What happens if you don’t pay your Confiscation Order?

In earlier articles we have explained when the prosecution may be able to freeze your assets under a Restraint Order and when they can make a Confiscation Order against you.

How much will I have to pay?

When the court makes a Confiscation Order, it determines how much you have gained from crime.  It does not assume you will be able to pay all this back, so makes an assessment about how much you are actually able to pay back.  The court then expects you to pay back this amount within 6 months of making the Confiscation Order.  The court may require you to sell your property, such as your house or your car, to raise the money.  If the police have seized your property they may, with your consent, sell your property for you.

What if I can’t pay?

If you cannot pay the money required by your Confiscation Order you can apply for more time to pay it back.  You must apply to the court within a year of the Confiscation Order being made.  You must show there are ‘exceptional circumstances’ and you can be given up to six more months to pay your order.

If you simply cannot pay your order, for example if your property does not sell for as much as it has been valued for, you can apply to the court to vary the order.  You will have to show the court that you have no assets left with which to pay the order.

What if I just don’t pay?

If you do not pay by the time specified in your order, and do not apply for an extension, your debt will increase as interest will be added to the amount you have to pay.

If you continue to refuse to pay your Confiscation Order, you can be sent to prison, or have time added to your existing sentence. The amount of time you serve will depend on the amount you have to pay. Going to prison will not extinguish your debt, and you will still be expected to pay your Confiscation Order, along with any interest that has accrued.

Can I be forced to sell my property?

If you refuse to sell your property, the prosecution can apply to the court for an Enforcement Order.  This allows them to take control of your property, and sell it for you in order to pay your Confiscation Order.

If you have a Confiscation Order made against you, or think one may be imposed, contact EmeryJohnson.  We have a wealth of experience in dealing with Confiscation matters and give you expert advice.