From January 2006 you will have to pay a \u00a335.00 fee to the court when you make your application. If you are on a low income or certain benefits you may not have to pay the fee. See the section on fees at the end of this factsheet.
If the county court has already ordered you to pay a set amount each month on a credit debt and you cannot afford the amount set.
Some courts will make you pay two sets of fees if you want to suspend a warrant and reduce instalments. This should not happen. Complain to the court manager or\ue000 Phone us for advice.
of repayment on all your credit debts. If any of your creditors have already taken court action, the amount you have been ordered to pay may be more than the amount you have worked out you can afford.
You will need to apply for a reduction of the instalment order. This application must be made on court form N245 which is available from your local county court.
You could try negotiating directly with the creditor to see if they
reduced payments without going back to court. Send them your personal budget. This could save you paying the fee to the court.
If you do not make payments as ordered by the court the creditor may issue a \u2018Warrant of Execution\u2019 This warrant authorises a county court bailiff to take away your possessions and have them sold at auction. Usually, you will have some warning such as note from the bailiffs telling you they intend to visit. It is usually quite easy to stop this happening.
The bailiffs are not allowed to force their way into your home unless you have let them in on a previous visit.
The bailiff could then sell the goods and keep the difference. This is very unusual and can only happen in certain circumstances.\ue000
There are some goods that the bailiff cannot take: e.g. tools, books, vehicles and equipment necessary for use personally in employment.
Other exemptions include clothing, bedding, furniture, household equipment and provisions for \u201cbasic domestic needs\u201d. The bailiff won\u2019t usually take away goods on a first visit. They are likely to ask you to sign a \u201cWalking Possession
the items listed on the agreement, but means that the bailiff can return and take the goods by breaking in if necessary.
HOW DO I APPLY TO SUSPEND
THE \u2018WARRANT OF
This application must be made on a form N245 which is available from the county court. The court cannot refuse to accept the application just because the bailiff has not yet visited or managed to get in but the bailiff can continue to call round until the court agrees to suspend the warrant. See the sample N245 application form attached.
Even if you have signed a Walking Possession Agreement you can still apply to the court for the warrant to be suspended.
Use the \u201cDealing with your Debts\u201d pack to work out your personal budget. Make sure you include all your income and expenses from your personal budget on form N245. If you are a couple it is usually best to include your total household income and expenses. Make sure you have included details of all payments you make on your debts. This will make it clear to the court that you can only afford to pay the amount you have offered.\ue000
When the bailiffs come into your home they may decide that your goods are not worth enough to cover their costs of coming out with a van and removing and selling them. If this is the case the bailiff will return the warrant to court with a note to say there are goods of insufficient value. The bailiffs should not take any further action.
The bailiff should not take goods that belong to other people. You should explain that the goods do not belong to you. Show a receipt or credit agreement as proof. They can take goods that are jointly owned by you and your partner but they are only entitled to your share of the goods.
has been decided. But they can keep trying to make a list of your saleable goods (a levy), so may keep calling even if you don\u2019t let them in.
Most bailiffs will not take goods on hire purchase or conditional sale type agreements. They may be able to take goods if they think the goods are worth more than the amount you owe to the hire purchase/conditional sale company.
There will usually be a fee of \u00a335.00 to pay with your application. If you are on a low income or certain benefits you may not have to pay the fee. See the section on fees at the
Send or take your completed N245 application form to the county court that sent the warrant to you. You will have to pay a \u00a335.00 fee to the court when you give them the application unless you are exempt or don\u2019t have to pay on grounds of hardship (see section on \u201cFees\u201d). Try to keep a copy of the completed form for yourself. The court will send a copy of your application form to the creditor.
They will notify the court. The court will then send you details of what has been agreed and how to pay.
The court will work out how much you should pay from the information you have provided on the form.
There will a short hearing for the district judge to decide what to do. You must go along and explain your circumstances in person. Take a copy of your personal budget with you.
If you do not agree with the amount the court orders you to pay you can ask for a hearing to explain your offer to the district judge. You need to use a general application form called an N244 which is available from your local county court and ask for the court to reconsider the offer you have made. There should not be another fee to pay at this stage. You must do this within 14 days of receiving the order to pay. You should go along to the hearing, take a copy of your personal budget with you.
court agrees your application you will not have to pay the fee. If you pay a fee when you should have been exempt or would have qualified for a remission, then you have six months to apply to the court for a refund.
If you are on income support or income-based jobseeker\u2019s allowance (JSA) you can ask the court for exemption from the fee. You need to give the court proof that you are getting the benefit. You will be exempt if you or your partner are on the guarantee credit element of pension credit.
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