We advise creditors and assist in collecting debts and pursuing judgments
The person who is owed money is the creditor. The person who owes the money is the debtor. The judgment is the court order declaring that the creditor is owed money from the debtor. Enforcement refers to the steps taken after judgment with the aim of collecting funds declared due.
Obtaining a judgment from the court is often only the first step in collecting what is owed to the creditor. Typically, the greater challenge facing creditors is enforcing, actually collecting on judgments. In other words, compelling a debtor to pay the money they owe or taking the value out of assets or income of the debtor. The Court will not take independent steps to pursue debtors. Creditors are responsible to chase after debtors.
We assist creditors in enforcing judgments and collecting what is owed from the debtor. There are many ways creditors can pursue debtors to ultimately force the debtor to pay their debts. The most common options are:
- Sending demand letters and assessing options for resolving outside of court;
- Filing claims and obtaining judgments from the court;
- Pursuing pre-judgment remedies against assets at risk of disappearing;
- Registration of judgments and issuing writs of enforcement;
- Post-Judgment negotiations;
- Post-Judgment orders for questioning and disclosure;
- Garnishment (of bank accounts and income sources);
- Seizure and sale of personal property; and
- Seizure and sale of land.
Our goal is always to find the fastest and most cost-effective way to collect on your judgment. This often includes post-judgment negotiations and attempting to find a way for the debtor to willingly pay. Creditors can agree to accept regular payments over time, or reduce the amount owed in exchange for an immediate lump sum payment.
When debtors simply refuse to pay, or lack the cash necessary to pay and satisfy your judgment, there multiple steps we can take. The most common steps include registering the judgment, registering writs of enforcement against the debtor’s property, seizing the debtor’s property, or garnishing the debtor’s wages. We work closely with bailiffs to seize and then sell assets.
In some cases, debtors take active steps to avoid payment of their debts. They do this by hiding assets, lying about their assets, or transferring assets to friends, family, or corporate entities. In those cases, we take far more aggressive steps, including compelling the debtor to attend for post-judgment questioning, compelling disclosure of their financial information, and asset tracing and recovery.
Contact our Commercial Litigation team to help collect on your judgment.