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Attachment Of Earnings Order

What is an Attachment of Earnings Order?

An Attachment of Earnings Order (AoE) is a court-enforced method of repaying a debt. An AoE directs your employer to send a portion of your wages straight to the claimant of a legally recognised debt, usually after a County Court Judgment has been issued.

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

To obtain repayment, a claimant can 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, 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 as well as any other remedies they choose. The only thing that limits claimants from using every single remedy after judgment is the prohibitive cost of each one.

An AoE 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 claimant.

The Courts will not grant an Attachment of Earnings Order to anyone who is self-employed, in HM Armed 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 claimant 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 but possible that you could be jailed for failure to return an Attachment of Earnings Enquiry Form.


Q: How will it appear on my Credit Report?

A: Attachment of Earnings Orders do not appear on Credit Reports. Only the respective CCJ is recorded, and that is automatically removed after six years. An AoE can remain active even if the CCJ has been taken off your Credit Report. An AoE will only stop taking money from your wages once the claimant has obtained sufficient payment or if you change employers.

Q: Is an Attachment of Earnings Order the same as a CCJ?

A: No. A CCJ is the legal acknowledgment that a debt is owed. An Attachment of Earnings is a remedy after the CCJ has been issued to help the claimant obtain payment. You can check any CCJs on your Credit Report with checkmyfile. Try your Multi Agency Credit Report free for 30 days, just £14.99 per month thereafter. Cancel easily anytime.

Q: How long does an Attachment of Earnings Order last?

A: An Attachment of Earnings Order will continue to deduct money from the debtor until the agreed amount has been fully repaid and the debt has been cleared. Even though a CCJ marker will appear on your Credit Report for six years, an AoE can last much longer than this if required.

Jargon Buster

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