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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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CCP: action after judgment obtained: judgment debtor has died

Individual cases

When you are notified that the sole judgment debtor has died and either:

  • judgment was entered after the date of death and is therefore defective (because judgment cannot be entered against a deceased person)
  • the service of the claim form is defective

you should:

  • apply to have judgment set aside if appropriate
  • withdraw from the court action
  • notify the court that the defendant has died and that you do not intend taking further proceedings in this action
  • write off the court fees
  • transfer the case to the Estates & Trusts Office in Nottingham.

Multiple defendant cases

When you are notified that a judgment debtor has died and there is at least one other living debtor included in the action:

  • notify the court that one of the defendants has died
  • continue the action against the remaining living defendants(s).

All cases

Where judgment was entered before the date of death, check to ensure that the claim was correctly served. If it was, the judgment is sound and is effectively a ‘representative’ judgment against the estate.

You should then find out details of the personal representative(s) in accordance with DMBM585275 before taking any further action. To establish whether probate has been granted e-mail DMB, Estates and Trust Office (Mailbox) (DMB Debt Management).

Any enforcement action will be against the estate assets only and not against the personal representative’s own assets.

In cases of difficulty, refer to the EIS Bradford CCP Technical Team for advice.

Judgment not entered

Where judgment has not been entered, you should follow the guidance at DMBM665450.