Court Action – Attachment of Earnings
Written by PayPlan on 3 February 2011
Following on from my other blogs about Default Notices and CCJ’s I am now going to talk about one of the next steps if you do not keep up with the repayments under the CCJ – Attachment of Earnings.
What is an Attachment of Earnings?
An Attachment of Earnings (or AOE) is where your creditor applies through the court to be paid directly from your wages in order to guarantee their money. If the AOE is granted then your employer will be notified and each time you are paid, a percentage is given straight to the creditor and you will get the remaining amount.
Sometimes your employer may charge you £1 in admin fees for the extra administration they put into paying you, and they are within their rights to do so.
What happens with an Attachment of Earnings?
As already mentioned, if an AOE is granted then your employer pays a certain amount to them each month or week depending on how often you are paid. They will then continue to do this until the debt has been paid in full. At this point you will resume receiving your full wage again.
What happens if I change jobs?
If you change employer then the AOE will need to be transferred over to your new employer straight away. It is your responsibility to ensure that this happens and it is an offence not to do this.
How is it granted?
Once your creditor applies to the court for an AOE you will be sent an N56 form. You must fill out this form and disclose your financial circumstances. This form must be returned within eight days.
If you do not return the form then the County Court bailiffs will serve the form to you. If you still do not return the form then the court will issue a warrant for your arrest and you will be taken to court to explain why you haven’t returned the form.
Sometimes, if you do not return the form to start with, your creditor could go directly to your employer.
What if it affects my job?
An Attachment of Earnings affects some jobs so you always need to check your contract of employment if you receive an N56 form. You can ask for the AOE not to be granted by filling out the N56 form and you would explain the reason for not wanting the AOE is because you would lose your job, and it will then be up to the court to decide what to do. If they decided not to enforce the AOE then you would receive a Suspended Attachment of Earnings and will come to a new agreement with your creditor. If you then fail to make the payments as per the new agreement, the AOE can be set up immediately without any further notification to you.
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