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.

Will an Attachment of Earnings Order appear on my Credit Report?

Attachment of Earnings Orders do not appear on Credit Reports. Only the respective CCJ is recorded, and that is automatically removed after six years.

If you have had a CCJ issued against you within the last six years, the CCJ will likely appear on your Credit Report, regardless of whether an AoE has been ordered.

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When will an Attachment of Earnings be ordered?

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 judged 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 other remedies they choose. The only thing that limits claimants from using every single remedy 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.

How long does an Attachment of Earnings Order last?

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.

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