An Attachment Order can negatively affect your credit score, as it indicates to lenders that you have failed to repay debts in the past. This can make it more difficult to access credit or loans in the future, as lenders may view you as a high-risk borrower.
If an Attachment Order has been enforced, it will be recorded on your credit report for a period of six years. During this time, it is important to take steps to improve credit scores, such as making regular payments on other debts and ensuring that all bills and payments are made on time.
It is possible to check credit scores online through credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If errors are found on the credit report, they should be corrected as soon as possible.
An Attachment Order is a type of debt recovery tool that allows a creditor to take money owed directly from a debtor’s income or bank account. It is typically used when other methods of debt collection have failed, or when a creditor wants to avoid the expense and time involved in other legal processes.
If you’re struggling with unmanageable debts or unaffordable repayments, help is available.
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You can find more detail on the certain types of attachment orders by clicking the links below:
Attachment of Earnings (AOE) all the facts in 2023
Direct Earnings Attachment (DEA) all the facts in 2023