Glossary – The Credit Manager’s Dictionary For Legal Terms

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Acknowledgement of Service
A 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

Administration is an insolvency procedure under which an Administrator is appointed to try and rescue an insolvent company

Administrative Receivership
A 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

A document by which the defendant admits owing all or part of the debt

Admission of Part
If 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

A document in which a witness sets out their evidence and confirms it with an oath

Allocation Questionnaire
See Direction Questionnaire

Alternative dispute
Methods of resolving disputes otherwise than through court action

Arbitration 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

A bailiff is a county court officer who is employed mainly to enforce county court judgments by removing and selling a debtor’s goods

An 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 petition
The document by which proceedings are started to make an individual bankrupt

Base rate
The interest rate set by the Bank of England which is used as the basis for other banks’ rates

Case management
The 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

Person who brings a Claim

Consent Order
An order signed by all parties which demonstrates an agreement to the terms contained within it

A 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

The Civil Procedure Rules 1998

CVA / Corporate Voluntary Agreement
A 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 judgment
Judgment obtained because the defendant has not filed a defence

The document which sets out the defendants reasons for not paying

The person against whom an action in brought

Direction Questionnaire
A 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

To stop an action

Fast Track Case
A claim for £10000 – £25000

Freezing Injunction
A 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 Claims
A 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 Officer
From 1st April 2004 High Court Enforcement Officers took over from the sheriff the enforcement of judgments

Information Order
Formerly known as Oral Examination. An order requiring a debtor to attend court and give details of their means

IVA / Individual Voluntary Agreement
An 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 Demand
A 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 Compensation
Interest 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 period
The period within which a claim must be brought – usually six years in the case of a debt

Listing Questionnaire
A questionnaire which the court uses to decide how to list the case for hearing

Process 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 Claims
A 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.

When 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 Case
A claim for over £25000

Part 20 claims
Another name for a counterclaim. Alternatively the name for a connected claim against a third party.

Part 36 offer/payment
A 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 Claim
Document 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 protocol
A list of steps to be taken by the parties before they will be permitted to take Court proceedings

Register of County Court Judgments
The register of county court judgments kept by Registry Trust Ltd

Registered office
The address a company must register at Companies House at which documents can be served

Registry Trust Ltd
The body that keeps the register of county court judgments

Regulated Agreement under the Consumer Credit Act
Most 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 Order
An order giving someone access to premises for the purpose of preserving evidence

Set aside
An order of the court cancelling a judgment or order or a step taken by a party in the proceedings

Sheriffs used to be responsible for enforcing High Court judgments. They have now been replaced by High Court Enforcement Officers

Small Claims Costs Rules
In 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 Case
A claim for under £10000

Statement of case
A 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 truth
A 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 Demand
A 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 Execution
An order made by the Court which will suspend the execution of a court order, i.e. enforcement of a Judgment Order

Stay of Proceedings
In 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 out
An 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 judgment
An 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 order
Formerly known as a garnishee order. An order requiring someone who owes the defendant money to pay the claimant instead

Transferring judgment
The process of transferring a court judgment to the High Court so it can be enforced by a High Court Enforcement Officer

“Unless” Order
Typically 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 execution
Document issued to a county court bailiff directing him to enforce a judgment

Winding up petition
The document by which proceedings are started to wind up a company

Without prejudice
Negotiations are usually conducted “without prejudice”. This means that, if the negotiations fail, neither party can refer to them at trial

Witness statement
A 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 execution
Document issued by the court directing the High Court Enforcement Officer to enforce a judgment

Glossary of Scottish Terms

English Equivalent








Instructions to High Court Enforcement Officer or bailiff





31 October 2013