Help and FAQs Section

This page contains a glossary of terms and circumstances along with explanations and next steps that can be taken.

1. What is a Letter Of Claim?

Going to court is always a last resort.

If we receive instructions from our client to issue a County Court Claim, we will write to you advising that our client intends to issue a County Court Claim and allowing you at least 14 days before a County Court Claim is issued.

We want to resolve this matter with you before a County Court Claim is issued by:

  • Receiving Payment In Full
  • Agreeing an affordable payment plan which meets your financial circumstances
  • Resolving any dispute or query
There are a variety of ways to contact us


2. What is a County Court Claim Form?

A County Court Claim Form is an official document issued by The County Court outlining an amount of money a person or entity says is owing to them by you and/or the person addressed in the County Court Claim Form as the Defendant(s).

If you have received a County Court Claim Form, please do not ignore it.

You can either:

  • Pay the total amount claimed
  • Admit you owe all or part of the claim and make an offer of repayment.
  • Dispute the claim

If you have received a County Court Claim Form and do not reply to the Claim, a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) may be entered against you.

HOW TO RESPOND

2.1. Admitting The Claim

Paying In Full

Please contact us

2.2. Admitting Part of The Claim

If you only admit part of the claim, complete Forms N9A and N9B and send them to court as soon as you possibly can. You only have 14 days to respond to the Claim.


If your part admission is accepted, we may request that the court enter a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) against you and the court will send you an order to pay.

If your part admission is not accepted, the County Court Claim will proceed as a defended claim.

2.3. Disputing The Claim

You only have 14 days to respond to the County Court Claim.

If you need longer than 14 days to prepare your defence you can complete the Acknowledgment of Service Form and send it to court within 14 days. Filing the Acknowledgment of service will allow you 28 days from the date of service of the Claim Form to file your defence.

If you file a defence, the Claim may be transferred to your local county court. If the case proceeds as a defended claim, you will be sent a Directions Questionnaire. You will be told the date by which it must be returned to court.


3. What is a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”)?

County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) is an Order issued by The County Court setting out (1) an amount of money owed by one person or entity to another; (2) how the money should be repaid; and (3) the payment deadline.

Judgments for monetary sums are entered on the statutory Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines which is checked by credit reference agencies to assess the credit-worthiness of individuals.

County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) may be entered against you if a County Court Claim has been issued and;

  • You do not respond to the County Court Claim Form and more than 14 days have passed since the County Court Claim Form was deemed to be served upon you; or
  • You admit the Claim and offer to pay by instalments; or
  • You admit Part of the Claim and your offer is accepted; or
  • You dispute the County Court Claim and the case proceeds as a defended hearing whereby you are found to be liable for the debt by court

3.1. If you pay within a month

If you receive a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) and pay the full amount within a month you can get the judgment removed from the register.

3.2. If you pay after a month

If you receive a County Court Judgment (“CCJ”) and If you pay after a month, you can get the record of the judgment marked as ‘satisfied’ in the register. It will stay on the register for 6 years but people searching the register will see that you’ve paid. Contact the court to say that you have paid. You will need to send proof of payment, and pay a £15 court fee.

3.3. Search the register of judgments

You can search for details of any judgments against you on the register of judgments.

You will have to pay a small fee - a simple search costs £4.

If the information on the register is wrong, contact Trust Online, who will check the details with the court:

Tel: 020 7380 0133
Email: info@trustonline.org.uk
Find out about call charges
Address:
Trust Online
153-157 Cleveland Street
London
W1T 6QW


4. What is a Warrant of Control?

Warrant of Control is an instruction to the County Court Enforcement Agent to recover an amount owing under a CCJ which has not been paid.

If a Warrant of Control has been issued against you, the Warrant will be actioned by the County Court Enforcement Agent covering your area, this may involve the case being transferred to your local county court. The County Court Enforcement Agent will usually send a letter saying that a Warrant has been issued with a request for payment within 7 days.

If a Warrant of Control has been issued against you and you do not pay the amount requested by the County Court Enforcement Agent within 7 days, the County Court Enforcement Agent may visit your address and may try to identify goods which could be sold at auction or to collect a payment to prevent your goods being sold.

A County Court Enforcement Agent cannot enter your home unless they are allowed in. If nobody is in, the County Court Enforcement Agent can enter if the door is left unlocked. County Court Enforcement Agents can enter a property if the County Court Enforcement Agent has previously been allowed in and is returning to collect goods to be sold.

A County Court Enforcement Agent can only take goods which belong to you or are jointly owned.

County Court Enforcement Agents cannot take:

• Items which are required for your job or business such are tradesman’s tools or books

• Essential household items such as clothing or bedding

• Items which are leased, rented or are on hire purchase agreements

• Goods which may have already been seized by County Court Enforcement Agents acting under another Warrant.

A Warrant of Control normally lasts for one year.


5. What is an Attachment of Earnings?

An Attachment of Earnings Order is an instruction to an employer to deduct money from a person’s salary in order to pay a CCJ. The employer will send money directly to court and then the court will send the money to the Claimant.

5.1. Form N56 (“Form Of Reply To An Attachment Of Earnings Application”)

If an application for an Attachment of Earnings Application has been made against you, court will send you a Form N56 (“Form of Reply To An Attachment Of Earnings Application”). Court will ask you to give details of your financial circumstances including: your employers’ details; money owed to anyone else; and your partner’s financial details. The Form N56 should be returned to court within 8 days. A court officer will use the information on the completed Form N56 to make an attachment of earnings order. If you don't give enough information on Form N56, you may be asked to go to a hearing with a judge, which you should attend.

5.2. What If I Don’t Return Form N56?

It is an offence to not to send back Form N56 or to give false information. If you don't send back the form, the county court bailiffs will serve you with an order to fill it in. If you still don't return the form then you will be sent a notice to go to a court hearing to explain why you have not given the information you need to about your financial circumstances. You must go to this hearing. If you don't go to the hearing, the court can issue a warrant for you to be arrested and brought to court or even send you straight to prison for up to 14 days.

Important
If your employer's address is known, court can go directly to your employer and ask them to provide details of your earnings if you don't return the N56 form to the court.

5.3. How Can I Avoid An Attachment Of Earnings Order?

Contacting Us

You can ask us not to make an Attachment of Earnings Order if we can agree an affordable payment plan which meets your financial circumstances. We will then contact court to request that they suspend the attachment of earnings application.

Contacting Court

You can ask court not to make an Attachment of Earnings Order. This is called asking for a Suspended Attachment of Earnings Order

You can ask for a suspended attachment of earnings order by ticking a box on form N56 and giving your reasons.

If the court accepts your reasons for suspending the attachment of earnings order, the court won't start taking money directly out of your salary unless you don't keep up the repayments you've agreed to.

5.4. What if an Attachment of Earnings Order has already been made?

5.4.1. If you can't afford the payments

If you can’t afford the amount ordered by court which is being taken out of your salary, you have 14 days from the date the original order is made to do this.

If the order has been in place for longer than 14 days and your circumstances change, you can still apply to the court to change the terms of the order. A hearing will be arranged and a judge may make a different order.

5.4.2. What happens to an attachment of earnings order if you leave your job

If for any reason you leave your employer, the attachment of earnings order remains in place but it will stop being paid until you start working again. If you get a new job, it is a criminal offence not to tell court about your new employer.

5.4.3. Will an attachment of earnings order affect your job?

An attachment of earnings order can be quite serious for your job if your employer finds out that an order has been made.

Your employer could have a dismissal policy for staff subject to an Attachment of Earnings Order for staff dealing with money, security or positions of trust.

If you're worried your employer may dismiss you or take disciplinary action against you because of an attachment of earnings order, you can speak with us and we can agree an affordable repayment plan that matches your financial circumstances.


6. What is a Charging Order?

A charging order secures a CCJ against any owned land as a charge and turns an unsecured debt into a secured debt. The application for a charging order is made to court and forms two parts. These are an interim order and a final order.

6.1. Interim Charging Order

If a Charging Order application is made against you, court will firstly grant an interim charging order. The Charging Order application will then be listed for a hearing to be heard at a later date. An interim charging order does not mean that a charging order has been made against you. There will need to be another hearing for a charging order to be made final.

The interim charging order will also be registered as a charge on your property at Land Registry.

At the hearing the court will decide whether or not to make the interim charging order final.

If you want to object to the final charging order, you must send the court and us, your written evidence setting out your position. You must do this at least seven days before the court hearing.

If you pay your account balance in full at any time during this stage, we will arrange for the charge removed from the Land Registry.

We can also agree an affordable payment plan which meets your financial circumstances. There are a variety of ways to contact us.

6.2. Final charging orders

There will be a court hearing if an interim charging order has been granted to decide whether a final charging order should be made.

At the hearing a judge will decide whether to make a final charging order.

6.3. Paying off a charging order

If you pay off the amount you owe under the charging order, you can apply to the court for the order to be discharged. Ask the court for a certificate of satisfaction on your county court judgment and include evidence of payment.

You can then use the certificate to get the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines changed. This should make it easier for you to get credit.

Upon receipt of full payment, we will arrange for the charge to be removed from the Land Registry and notify Land Registry that the interim and final charging order have been discharged.


7. What if I cannot afford to pay the amount ordered by court?

If you have received a county court judgment (CCJ) or other court order against you, the court order means that you have to pay back the money you owe to your creditor, either in instalments or in full by a certain date.

Once you've got a court order, it's really important to keep to the terms of the order. However, it's possible that your financial circumstances could change and you can no longer afford to keep to the terms of the court order. This could happen if you lose your job or fall ill, for example.

If you cannot afford to pay the amount ordered by court, or if your circumstances change, there are a variety of ways to get in touch with us to discuss an affordable payment plan which meets your financial circumstances.

You can also apply to court to vary the court order by giving your reasons why rather than falling behind with payments. You will have to give details of your financial situation when you make the application you need to fill in court form N245 to apply (https://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=486).

You'll have to fill in your financial details on the back of the form and say how much you can now afford to pay. Return the form to the court, with the fee for the application (currently £50.00). You may not have to pay the fee or you might get it reduced if you're on a low income.


8. What is a Subject Access Request (SAR)?

You have the right to find out if an organisation is using or storing your personal data. This is called the right of access. You exercise this right by asking for a copy of the data, which is commonly known as making a ‘subject access request’.

8.1. How can I make a Subject Access Request?

You can make a subject access request verbally or in writing. You may make a subject access request by contacting BW Legal in the following ways:

  • Phone: 0113 487 0430
  • Post: BW Legal, Enterprise House, Apex View, Leeds, LS11 9BH
  • Email: SAR@bwlegal.co.uk
  • 8.2. How much does it cost to make a Subject Access Request

    BW Legal do not change a fee for making a subject access request unless your request is “manifestly unfounded” or “excessive”, in which case you may be charged a reasonable fee.

    8.3. How long does it take to respond to a Subject Access Request?

    It can take up to one calendar month to respond to a subject access request.

    8.4. What is not included in a Subject Access Request?

    The right to access does not apply to personal data where disclosure of the data—

    • is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings),
    • is necessary for the purpose of obtaining legal advice, or
    • is otherwise necessary for the purposes of establishing, exercising or defending legal rights,

    8.5. How can I Contact the Data Protection Officer?

    The Data Protection Officer may be contacted by:

  • Post: Data Protection Officer, BW Legal, Enterprise House, Apex View, Leeds, LS11 9BH
  • Email: SAR@bwlegal.co.uk
  • 8.6. What if I am not happy with the response to a Subject Access Request?

    Please contact us to discuss your concerns. In most cases we will be able to listen to your concerns, understand the problem and offer an effective solution. If you remain unhappy, please follow our complaints procedure or, alternatively, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    Information Commissioner's Office
    Wycliffe House
    Water Lane
    Wilmslow
    Cheshire
    SK9 5AF
    0303 123 1113
    https://ico.org.uk/


    9. How to contact us

    Online Webchat Email Phone Post

    Manage Your Account Online

    www.bwlegal.co.uk

    Make a Payment Online

    https://payments.bwlegal.co.uk
    www.bwlegal.co.uk

    collections@bwlegal.co.uk

    0113 487 0430

    BW Legal
    1 Apex View
    Leeds
    LS11 9BH