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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Enforcement action: county court proceedings: reviewing the enforcement strategy: calculating available income

When questioning the judgment debtor it is likely that he or she will supply you with figures that are a mixture of weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly payments. You must decide the best method for calculating income and outgoings. Generally you will find it easiest if you base your calculations on the frequency with which the judgment debtor either is paid or draws money from his or her business.

You should make sure that you calculate all income and outgoings on the same basis and take care to accurately convert weekly or monthly figures. Remember to convert weekly figures to monthly by multiplying by 4.33 not 4.

Using the information gained

Dependent on the information supplied, but particularly if it is obvious that the judgment debtor does not have the means to pay, consider whether to apply for a variation order (DMBM666660).

If you decide to apply for a variation order, listen to whatever proposals the judgment debtor makes for payment, and set the instalments at a level the judgment debtor can afford. Advise the judgment debtor what you are doing and warn that if payment of the revised instalments are not made then you will enforce the order.

If this course of action is not appropriate, warn the judgment debtor that you will now take steps to enforce the judgment but do not commit yourself to a particular course of action.

Reviewing the method of enforcement

As soon as possible after the interview you should decide what method of enforcement to take and commence that action immediately.