Attachment of Earnings Order is a legal process

Attachment of Earnings Order is a legal process to recover debt from wages, salary or other earnings to settle the outstanding amount you owe to your creditor

An attachment of earnings order is issued by your creditor through the county court to deduct payment from your wages or salary to recover the outstanding amount you owe which you have been avoiding to pay to your creditor.

This is one of the options available to the creditor to make an application to county court for an attachment of earnings order against you to recover the amount you owe to them.

There is cost of £100 involved to apply for an attachment of earnings order. This amount is recovered from you by the creditor. Your employer may deduct £1 every time they make a payment out of your wages or salary towards the cost of administering the attachment of earnings order.

The attachment of earnings order tells your employer to make deductions straight from your earnings in order to pay the debt. Your employer then sends the money to the court.

There are conditions when a court can order deductions directly from your wages or salary.
1. If you have stalled payments against your County Court Judgment (CCJ).
2. The amount you owe is more than £50 on the Judgement.
3. An application can only be made to county court for an Attachment of Earnings if you are employed.
4. It is not possible to impose Attachment of Earnings if you are self-employed or receiving benefits.

Once an application for an attachment of earnings order is made against you, the court will send an N56 form for you to fill in and return to the court.

You will need to provide information requested in this form and make an offer of payment that you can afford.
Your name
Number of dependents
Your employer’s details
Statement of income and outgoings
List of any other debts
Any court order that you have

Make sure you have included details of all your other debts and how much you are paying to other creditors. You can also ask the court to agree to make a suspended attachment of earnings order by ticking the box and filling in the reason why you want a suspended order. This could be that you may lose your job or promotion prospects if your employer finds out you are in debt.

Please make sure that your return the completed form back to the court within eight days. It is an offence not to send back the form or to give false information. If you don not return the completed N56 form, the county court bailiffs will serve you with an order to fill it in. If you still ignore and do not respond, you will be sent a notice to go to a court hearing to explain why you have not given the court the information requested.

You cannot ignore the court request and must go to this hearing. Please do not get into further difficulties by not attending the court. The court can issue a warrant for your arrest and will bring you to court or even send you straight to prison for up to 14 days or you could be fined for not following the court's instructions.

Alternatively the court can go directly to the employer if the creditor is able to provide your employer's address and ask them to provide details of your earnings if you do not return the N56 form to the court.

Once your N56 form is received, the county court looks at the information you have provided to work out your ability to repay the debt. If your take-home pay is below the ‘protected rate’, the court cannot make an attachment of earnings order. The protected rate is calculated on the percentage basis on the net earnings.

If you meet the criteria, the court will then send you the order in writing. If you disagree with the order made by the court, you or your creditor have 14 days to inform the court that you disagree with the terms of the order.

Lastly just a reminder please makes sure you keep copies of all your correspondence is not authorised to give advice under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The general information and material provided and published on this website is for interest, understanding and for common knowledge purpose only. The details provided should not be taken as any kind of advice and cannot and should not be used to solve any kind of financial problems. You must take proper advice from authorised firm or financial advisor. We do not recommend or endorse any kind investment, advisor, product or services. We do not offer or imply any kind of advice, financial or legal. It is your responsibility to take appropriate action suitable to your needs.