Debt Recovery Glossary

  • Acknowledgment of Service
    the process by which the Defendant tells the Court that he has received the Court papers setting out the claim

  • Allocation Questionnaire
    Sent out by the court to each party to complete and return. The court will then allocate the claim to a track. A lodgement fee may be payable

  • Attachment of Earnings
    Order granted by the court whereby monies are deducted from the debtor’s wage at source and are sent to the creditor

  • Bailiff
    Officer of the County Court who will try to enforce Court Judgments against a debtor

  • Bankruptcy
    the process by which control of a company, which owes debts which they cannot pay, is taken over by a person who sells their assets to pay the debts

  • CCJ
    A decision made by the Court in favour of either party

  • Charging Order
    Order obtained by the Judgment creditor over the debtor’s property usually land. It prevents the debtor from disposing of the property without the consent of the judgment creditor

  • Civil Procedure Rules
    The rules that govern how a claim proceeds to trial

  • Claim Form
    Document obtained from the court which sets out the brief details of the claim and who you intend to sue

  • Commercial Litigation
    the process of taking a case to court which involves companies

  • Contempt of Court
    Anything that disregards the authority of the court. It can be punishable by imprisonment

  • Counterclaim
    If the defendant feels he has a claim against the Claimant then he will bring a counterclaim against him within the same set of Court proceedings

  • County Court
    a local court which deals with cases including debt claims. All but the largest claims are brought to the County Court.

  • Court Fee
    fees which are charged by the Court for undertaking certain actions such as making an Application or issuing a claim.

  • Court Tracks
    when a court receives a claim they will allocate it to a track which will tell them how to manage the claim. This will depend on how much and how complicated the claim is. See Small Claims Track, Fast Track and Multitrack.

  • Creditor
    Somebody who is owed a debt

  • Debtor
    Somebody who owes a debt

  • Default Judgment
    the same as summary judgment

  • Defended Claim
    a claim in which the Defendant has chosen to argue against the allegations made by the Claimant and put forth these arguments in a Defence.

  • Directions
    Timetable set by the Court, i.e. exchange of witness statements, trial date

  • Directions Hearing
    a hearing at which a Judge will discuss with both parties what directions to set to govern the progress of the case

  • Enforcement
    the process by which a Judgment Creditor pursues a Judgment debt against the Judgment Debtor. There are a number of ways to enforce a Judgment including instructing Bailiffs or Sheriffs or obtaining a third part debt order or a charging order.

  • Fast Track
    the Court will normally allocate any simple claim which is above £5,000 but below £15,000 to the fast track. The Court will make more directions then in a small claims track matter which the parties need to obey regarding releasing information to each other and the Court.

  • Fixed Costs
    Only applicable in the small claims court, the amount of legal fees recoverable against the Defendant if successful is currently limited to £80.00 plus court fees

  • Garnishee Order
    A court order instructing a garnishee (a bank) that funds held on behalf of a debtor should not be released until directed by the court.

  • Insolvency
    where a person or company does not have enough money or assets to pay their debts

  • Insolvency Practitioner
    A person who acts on behalf of a company as its liquidator or on behalf of an individual in their bankruptcy

  • Interim Order
    A preliminary order given by a court until a final decision is made

  • Judgement
    A decision made by the Court in favour of either the Claimant or the Defendant.

  • Judgment Creditor
    The person in whose favour a Court Judgment is made

  • Judgment Debtor
    The person against whom a Court Judgment has been entered

  • Jurisdiction
    The authority of a court to make and deal with legal decisions

  • Late Payment Compensation
    A flat fee payable by a commercial debtor to a commercial creditor, on top of a debt, in recompense for the late or non payment of that debt

  • Letter Before Action
    an old term for a Letter of Claim (LoC).

  • Letter of Claim and LoC
    A formal letter sent to a debtor which warns that unless payment is made within a set number of day's legal proceedings will be started against them. The letter gives details of the debt. Legal proceedings should not be started without this letter being sent.

  • Liabilities
    anything a person or company is legally responsible for. Often anything that a person or company owes

  • Liquidation
    The winding up of a company

  • Listing Questionnaire
    Questionnaire completed to assist the court in listing to matter for trial

  • Multitrack
    the Court will normally allocate any claim over the amount of £15,000 or any very complicated claim to the Multitrack. The Court will make detailed directions which the parties need to obey regarding amassing and releasing information to each other and the Court and may hold case management conferences to oversee the progress of the case.

  • Notice of Discontinuance
    The ending of proceedings before judgment is obtained

  • Official Receiver
    Officials appointed by the court to act as interim receivers and managers of bankruptcy estates

  • Oral Examination
    Debtor is required to attend the court to be questioned about their financial circumstances by a Court Official in order to assist a Judgment creditor in determining the next cause of action in enforcement.

  • Order for Sale
    An order made by the court forcing the sale of an asset usually a house

  • Particulars of Claim
    Document setting out in greater detail the allegations against the Defendant which is filed at Court along with the Claim Form

  • Preferential Creditor
    Has priority when funds are distributed following a company being wound up or a person being made Bankrupt

  • Process Server
    An individual who is instructed to serve usually legal documents upon a person or company. They are often used to ensure that documents have been received

  • Replies
    Statement served by the Claimant in response to the Defence and /or counterclaim

  • Request for Judgement
    an application made to the court by either party to have a Judgment (see definition) issued against the other side

  • Secured Creditor
    A creditor who has some security for their debt usually a mortgage

  • Service of Claim
    making sure that the legal papers which constitute your claim are given to the Defendant so that they are aware that the claim is proceeding against them.

  • Settlement
    The end of a dispute usually either by payment of the debt or on terms agreeable by both parties

  • Sheriff
    Officer of the High Court who will try to enforce Court Judgments against a debtor

  • Small Claims Track
    the Court will normally allocate any simple claim under the amount of £5,000 (which does not include a personal injury) to the small claims track. The Court will make minimal directions which the parties need to obey regarding releasing information to each other and to the Court.

  • Statutory Demand
    A demand served upon a debtor requesting payment within 21 days failing which the creditor can apply to the court for a winding up petition or Bankruptcy order

  • Summary of Judgement
    Claimant entering judgment without the debtor filing a defence or if the Court believes that the debtor has no arguable defence

  • Third Party
    Any person other than the two principles in the claim i.e. the creditor and debtor

  • Third Party Debt Order
    The transfer of a debt from the debtor to a third party usually the debtor’s bank or building society if the debtor is in credit. A court order will require the bank or building society to pay the debt form the credited funds

  • Trial Window
    the weeks during which a trial will be scheduled to go ahead at the earliest available date

  • Unsecured Creditor
    A creditor who has no security over their debt and will only be paid once all the preferential creditors have been paid

  • Warrant of Execution
    A document issued by a County Court to allow a bailiff to seize and sell goods belonging to a debtor.

  • Winding up
    The bringing to an end of a company discharging as many debts as possible in the process

  • Writ
    An order issued by the court

  • Writ of FiFa or Writ of Execution
    A document issued by the High Court which allows a sheriff to seize and sell goods belonging to the debtor

Whatever your legal query, Franklins Solicitors have the know how to help guide you through the maze of life.