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Attachment Of Earnings Order

Definition of 'Attachment Of Earnings Order'

To obtain an Attachment of Earnings Order, a lender first must issue a Summons and then obtain judgment against you, usually but not always in the County Court. A County Court Judgment does not in itself give the lender any special ability to obtain repayment; it simply means that the Court has adjudged that the monies are legally due.

To obtain repayment, a lender has to apply to the court to take one of a series of actions known as ‘remedies after judgment’. Remedies after judgment include applying for an Attachment of Earnings Order, or a charging order over one of your assets, snaffling your bank balance (via a garnishee order), or to have you called to court and ordered to declare your income, assets and liabilities under oath, or sending in the bailiffs.

Applying for an Attachment of Earnings Order is one of the most popular remedies after judgment. Lenders can apply for an attachment of earnings order AND any other remedy or remedies they choose. The only thing that limits lenders using every single remedy after judgment is the prohibitive cost of each one.

An Attachment of Earnings Order is served on your employer who then must by law deduct the specified sum from your earnings, and pay this to the Court, and which will in turn pay it over to the lender.

The Courts will not grant an Attachment of Earnings Order to anyone who is self employed, or who is in HM Forces, or is a merchant seaman. If you move jobs, the Attachment of Earnings Order does not automatically follow you to your new employer; the lender has to apply to the Court for the Attachment of Earnings Order to be applied to your new employer.

Once granted, the Court sends you a form to help it decide how much to deduct from your pay. It is strongly in your interests to fill this form out carefully and to return it promptly; it is unlikely it is possible that you could be jailed for failure to return an Attachment of Earnings Enquiry Form.

Attachment of Earnings Orders do not appear on credit reports. Only the underlying judgment is recorded, and that is automatically removed after six years.

The Courts will not grant an attachment of earnings order to anyone who is self employed, or who is in HM Forces, or is a merchant seaman. If you move jobs, the attachment of earnings order does not automatically follow you to your new employer; the lender has to apply to the Court for the attachment of earnings order to be applied to your new employer.

Once granted, the Court sends you a form to help it decide how much to deduct from your pay. It is strongly in your interests to fill this form out carefully and to return it promptly, indeed it is unlikely but you can be jailed for failure to return an attachment of earnings form.

Attachment of earnings orders do not appear on credit reports. Only the underlying judgment is recorded, and that is automatically removed after six years.

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