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Judgments Enforcement (Northern Ireland) Order 1981

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Making of attachment of earnings orderN.I.

99.—(1) Where it appears to the court that a debtor is a person to whom earnings fall to be paid, the court may make an attachment of earnings order requiring the person to whom the order is directed to make out of those earnings, or part thereof, such payments as may be specified in the order.

(2) An attachment of earnings order may be made—

(a)otherwise than for the enforcement of a maintenance order, on the application of the creditor;

(b)for the enforcement of a maintenance[F1 order, in accordance with Article 96A(1) or (3).]

(3) The person to whom an attachment of earnings order is directed shall be a person who appears to the court to have the debtor in his employment; and the order shall operate as an instruction to that person—

(a)to make periodical deductions from the debtor's earnings in accordance with Part I of Schedule 1; and

(b)at such times as the order may require, or as the court may allow, to pay the amounts deducted to the person entitled to the payments for which the order to be enforced provides, as specified in the order.

(4) An attachment of earnings order shall contain particulars prescribed by rules of court enabling the debtor to be identified by the employer.

(5) Except where an attachment of earnings order is made to secure payments under a maintenance order, the order shall specify the whole amount recoverable on foot of the relevant judgment (or so much of that amount as remains unpaid).

(6) The order shall specify—

(a)the normal deduction rate, that is to say, the rate (expressed as a sum of money per week, month or other period) at which the court thinks it reasonable for the debtor's earnings to be applied to meeting his liability under the relevant judgment; and

(b)the protected earnings rate, that is to say the rate (so expressed) below which, having regard to the debtor's resources and needs (including the needs of any person for whom he must, or reasonably may, provide), the court thinks it reasonable that the earnings actually paid to him should not be reduced;

so however that, where the order is, or is to be, made to secure payments under a maintenance order, the normal deduction rate for the purposes of sub-paragraph ( a)—

(i)shall be determined after taking account of any right or liability of the debtor to deduct income tax when making the payments, and

(ii)shall not exceed the rate which appears to the court necessary for the purposes of securing payment of the sums falling due from time to time under the maintenance order and securing payment within a reasonable period of any sums already due and unpaid under the maintenance order.

(7) Where an attachment of earnings order has been made by the court to secure the payment of any money no proceedings for committal or distress by reason of failure to pay that money which were begun before the making of the order shall be continued.

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