October 29, 2014

One of the Orders available to the Enforcement of Judgments Office (“EJO”) when a creditor is enforcing a Judgment is a Seizure Order which authorises the EJO, or an Enforcement Officer to seize property owned by the debtor to meet part, or all of the recoverable debt.

The items which the EJO can seize include personal goods, money, bonds, bills of exchange and promissory notes and any other security for money belonging to the debtor. The EJO can also seize any life policy in which the debtor has a sole beneficial interest and the surrender value of which is worth more than £25.00. Goods of a debtor’s spouse can also be seized although this is rarely carried out in practice.

Certain property of the debtor is exempt from seizure which include clothing, furniture, bedding and household equipment which are essential for the domestic purposes of the debtor, his spouse and dependents residing with him, the tools and implements of the debtor’s trade up to the value of £200.00, any property held by the debtor in trust for any other person, or any property exempted from seizure by any other statutory provision.

An Order of Seizure has the effect of placing any property which is liable to be seized into the custody and possession of the EJO and charging it with the amount recoverable on foot of the Judgment in favour of the creditor for whose benefit the Order is made. Once the Seizure Order has been made by the EJO, then a copy is served personally by an Enforcement Officer on the debtor before the goods are seized. Any property seized under a Seizure Order is sold or otherwise disposed of under the direction of the EJO who appoint a valuer, or broker to value any property which is seized and the goods are usually put up for sale by public auction.

Seizure Orders are usually made where the debtor owns a business, or where the debtor is a limited company carrying on as a business and has stock that can be seized. Where the debtor is an individual and does not own a business then Seizure Orders are rarely used and alternative Orders such an Instalment Orders or Attachment of Earnings Orders are used instead.

Please note; the content of this article is for information purposes only and further advice should be sought from a professional legal advisor before any action is taken.
Please contact Cleaver Fulton Rankin on 028 9027 3141 or alternatively visit www.cfrlaw.co.uk