Legalnfo2Changing Bank Accounts

On some occasions, it is essential that an individual opens a new bank account which they can get their wages paid into. The reason this is essential is, if you have outstanding credit owed to the bank your wages are paid into, they have the ability to access any monies available. Opening a new bank account will, as a result, create a safe haven for your money.

A lot of people in debt have poor credit ratings, so we have enclosed a list of bank accounts that are available for people in this position. To open a bank account with any of these basic accounts, you would normally need two forms of ID: one to be used as a photo ID (drivers licence or passport), and one to be used as proof of address (utility bills). If you have any questions or problems you can always speak to one of our expert advisers on 0161 786 0910.

Charging order

What is a Charging Order?

This is an order of the court placing a charge on your property, such as a house or a piece of land. The charge will be the amount owed to the creditor. The charging order will not mean the creditor obtains the money immediately, but it does safeguard the money for the future.

How does it do that?

A charge on a property means that if the property is sold, the charge usually has to be paid first before any of the proceeds of the sale can be given to you. You should note, however, this charge DOES NOT compel you to sell your property.

When can a creditor apply for a Charging Order™?

They can apply at any time after they have obtained judgment. However, the judge who considers the creditors application will not make an order unless you have:

  • Failed to pay the amount of the judgment when it was due; or
  • Failed to pay one or more installments due under the terms of the judgment.

Can I oppose the order?

You may file written evidence setting out your objections not less than 7 days before the hearing. You must send copies to the court and the creditor. You will also be expected to attend the hearing.

What will happen at the hearing at which the judge considers whether or not to make a final charging order?

The judge will consider your application and any evidence you or any other person served with the application has filed. If objections have been raised, the judge can deal with them there and then, or give directions for a hearing at a later date. Directions tell you what you must do to prepare for that hearing. If the judge feels that the objections are justified, the creditor’s application may be dismissed.
If the creditor’s application is successful, any fees the creditor has incurred may be added to the debt and payable by you. You would be notified regarding this.

Can my home be taken from me?

In some cases where a final charging order is made, the creditor may apply to the court to force the sale of your property. This is called an “Order of Sale”. If an application is made, you will be given an opportunity to attend a hearing before an order is made. This is generally not the case as creditors now have a security in place which would allow them to recover the funds due in the event that you sell your home.
If you owe someone money, a bailiff or debt collector may be asked to recover the debt. You need to know how to deal with these people if they contact or visit you, and what your rights and obligations are.

Bailiffs and Debt Collectors

When bailiffs may be used

Your creditor can make a claim against you in the county court. A County Court Judgment (CCJ) may be made stating that you must repay the debt.
If you don’t make the payments ordered by the court, your creditor can ask the court to issue a ‘warrant of execution’. This means that county court bailiffs may be called in to help recover the debt. We can ask the court to suspend the warrant.
If you owe tax to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), or Council Tax to your local authority, they may send private bailiffs to recover the debt.
If you have a magistrates court fine that you have not paid, the court can use private bailiffs to try to recover the money you owe.
If you have been issued with a parking penalty charge in the county court, the local authority can use private bailiffs to try to recover the money you owe.

Debt collectors

Creditors may use a debt collection agency to ask you to pay off the debt.
Debt collectors aren’t court officials and don’t have the same powers as bailiffs. They can’t enter your home or seize your possessions. They can only write, phone, or visit your home to talk to you about the debt and how to pay it back.
Creditors and debt collectors must follow OFT (Office of Fair Trading) debt collection guidance.

How to avoid being visited by county court bailiffs

If your debt is a CCJ and a warrant of execution has been issued, you can try to stop bailiffs visiting your home. You’ll need to fill in a N245 form at your local county court, making an offer to repay the debt, for example by instalments.
If your offer is accepted, the warrant will be suspended as long as you keep up to date with the agreed payments.

What bailiffs can and can’t do

If the bailiffs come to your home, you don’t have to let them in. They can’t force their way in, but they can enter through an unlocked door if they are trying to collect an unpaid criminal fine.
By law they should not force entry by pushing past you once you have opened the door to them, or leaving their foot in the door to prevent you closing it. But if they have entered the property before this could happen.
Bailiffs recovering unpaid magistrates’ court fines, however, do have the power to force entry, but this is always a last resort. Bailiffs trying to recover money you owe to HMRC are allowed to break into your home, providing they have a magistrates’ warrant – but this method is rare and only used as a last resort.

Negotiating with bailiffs

You may negotiate with bailiffs to pay some or all of the debt there and then, so they leave without taking anything. If they accept any kind of payment from you, make sure you get a receipt.
It’s possible that the bailiff’s fee and expenses for each extra visit will be added to the debt you owe, depending on the circumstances.

What can a bailiff take?

Bailiffs can’t take essentials such as clothing, bedding, cookers, fridges, most furniture and the ‘tools of your trade’ (for example, a computer you use for work).
They can take non-essential items such as your television, and also possessions outside your home (for example, your car or garden equipment).

Rent and mortgage arrears – evictions

If you’re behind with your rent or mortgage payments, your landlord or mortgage lender may get a county court possession order to evict you.