Third Party Debt Order

Have you obtained a judgment and your debtor has failed to pay, or the instalments are in arrears? 

Do you have some bank account details of your debtor?

Do you believe the account will be in enough credit to discharge your judgment and costs?

Are you considering making an application for a third-party debt order?


Have you been served with an interim third-party debt order which you wish to dispute?

If so Mercian Law can help.

A third-party debt order stops your debtor taking money from their bank account, and the money owed to you is paid from the account to you by the bank.  Or, the order can demand a third party that owes your debtor money to pay your debt first before or instead of paying your debtor.

The bank freezes the account on the day they receive the order from the court.  If the account is overdrawn, then the order will fail as it is only relevant to the account balance at the date the order is received.  Therefore, the timing of the order is essential.  If your debtor becomes aware of your application, they may empty the account.

If the account is not in the sole name of your debtor, you cannot apply for the order. 

Once you have applied for the order an interim third-party debt order is made by the court.  This is sent to the third party/ bank.  Your debtor is sent a copy 7 days later.  The interim order sets a hearing date.  You must attend the hearing otherwise the judge could dismiss your application.  At the hearing, the judge will decide if the money frozen in the account should be paid to you or not.

If the third party is not a bank.  Within 7 days of receiving the interim third party debt order, they must notify the court if:

  • Your debtor doesn’t owe them any money, or
  • The amount owed to your debtor is less than the amount on the interim order.

If you wish to dispute the third parties comments you must file at court and serve upon the third party and your debtor, a witness statement 3 days before the hearing.  If the third-party objects to the application for a final third-party debt order they must 3 days before the hearing file at court and serve upon you details of their objections.

If the third party is a bank, within 7 days of receiving the interim third-party debt order, they must identify all accounts held in the sole name of your debtor.  For each account identified they must inform you and the court:

  • The account numbers
  • If the account is in credit
  • If the account has enough funds to cover the amount in the interim order
  • If inadequate funds are in the account, the balance upon receipt of the interim order
  • If the bank intends to retain some of the credit balance to off-set debit balances or other amounts

The bank will deduct a charge from any credit balance for dealing with the search.

The third party and your debtor could apply to have the final hearing at their local county court, which could be a distance from your address. 

If your debtor is an individual they may make an application for a hardship order, if they are unable to meet their living expenses.  If granted by the judge the third party will be ordered to release some of the frozen funds to your debtor.  This can be a single or series of fund releases until the final hearing.

  • Make an application for third party debt order
  • Arrange for an advocate to attend the third-party debt order hearing with you
  • Prepare, file and serve a witness statement disputing to comments made by the third party
  • Object to the case being transferred to a different court
  • File and serve written evidence objecting to the third-party debt order
  • Make an application for a hardship payment
  • Copy of judgment
  • Your debtors name and address
  • Amount due under the judgment including costs and interest minus any instalment received
  • The bank/ third parties name and address, both branch and head office
  • Account sort code and account number
  • Details of any other accounts you have also applied for a third-party debt order
  • Details of how you obtained account information