Top 6 things you need to know: new attachment of earnings regime

Top 6 things you need to know: new attachment of earnings regime

moneyThe CPR updates coming into force today (6 April 2016) include the introduction of a new CPR 89 to govern the procedure for applying for attachment of earnings orders and consolidated attachment orders.

The top 6 things you need to know about the new regime

1. What is happening to County Court Rules Order 27?

CCR Ord 27 which used to govern the procedure for applying for an attachment of earnings order (AE Order) and a consolidated attachment order is now redundant, having been replaced in its entirety by CPR 89.

2. What forms to use?

You still make your application for an AE Order by filing a request in form N336. The court will still serve notice of the application and a reply form on the judgment debtor for the judgment debtor to complete, setting out their statement of means, as per the old CCR Order 27 regime.

3. Where to apply?

All applications for an AE Order must be commenced in the County Court Money Claims Centre (CCMCC). If you wish to seek to enforce a High Court judgment by way of obtaining an AE Order then you must first apply to transfer your High Court judgment to the County Court for enforcement.

4. Who will make an attachment of earnings order?

Since all applications for AE Orders must now be commenced in the CCMCC, it is intended that under the new regime, most AE Orders will be made by a court officer without judicial intervention. However, if the court officer considers that they have insufficient information to make an AE Order then they will pass the application to a District Judge for consideration.

5. Will there be a hearing to determine an application for an attachment of earnings order?

Where the court officer has passed the application to the District Judge for determination, the District Judge can decide the matter on paper alone or can convene a hearing to do so.

Where either a court officer or a District Judge makes an AE Order on paper then both the judgment creditor and the judgment debtor are able to apply to have the matter reconsidered at a hearing.

Where a hearing is to take place in relation to an application for an AE Order, the matter will be transferred to the judgment debtor’s home court.

 6. What is staying the same?

In addition to the continued use of the same form numbers in making your application, those matters which remain the same are:

The basic mechanism of how an AE works - with the judgment debtor’s employer being directed to pay a portion of the judgment debtor’s salary to a collecting officer for payment on to the judgment creditor

  • You can still only apply for an AE Order against someone who is employed and the pre-6 April 2016 exclusions as to armed forces personnel continue
  • Where the judgment debtor has more than one judgment debt or AE order against them, scope remains to consolidate more than one AE Order into a consolidated attachment order

Further Guidance

Lexis®PSL Dispute Resolution subscribers can enjoy our Practice Note on Attachment of earnings orders.

Click here for a free trial to access if you are not a PSL subscriber.

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About the author:
Ruth specialises in general corporate and commercial dispute resolution with particular experience in shareholder disputes, fraud and warranty claims. Ruth trained and qualified at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP) where she remained in practice for ten years. Her work has involved project managing large-scale cases to trial in the chancery and commercial courts. Ruth was actively involved in in-house training with a particular focus on all aspects of evidence gathering and production, including authoring a user-manual on E-disclosure. She is also a contributor to the New Law Journal.