Dig out those old Judgments!

Did you know that judgments do not 'run out'?

I recently enforced a Judgment that was 8 years old on behalf of a client and I thought you may find the following helpful.

I have come across a lot of debtors, and creditors for that matter, who think that if a Judgment has not been paid within 6 years that is the end of the road. This is not the case.

Judgments in both the County Court and High Court do not ‘run out’ and remain payable until the debt has been paid.

Often debt purchase companies will buy old Judgments because at the time Judgment was obtained the debtor did not have any assets or means to settle the debt. However, 10 years on a debtor’s circumstances can have changed for the better and they may now be a home owner or in a good job or business is booming.

Certain enforcement actions, such as instructing a High Court Enforcement Officer in the High Court (similar to a Bailiff), will need permission of the Court to enforce a Judgment over 6 years old and an explanation will need to be given as to why there has been a delay in taking action. The fact that the debtor’s circumstances have now changed, and we have evidence to show this, is usually a valid reason for allowing a Claimant to ‘reactivate’ a claim.

Interest is payable on Judgment debts under the Judgments Act 1838 at the current rate of 8% per annum for a period of six years from the date Judgment was entered. On a £5000 debt therefore, interest over 6 years would amount to £2387.10 which is not to be sniffed at!

If you have any old Judgments where you were not able to recover the monies due to you, and you think the debtor’s circumstances may have improved, I will be happy to review any claims free of charge and at no obligation.  All I need is a copy of the Judgment and details of how the debtor and how their circumstances have improved.

So dig out those old Judgments – what have you got to lose?!

Case study

The oldest Judgment I have chased was entered in 1979! It is fair to say that pursuing such an old Judgment does have its problems not least that the debtor had, probably genuinely, completely forgotten about the Judgment. Once reminded that he was still liable to pay the Judgment debt, he was of the mind-set that the only way I would get any money out of him was over his dead body.

Luckily such drastic measures were not needed and having vigorously opposed my application for a Charging Order (where the debt is registered against the debtor’s property) when a Charging Order was obtained he paid the debt in full.


A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Jackie’s legal career has always relied on calmly supporting clients through processes which are unfamiliar and potentially stressful.

For over 30 years, she worked in Debt Recovery, winning awards for her handling of complex litigation and extensive experience in advising on commercial and consumer matters from pre-legal action and the issuing of proceedings, through to enforcement of Judgments, bankruptcy and winding up petitions. 

In 2017, due to the increasing demand of Verisona Law’s conveyancing services, Jackie was invited to move departments within the firm and join its Residential Property Team.

‘We are dealing with increasingly involved property matters and needed someone who had a proven track record successfully helping clients through legal processes,’ explains Danielle Allday, Head of Residential Property. ‘I was delighted when Jackie agreed give us the benefit of her expertise.’

‘I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to diversify my legal skills and get to work with and for a wide range of new people,’ says Jackie. ‘Whether it be matters of property, financial affairs or both, the most important thing is to provide clients with clarification, guidance and, where needed, reassurance.’

  • 1991 Debt Recovery Manager at Blake Lapthorn
  • 2003 Awarded Credit Today Litigation Specialist of the Year
  • 2011 Joined Verisona Law as Debt Recover Manager
  • 2017 Joined the Conveyancing Team at Verisona Law

Conveyancing

  • Purchase and Sale of Residential Property, both Freehold and Leasehold.
  • Lease Extensions
  • New Builds
  • Remortgaging
  • Shared Ownership
  • Key Workers
  • Help to buy schemes
  • Acting for management companies
  • Right to manage
  • Transfer of Equity
  • Deeds of Variation or Rectification
  • Equity Release Schemes

Debt Recovery

  • Commercial and consumer claims from the issue of proceedings to Judgment
  • Enforcement of Judgments by Writ of Fi Fa, Orders to attend Court for questioning, Attachment of Earnings, Third Party Debt Orders, Charging Orders and Orders for sale
  • Bankruptcy and winding up proceedings
  • Debt purchase