Glossary – The Credit Manager’s Dictionary For Legal Terms

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Acknowledgement of ServiceA document by which the defendant can acknowledge receipt of the Claim. The usual reason the defendant files this is to extend the time for defence by 14 days
AdministrationAdministration is an insolvency procedure under which an Administrator is appointed to try and rescue an insolvent company
Administrative ReceivershipA lender who holds a floating charge dated before 15/9/2003 can appoint someone to take control of the company to recover the money due to the lender
AdmissionA document by which the defendant admits owing all or part of the debt
Admission of PartIf a debtor admits part of the debt the Claimant must choose whether to accept that amount in full settlement. If he chooses not to do so he can pursue the rest of the claim and apply for summary judgment for the admitted amount
AffidavitA document in which a witness sets out their evidence and confirms it with an oath
Allocation QuestionnaireSee Direction Questionnaire
Alternative dispute resolutionMethods of resolving disputes otherwise than through court action
ArbitrationArbitration is a method of resolving a dispute without going to court. The parties to a contract can agree that, if there is dispute, they won’t go to court but will appoint someone themselves to decide the case for them
BailiffA bailiff is a county court officer who is employed mainly to enforce county court judgments by removing and selling a debtor’s goods
BankruptAn individual becomes bankrupt when they cannot pay their debts and the court makes an order putting their assets under the control of the Official Receiver
Bankruptcy petitionThe document by which proceedings are started to make an individual bankrupt
Base rateThe interest rate set by the Bank of England which is used as the basis for other banks’ rates
Case managementThe process by which the court manages cases before trial
Charging order An order securing a judgment debt on property – rather like a mortgage
Claim Form (N1)Document which starts court proceedings
Claim Production Centre (CPC)The automated centre in Northampton for issuing Claims electronically
ClaimantPerson who brings a Claim
Consent OrderAn order signed by all parties which demonstrates an agreement to the terms contained within it
CounterclaimA claim brought by the defendant against the claimant
County Court Bulk Centre (CCBC)The automated centre in Northampton for issuing Claims, entering judgment and issuing warrants electronically
CPRThe Civil Procedure Rules 1998
CVA / Corporate Voluntary AgreementA CVA is an arrangement agreed by at least 75% of a company’s creditors to enable the company to survive and trade its way out of difficulties
Default judgmentJudgment obtained because the defendant has not filed a defence
DefenceThe document which sets out the defendants reasons for not paying
DefendantThe person against whom an action in brought
Direction QuestionnaireA document the court sends out when a defence has been filed. It seeks details of the case so the court can decide to which track to allocate the case. Formerly known as an Allocation Questionnaire
DiscontinueTo stop an action
Fast Track CaseA claim for £10000 – £25000
Freezing InjunctionA freezing injunction is an order that stops someone moving their assets out of the country or prevents them dealing with their assets, wherever those assets are
Goods and Services ClaimsA Claim Form issued by a claimant where one party has provided goods and/or services to another party but the invoices remain unpaid.
High Court Enforcement OfficerFrom 1st April 2004 High Court Enforcement Officers took over from the sheriff the enforcement of judgments
Information OrderFormerly known as Oral Examination. An order requiring a debtor to attend court and give details of their means
IVA / Individual Voluntary AgreementAn IVA is an arrangement agreed by an individual’s creditors to enable the individual to continue working without going bankrupt
Judgment (N30)Judgment is the formal confirmation from the court that the money is due to you. A judgment enables you to take steps to “force” the debtor to pay
Late Payment DemandA letter before action issued against a company where interest and compensation is being claimed under The Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998. The Act only applies to the late payment of trade to trade debts.
Late Payment Interest and CompensationInterest and Compensation payable under The Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998
Letter before Action (LBA)A letter warning the debtor that court proceedings will be started if the debt is not paid
Limitation periodThe period within which a claim must be brought – usually six years in the case of a debt
Listing QuestionnaireA questionnaire which the court uses to decide how to list the case for hearing
MediationProcess by which parties to a court case are helped to reach a settlement. The mediator is independent and cannot force the parties into settlement.
Money ClaimsA Claim Form issued for the recovery of money owed to a claimant – this could be for unpaid invoices, money lent but not returned, or for the overpayment of salary.
MoratoriumWhen a CVA is being proposed, and before it is approved, papers can be lodged with the court and the company will be protected from hostile action for 28 days (can be extended by 2 months)
Multi-Track CaseA claim for over £25000
Part 20 claimsAnother name for a counterclaim. Alternatively the name for a connected claim against a third party.
Part 36 offer/paymentA formal offer or payment into court under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules. These are offers to settle a case. They can have severe cost consequences if rejected.
Particulars of ClaimDocument setting out details of what the Claimant claims. In debt recovery cases the particulars of claim are usually set out on the back of the Claim
Pre-action protocolA list of steps to be taken by the parties before they will be permitted to take Court proceedings
Register of County Court JudgmentsThe register of county court judgments kept by Registry Trust Ltd
Registered officeThe address a company must register at Companies House at which documents can be served
Registry Trust LtdThe body that keeps the register of county court judgments
Regulated Agreement under the Consumer Credit ActMost types of credit and hire agreements are regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 which gives a borrower some important rights (see below). An agreement covered by the Act is called a regulated agreement. An agreement will be regulated if:the borrower is an individual, not a company; andit is not an exempt agreementIf you signed a credit agreement before 6 April 2008, it could only be a regulated agreement if it was for credit under a certain amount.
Search OrderAn order giving someone access to premises for the purpose of preserving evidence
Set asideAn order of the court cancelling a judgment or order or a step taken by a party in the proceedings
SheriffSheriffs used to be responsible for enforcing High Court judgments. They have now been replaced by High Court Enforcement Officers
Small Claims Costs RulesIn Small Claims the court will normally only award the court fees, the solicitor’s fixed costs endorsed on the Claim Form and witnesses’ expenses by way of costs. If the Defendant has acted unreasonably the court can make a bigger costs order but this is unusual. Lovetts’ fixed price products for Small Claims often make litigation economic where it would otherwise not be
Small Claims Track CaseA claim for under £10000
Statement of caseA general term for the documents that set out a party’s case. The particulars of claim and defence are both statements of case
Statement of truthA declaration in a Statement of Case or Witness Statement confirming that the person giving instructions has an honest belief in the truth of the document
Statutory DemandA formal demand for payment of a debt made under the Insolvency Act. A statutory demand must always be served before a bankruptcy petition can be presented
Stay of ExecutionAn order made by the Court which will suspend the execution of a court order, i.e. enforcement of a Judgment Order
Stay of ProceedingsIn cases issued through the CCBC the court puts the case on ice if the Defendant admits part and the Claimant fails to tell the court that it wishes to proceed for the full amount. The Claimant can only proceed with the permission of the court which may not be granted
Strike outAn order that the whole, or part of a party’s case be deleted so that it can no longer be relied upon. If the Defence is struck out the Claimant is entitled to default judgment.
Summary judgmentAn application made by one party to get judgment against the other party before the full trial on the basis that the other party’s case is very weak
Third party debt orderFormerly known as a garnishee order. An order requiring someone who owes the defendant money to pay the claimant instead
Transferring judgmentThe process of transferring a court judgment to the High Court so it can be enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer
“Unless” OrderTypically issued against a party which has failed to comply with a previous order of the court. It says that unless the party complies by a particular time and date his case will be struck out automatically. Breaching an “unless order” is usually fatal to a party’s case.
Warrant of executionDocument issued to a county court bailiff directing him to enforce a judgment
Winding up petitionThe document by which proceedings are started to wind up a company
Without prejudiceNegotiations are usually conducted “without prejudice”. This means that, if the negotiations fail, neither party can refer to them at trial
Witness statementA document in which a witness sets out their evidence. A witness statement is broadly the same as an affidavit except that the maker has not confirmed it with an oath
Writ of fi-fa/Writ of executionDocument issued by the court directing the High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce a judgment

Glossary of Scottish Terms


ExpressionEnglish Equivalent
PoindingInstructions to High Court Enforcement Officer or bailiff
31 October 13 Europe/London