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What if you disagree with the Attachment of Earnings Order made?
There could be a number of reasons why you disagree with the Attachment of Earnings Order, for example you may feel the monthly installments have been set too high, or you may have requested for it to be suspended (in this case you may need to supply the courts with more information as to why you need it suspending). Either way you have 14 days to let them know you disagree, once it has been put in place (your creditor may also not agree with the order, if so the 14 days rule also applies to them). You must then write to them to advise why you disagree, and ensure to keep a copy of the letter for yourself. You will then be invited to a hearing to state your case; make sure you have all the requested documents with you.
Changing the details of the Attachment of Earnings Order at a later date
If in the future you need to make changes to the Attachment of Earnings Order, you can do so by applying to the courts with a N244 form. You must state why you cannot afford the deductions set by the court, and provide them with full details. You can also use this form if you’re working circumstances have changed. Please note; there is a fee of sixty five pounds that will be charged for this application, however if may be wavered if you receive benefits.
Leaving work – what happens next?
If you leave work, the Attachment of Earnings Order will stop but will NOT be cancelled. Once you get another job your creditor can use the Attachment of Earnings against you. You must supply the county courts with details of your new employer; if not they may decide you have committed an offence, and you could be fined or sent to prison.
Consolidated Attachment of Earning Orders
If you already have an Attachment of Earnings Order but also have another court order, you can apply for the court to have a Consolidated Attachment of Earnings Order made. This means one monthly payment will be deducted by your employer to cover all of your county court judgments. This can make it a lot easier if you have several creditors. The court will then divide the money up, and send payments to each of your creditors. However this can only be used for debts with creditors that have a county court judgment against you.
If you wish to apply for a Consolidated Attachment of Earnings Order, you need to make an application to the court. You will be asked to fill in a N244 form, giving details of all county court judgments against you. You do not have to make an upfront fee for this, however ten pence in deducted by the courts for every one pound paid in whilst the Order is in place.
Ensure to include your personal budget, and make it clear what you can and can’t afford to pay. There will be no hearing and your creditors will be given 14 days to object, once the order has been put in place.
What are the County Courts Fee’s?
There is usually a fee put in place by the county courts for your application, however in some circumstances you can request for the courts to waver the fee. You will need to fill in an EX160 form to request the fee to be waved, and the form must be sent in alongside your main application. If the court agrees you will not have to pay the fee. If you do pay the fee, and feel that you should have been exempt you have six months to apply to the courts for a refund.
If you are on income support or job seekers allowance you can ask the courts for exemption, but you must provide them with proof of your benefits. Some other exemptions are:
• If you or your partner are on the guarantee credit element of pension credit
• If you are on working tax credit
• If you claim child tax credit
• If you receive disability or severe disability tax credits
• If your annual gross income from working tax credit is £15,460 or less
You must provide the courts with your tax credit award notice to qualify. If you do not qualify under the exemptions above, you can ask the courts to waiver the fee if you feel it will cause you financial hardship. You can use the same EX160 application form, as you may be on a low income or benefit that does not automatically exempt you from the fee. You must provide the courts with as much information as possible, and explain your financial situation on the application form. The courts will then decide if they should remit all or part of the fee, depending on what they feel you can afford.