Yes, but only after a court judgement has been made against the debtor. The creditor must also apply for a separate court order to take money out of the debtor’s wages.

The court will decide what the debtor can afford to pay in this situation, and will determine how much will be taken from each wage packet to pay off the debt. This is called an attachment of earnings order.

It can only be made if the debt is more than £50, and so long as the debtor is employed by an organisation (i.e., not self-employed or unemployed). If they are in the military, there is a separate process for creditors to take money from wages. If they are employed on a boat (except a fishing boat), they are also exempt from an attachment of earnings order.

In the US and Canada this is known as garnishing wages; if you see this term you should remember that it is the same process, but that terminology is not used in English law.

If you find out your creditor is applying for an attachment of earnings order, you may want to offer to work out a payment plan without the help of the court in an attempt to reach a better arrangement.

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