What is an Order To Obtain Information?

If a debt is subject to a Court Order (CCJ), and you are not keeping to the payment terms of this order, the creditor may want to understand more about your financial situation. They may seek to get an Order To Obtain Information so you can be questioned in court.

Why am I being retaken to court?

If you have a court order to repay a debt but are failing to do so, a creditor may want to find out more about your financial situation before deciding what enforcement action, if any, to take next.

To get this information, your creditors can apply to make you go back to court. The court can force you to produce documents and answer questions under oath about your finances. This is called an order to obtain information.

If a creditor is unsure of your ability to pay - an order to obtain information will help them decide what to do next.

Won’t pay or can’t pay?

You creditor needs to know which camp you are in or if you are somewhere in between.

Creditors need to know to what extent the debt is worth chasing, For example, your the might want to know about any property you own or whether you are expecting to come into some money, such as an insurance payout.

Knowing this helps them decide what kind of enforcement action to take. For example, they might ask the court to take money out of your wages, or directly from your bank account.

When issued with a court order to obtain information, you must go to the hearing to answer the questions. If you don’t turn up and without a good reason, or you don’t answer the questions, you can be held in contempt of court.

The court can ask about for example about:-

  • Your income and outgoings,
  • Your job,
  • Your home,
  • Any other property you own or have a financial interest in.

There is a standard list of questions they can ask. The creditor may have asked for permission to add additional questions. You can download court form EX140 showing what you can be asked.

The order to obtain information tells you to attend court on a specific date – giving at least 14 days notice.

The order will list the documents you must bring to the hearing.

Preparing for the order to obtain information court hearing

You’ll be required to prepare a full financial statement so that your creditor can see how much you can afford towards the debt. The financial statement details:

  • how much money you have coming in
  • if you have any savings,
  • what you should spend on everyday living,
  • how much you need to support others in your family,
  • how much you have remaining to pay your debts,
  • an estimate of the equity you have in your home and any other high-value assets.

Equity is the value of your home minus the balance of any mortgage or secured loans secured against it. If you do have equity, the creditor may consider applying for a charging order against your property.

Making an offer of payment

You can do this at the hearing. If the creditor accepts your offer, the court may make an order setting out the agreed payments.

If you can’t pay back the debt

If the outcome of the hearing shows you clearly can’t pay back the debt, you should argue that it would be unreasonable of the creditor to take further court action.

The creditor thinks I can repay the debt

If you have not reached an agreement with the creditor to repay the debt, and in their view, you do have means to pay, they have several options to recover their money. Your creditor will need another court order depending on which enforcement action they wish to take.

Please call 0800 014 9675 or a contact us if you have any questions or require some assistance with your debts.