• What is an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    An Order To Obtain Information (OTOI) is a court order that requests the defendant attend a hearing and declare their assets, while under oath. The defendant is required to bring evidence to support their application.

    What assets must be declared in an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    All assets must be declared in an OTOI, including assets held abroad.

    How do I obtain an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    Burlington cannot obtain an OTOI on your behalf but you, as the creditor, can make an application yourself. Under CPR 71.2, a creditor can make an application, without notice, to the court that awarded the original court judgment using form N316 (if defendant is an individual) or N316a (if defendant is a company), which includes signing a statement of truth. Once the application has been made, the defendant will be asked to complete form EX140 (individual) or EX141 (company) and declare their assets. This is known as a “record of examination”. If the defendant is a company, a company officer will be required to attend the hearing. The information required in the application notice is:

    • Judgment debtor’s name and address
    • Judgment amount outstanding (if money judgment)
    • Identify issues judgment debtor to be questioned on (if not money judgment)
    • Name and address of company officer who will be ordered to attend court (if judgment debtor is a company)
    • A copy of the judgment
    • A request for the questioning to be in front of a judge
    • Reasons why the judgment creditor requires questions in front of a judge (otherwise the application it will be made without a court hearing)

    As long as the above requirements are satisfied, an order to attend court will be issued.

    How is an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI) served?

    An Order To Obtain Information must be served personally to the defendant/person ordered to attend the court not less than 14 days before the hearing to declare their assets. It is essential the creditor provides proof that the defendant has been served the OTOI, otherwise the application might not succeed. You could use our Process Serving service to ensure it is served correctly. Obviously there is a cost to serving the OTOI, which is a cost the creditor must take (the disbursement is not recoverable from the defendant unless a court orders it).

    How effective is an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    An OTOI is not always effective as inaccurate information can be provided by the defendant, if they do not wish not cooperate with the courts. To improve the effectiveness of an OTOI, it is worth the creditor doing their own research into the defendant’s assets and cross-examining it. This is where a report from a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) can help, if they have tried to recover assets from the defendant by means of a Writ of Control (formerly Writ of FiFa).

    What happens if the defendant fails to obey an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    There are serious consequences if a defendant fails to answer questions and disobeys the order of the court; they could find themselves in contempt of court and be imprisoned.

    What is the cost of an Order To Obtain Information (OTOI)?

    As prescribed by CPR Pt 45., there are fixed costs for obtaining an OTOI and there is also the £15 fee for effecting personal service. It is also falls on the creditor to cover the costs of travel expenses for the defendant to and from the court hearing.

    What other enforcement action can I take to enforce my judgment?

    Using High Court Enforcement Officers (HCEOs) to enforce a Writ of Control is an effective method of judgment enforcement, which allows the HCEOs to levy o goods belonging to the defendant to incentivise them to pay. For more information please call us on 0333 344 1548.