Attachment of earnings

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If the judge orders that an attachment of earnings be granted for a certain amount each week/month does that constitute a settlement with the lender or can you still fight on. In our case a sum of 10 per week would take 56 years to pay off by which time we probably wont be here anymore. Could someone provide any advice?

-- Kate (katejones6@katejones.freeserve.co.uk), November 20, 2001

Answers

No it's not a settlement and in fact the Lender can apply to have the amount varied at regular intervals. They can demand details of your income and assets and increase the amount if they so wish. Conversely, you can do the reverse and lower the amount if you can prove "hardship" which is a legally recognised "state" to be in. In practice they rarely reduce AOE orders...but I know one or two that have been changed to higher amounts at each annual review. I'd fight on and get a full and final settlement if I were you. All the while they have an AOE on you, your credit is screwed. Ten quid seems like a paltry sum, but it grinds you down and why the hell should you be in hock to them for the rest of your life?

-- Too scared to say (iwasduped@yahoo.com), November 20, 2001.

When you have an AOE order against you, its in your best interests to supply full details of your outgoings and income. The AOE Admin Office then assess your details and set a limit - an amount you can earn each week which the creditor cannot touch. For example, if you earned 150 per week and your outgoings were 100, the AOE Admin Office might set your limit to 120. You could then earn 120 per week without paying your lender. Anything you earned over that amount, then the lender would get their 10. The lender could ask for more, but they would have to prove that you have more money to pay them and likewise you'll have your chance to show that you're unable to afford to.

The AOE Order will be in the amount of the initial judgement, plus costs, so its not a settlement. There is no reason why you can't go ahead and fight your case, however you will find that you're hindered by the fact that the lender already has their judgement.

It may be worth your while seeing if you can get the initial judgement set aside. If you can show that the lender didn't act fairly, or didn't substantiate their claim, then you'll have a good chance of getting it set aside.

I would suggest that you see a solicitor or a Money Advice Centre or other legal help service for some further advice.

-- pendle (pendle_666@yahoo.co.uk), November 20, 2001.


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