Applying for a Third Party Debt Order

A Third Party Debt Order allows a creditor who has a County Court Judgment (CCJ) to freeze and take money directly from a debtor’s bank account, building society account or business account to repay a debt.

Saunders Law is a partner-led, niche litigation practice based in Central London assisting personal and business clients with all aspects of debt recovery.

We assist a wide range of businesses, from small to medium enterprises, start-ups and individuals to large regional, national and international corporations.

Our bespoke service means we specialise in high value debt recovery involving sums in excess of £100,000.

Find out more about the firm, its teams and its typical work by taking a look at our clients.

Successfully obtaining a CCJ does not automatically mean a Third Party Debt Order will be granted. Nor may applying for a Third Party Debt Order be the only enforcement option available to the creditor. So, seeking expert legal advice is beneficial to explore all the available options and take the most effective approach.

We are highly experienced at helping creditors weigh up the options and take strategic action to maximise recovery as much as possible. We can guide creditors through the process, enabling them to take informed decisions at every stage. With our assistance, our clients have a strong track record of success.

Speak to our debt recovery solicitors in London

For expert advice about applying for a Third Party Debt Order, contact Saunders Law today for a free, no obligation initial discussion of how we may be able to help.

Call us on 02076324300 or make an enquiry online.

What is a Third Party Debt Order?

Obtaining a CCJ often does not mean that a debt will be repaid – there are cases where the debtor will bury their heads in the sand and simply ignore the Order.

Third Party Debt Orders are just one of a range of potential enforcement options available to creditors where the debtor will not proactively comply with a CCJ.

Formerly known as a Garnishee Order, a Third Party Debt Order is a method of enforcing a County Court Judgment (CCJ) by freezing and obtaining payment from the debtor’s bank account, building society account or business account.

Such orders can be beneficial where the debtor is being particularly evasive as they do provide the creditor with an element of surprise – Third Party Debt Orders can be applied for without notifying the debtor and it is the responsibility of the ‘third party’ (usually a bank or building society) to take action by freezing the debtor’s accounts and allowing the creditor to recover.

Third Party Debt Orders can also be applied against third parties, such as someone who owes the debtor money. This can cover situations where the debtor cannot repay because of their own cash flow issues. The Third Party Debt Order can ensure the money is paid directly to you rather than going through the debtor.

How to obtain a Third Party Debt Order

It is necessary for the creditor to understand the debtor’s financial circumstances and whether they have the necessary funds to cover the debt.

One method of working out whether the debtor can afford to pay is to apply for an Order for Questioning to compel them to attend court to answer questions about their finances. However, this of course may reveal to the debtor that the creditor is taking enforcement action.

Once the creditor has established that this method of enforcement is viable, they must complete the required court applications forms and supply evidence, including:

  • Details of the judgment debt.
  • Details of the relevant third party, such as bank or building society.
  • Details of other creditors.
  • A Statement of Truth.

The Civil Procedure Practice Directions set out extensive rules for the creditor to follow in respect of their application and subsequent proceedings.

Should the court be satisfied by the initial application, it will make an Interim Third Party Debt Order in the first instance.

Although an Interim Order can be made without notice, it gives the debtor or the third party an opportunity to dispute a Final Third Party Debt Order from being made. There are strict rules regarding service of the Interim Order and safeguards for individual debtors suffering hardship.

As such, it is essential to consult a legal advisor before proceeding – obtaining a Third Party Debt Order is not a simple case of filling in a form, but an involved process that must be conducted with care.

How long does it take to get a Third Party Debt Order?

Timeframes for obtaining a Third Party Debt Order will vary depending on the circumstances, but there are some set deadlines within the process.

The Interim Third Party Debt Order may be made relatively quickly after the issue of the initial application as it can be made without notice and without the need for a court hearing.

After the Interim Order is granted, a hearing for a Final Third Party Debt Order must be listed within 28 days. If the debtor files any objections, this can slow the process down. Otherwise, it is possible to obtain a Third Party Debt Order within a few months.

Who cannot be included in a Third Party Debt Order?

Third Party Debt Orders cannot be applied against joint accounts unless the CCJ is in respect of all the account holders.

How our Third Party Debt Order solicitors can help

General advice about debt recovery and enforcement options

Our specialist debt recovery solicitors help businesses explore their options and take swift, efficient and cost effective action to maximise recovery of high value business debts.

Visit our High Value Debt Recovery page for more information.

Obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ)

We represent businesses in county court money judgment proceedings, helping them take decisive, commercially-minded action to secure a positive judgment in their favour. Our team have substantial experience handling debt recovery proceedings, including high value, disputed and complex litigation.

Investigating debtors’ finances

Understanding a debtor’s means is essential to obtain a Third Party Debt Order. We can assist creditors with a range of effective investigatory strategies, including obtaining Orders to Attend Court for Questioning – a court order that compels an individual judgment debtor to attend court to answer the creditor’s questions about their finances.

Third Party Debt Order applications

Our Commercial Litigation team can provide advice about exploring their CCJ enforcement options, including applying for a Third Party Debt Order. We help creditors balance the potential benefits of this method of enforcement action with the costs as well as handling the entire process on their behalf.We are highly skilled at handling complex and disputed Third Party Debt Order proceedings, providing robust representation at court and maximising our client’s chances of success.

Why Saunders Law is the smart choice for Third Party Debt Order advice

Over 40 years’ experience

Our team of dedicated, pragmatic commercial litigation lawyers has over 40 years of legal expertise and experience handling complex and high value debt recovery matters.

Beyond our wealth of technical legal knowledge, we pride ourselves on providing a proactive and commercially-minded advice, tailored to help our clients take an intelligent and strategic approach to recovering debts.

Independently recognised expertise

We have been independently recognised for our market-leading expertise by prestigious client guides, the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. We are nationally recognised for our skills with our clients coming to us for advice and representation from across the UK and abroad.

A bespoke service

We approach each client’s unique legal needs with care, providing a highly personalised experience and focusing on promoting their commercial interests.

All our advice is tailored to each client’s circumstances; we guide clients through all their options and are upfront about the potential costs and risks involved. This allows our clients to make confident decisions about how to proceed.

The highest standards of client care

Providing our clients with a positive experience is as important as the results we achieve. Following their enquiry, our clients can receive a call back the same working day and there is always a partner available to take calls and address queries. As a result, we receive excellent client feedback which allows us to continue tailoring our service to meet our clients’ every need.

Proportionate fees

We are conscious that costs will be a major concern for our debt recovery clients. We are clear and upfront about our fees and the potential costs involved in recovery action and litigation. Our team are happy to work closely with businesses to help them budget effectively. For information about our fees, visit our pricing page.

Speak to our debt recovery solicitors in London

For expert advice about applying for a Third Party Debt Order, contact Saunders Law today for a free, no obligation initial discussion of how we may be able to help.

Call us on 020 7632 4300 or make an enquiry online.