Dealing with your non-priority debts

How to get help with court fees

If you need to apply to the court, there may be a fee to pay. You may not have to pay the fee, depending on your circumstances, for example, if you are on benefits or a low income. Contact us for advice.

Reducing payments on court orders

If you cannot afford what the court has decided you should pay, you can write and ask the court to look at your offer again. This is called a 'redetermination'. There is no fee for doing this. You must do this within 14 days of getting the order. The district judge can decide to have a hearing or make a decision by looking at the papers. You can ask for a hearing when you write to the court to ask them to look at your case again. The case should be transferred to your local county court if there is a hearing. Contact us for advice.

If more than 14 days have passed since you got the court order, you cannot apply for a redetermination but must apply for the monthly payment to be reduced. Contact us for advice.

Further action the creditor can take

Usually, if you do not pay the monthly amount the court orders, the creditor can ask the court to take further action. The following methods are most commonly used.

Bailiff's warrant

The creditor can ask the court to instruct bailiffs. The bailiffs are not allowed to take certain basic household goods. They could clamp or remove your car if it is parked on your drive or nearby. If the bailiffs have not been into your home before, you can refuse them entry. Do not sign any papers the bailiffs may pass through your door. This information is based on changes to bailiff law from 6 April 2014. It is not yet clear how the new rules will be applied in practice. If a bailiff says they can come into your home even when they have not been in before, contact us for advice.

Attachment of earnings

The court can order your employer to make deductions from your wages to clear your debt. The court works out the rate by using a set formula. This order can be suspended if it might affect your employment and you can make the payments yourself. If a creditor is threatening to make an attachment of earnings against you, contact us for advice.