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Attachment of earnings

What is an attachment of earnings?

An Attachment of Earnings Order is made to take money from your wages in order to go towards paying your debts. Therefore you must be in paid employment. Like an Administration Order there are certain requirements to an Attachment of Earnings Order. You must be behind with atleast one payment and you must owe more than £50.

Who takes out an Attachment of Earnings Order against me?

If you have a CCJ with a creditor that you haven't paid, then the creditor might apply to the court for an Attachment of Earnings Order. If the order is granted, your employer is told to deduct the money from your wages in order to pay the debt to the court, which is then paid to the creditor. Your employer may also deduct £1 for administration every time they do this.

Filling in the relevant court forms

If a creditor applies for an Attachment of Earnings Order against you, you will be supplied with an N56 form. You must complete the form accurately and truthfully, filling in your details and suggesting an affordable repayment that you can afford. You will need to fill in your incomings, outgoings, including what you pay to your creditors.

If you do not fill in and return the forms, the court bailiffs will serve you an order to fill in the form. If you still don't fill it in, you will be sent a notice for a court hearing to explain why you haven't filled it in. If you do not attend this the court can issue a warrant for your arrest and you could be brought to court or sent straight to prison. You can be imprisoned for up to 14 days or fined for simply not following the above instructions. Additionally, if the creditor knows your employer address, they can go directly to them to provide details of your earnings.

Disagreements with the Order

If there is anything in the Attachment of Earnings Order that you don't agree with, both you and/or your creditor have 14 days to tell the court you disagree with its terms. Write to the court and retain a copy of the letter. The court will hold a private hearing with the district judge. You should take all details of your other debts and your budget in order to reinforce your claim.

Changing the terms

If you are under an Attachment of Earnings Order and want to change it you need to fill in an N244 form to vary or change the order as your circumstances have changed. This could be that your circumstances at work have changed or you cannot afford the payments. There is a fee for this application. It is usually for £155, but if you are on a low income or on benefits you may not have to pay the fee, but you will have to go to a private hearing at the court to explain why you can't pay the money.

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