Attachment of Earnings Order
An Attachment of Earnings Order allows a creditor to recover their debt by having payments subtracted from the debtor’s pay or wages as part of the employer’s payroll process. Payments are sent automatically by the employer to the Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payment System (CAPS) at Northampton County Court, who will forward the payment on to the creditor.
An attachment of earnings order can only be requested if the debtor is employed, is not self-employed and is not a member of the armed forces. The court will work out the minimum the debtor needs to live on (the protected earnings rate) and will only grant an order for wages or salary in excess of this amount.
The process of obtaining an attachment of earnings order can be slow and expensive (the application has to be made in the debtor’s local County Court) and is only effective with the co-operation of the debtor’s employer, as the creditor is not able to follow up or chase non-payment by the employer – this can only be done by CAPS.