Who can you call to help with an attachment of earnings order?
In this guide, uncover a free attachment of earnings phone number with people on the end of the line who will provide the best advice and guidance. Or chat to someone online for added convenience.
Read on for the details!
What is an attachment of earnings order?
This is a court judgment used to enforce debt collection. The creditor must apply to the court to issue a debtor with the order, which forces the individual’s employer to make deductions from their net pay every payday and send these deductions to the court. The court then uses the funds to repay the creditor.
Sometimes these orders are used to recover council tax arrears too. The amount to deduct will be fixed if it is to collect council tax arrears.
Money will be taken from the debtor’s wages until all of the debt has been repaid, which could take weeks, months or even years.
Is an attachment of earnings order a CCJ?
A county court judgment (CCJ) is not the same as an attachment of earnings order.
But before a creditor can apply for an attachment of earnings order, the debtor must have been issued with a County Court Judgment for the debt. If the individual does not have a CCJ, they cannot apply for an attachment of earnings order yet.
To be issued with a CCJ, the creditor has to have followed a strict collection process which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, including payment reminders and default notices.
If they exhaust this process and still do not receive a payment or agree on a repayment plan, they can apply to the court to issue a CCJ.
This is not the only requirement for creditors to apply for attachment of earnings orders. Along with a CCJ, the individual has to:
- Owe at least £50
- Have an employer (self-employed people cannot be subject to the court order because there is no employer to deduct from their monthly wages)
- Not be in the armed services (another process will be used to deduct from a salary)
- Not work on a boat (fishing boats excluded)
Attachment of earnings order phone number
If you are worried about a possible attachment of earnings order, or if you are already dealing with a judgment, it is best to call Citizens Advice.
They are the best group to talk with to get personalised information. They’re authorised and regulated to assist!
Call the helpline on 0800 240 4420.
They’re open weekdays between 9am and 5pm. Their line is closed on weekends and public holidays.
Prefer online support instead?
Alternatively, you can get help online through their website. Their online agents are available between 7am and 8pm on weekdays.
Why have I received an attachment of earnings order?
The county court will write to the individual to inform them that the creditor has applied for an order to deduct money from your salary.
You’ll simultaneously receive a Statement of Means form, which asks you to declare your income. This is used to work out how much you will be asked to pay.
You will only receive one of these requests after being issued with a CCJ.
It used to be that you could only be issued with the order if you miss a payment, but it’s now the case that you can be handed these orders straight after being issued with the CCJ. Yet, it is unusual for a creditor not to give you a chance to repay what is owed first.
You’ll usually have to be avoiding the CCJ and your debts for it to get this far.
Can you stop an attachment of earnings?
Within the forms you are initially sent by the courts, you can apply to the court for the order to be suspended so you can pay the creditor directly.
One reason this may be granted is if the attachment of earnings order would cause you to lose your job. This is possible for very few people who work in the finance sector.
You’ll be sent Form N244. If you need assistance completing this form, you should call the number above.
If it were to cause you to lose your employment income, the court order would be worthless and it can be suspended.
Just remember that the order is suspended only, meaning it will become active if you did not keep to your agreed repayments.
Another argument you could make to stop an attachment of earnings order is that the arrangement would make it hard for you to pay essential bills. You would need to prove your argument, usually with a monthly budget sheet.
How long does an attachment of earnings order last?
An attachment for earnings order will last until enough of your earnings have been deducted to pay off the debt in full, including any interest and fees.
There are limited times when the attachment of earnings order finished before this, such as in combination with an administration order that may only last three years.
What if I get a new employer?
If you change jobs and have a new employer, you must tell them about the judgment and order within seven days.
Not telling your new employer is a criminal offence. If you become self-employed instead, you should inform the court.
What if I’m off work sick?
Statutory sick payments are subject to deductions, but it is below the protected amount you have tor receive. So if you only receive this type of payment, you won’t have any deductions made.
I’m on maternity leave…
If you are receiving statutory maternity payments, none of these will be subject to deductions.
Will an attachment of earnings order appear on my credit report?
The attachment of earnings orders will not appear on your credit report. However, the events that led to you receiving an attachment of earnings order will, namely defaulted payments and the County Court Judgment.
Having a CCJ on your credit report can be detrimental to you accessing other credit in the future, such as personal loans, credit cards and even a mortgage.
However, a CCJ will be automatically deleted from your credit file after six years. You’ll also have opportunities to improve your credit score during that time and still access credit.
Free advice and judgment support
Everyone can access free help and advice when dealing with debts and any of the issues discussed above, including filling out form N244.
Search for free advice online and get in touch with one of the charities registered in England and Wales. These charities are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to give debt advice, so you know you’re in good hands!
And remember that Citizens advice has a free phone number you can call – and online help for your convenience.