When to seek a third party debt order—spotting the opportunities
Produced in partnership with Phil Roberts of Clarke Willmott
When to seek a third party debt order—spotting the opportunities

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Phil Roberts of Clarke Willmott provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • When to seek a third party debt order—spotting the opportunities
  • Is a TPDO worth the effort?
  • Is your judgment debtor owed money by someone?
  • Get to know your debtor
  • Client’s relationship with debtor
  • Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims
  • Payment in instalments
  • Debtor's employment status
  • The response pack
  • Order for information
  • More...

This Practice Note is designed to assist in spotting opportunities for when a Third Party Debt Order (TPDO) can be used as a means of enforcing a money judgment. For guidance on the process for obtaining a TPDO and for frequently asked questions in relation to them, see Practice Notes:

  1. How to apply for a third party debt order (TPDO)

  2. Third party debt orders—flowchart

  3. Third party debt orders—frequently asked questions

Is a TPDO worth the effort?

Once a money judgment has been obtained, if it remains unpaid then enforcement action can be taken by the creditor. What enforcement action is taken is entirely the creditor’s choice (see CPR 70.2(2)).

TPDOs are the least used enforcement method. The reasons for this are probably due to the fact that the creditor has to supply evidence to the court for their knowledge or belief that the third party is indebted to the debtor (CPR PD 72, para 1.2(7)). This can be difficult to do.

The Ministry of Justice Statistics show that of the total judgments awarded by the courts in England and Wales, the proportion that are default judgments is consistently between 85% to 90%. These judgments will be unopposed which means that there will have been little direct contact between the debtor and the judgment creditor throughout the claim. Accordingly, creditors may not have had the opportunity to seek and

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