Small Claims Court serves its function of the payment of money owed or the recovery of possession of personal property, where the amount claimed doesn't exceed $25,000. Most common cases that are handled in the Small Claims Court include unpaid accounts for good or services, unpaid loans, unpaid rent, NSF cheques, property damage, personal injuries and breach of contract.
Little do many people know that the creditors are responsible for enforcing the judgement. Therefore, it is very important to investigate money, asset (which can be sold), or a debt owed to the debtor by another person (i.e. bank account or wages) that can be garnished from the debtor.
As soon as the judgement is issued in the creditor's favor, the creditor can write a letter request for prompt payment. But what if the payment is unsuccessful, and the creditor cannot reach a mutually satisfactory agreement with the debtor?
1. Ask for Examination Hearing. This hearing will be conducted to assess the debtor's ability to pay in his/her current financial situation. Items that are considered include (i) the debtor's employment, (ii) any property the debtor owns (such as vehicles or land), and (iii) any bank account (his/her own or jointly with another person).
2. Garnish wages and bank account(s). The creditor can garnish the debtor's wages (some restrictions apply) and bank account(s), as well as money owed to the debtor by someone else. But keep in mind that there are some exemptions from garnishment, including employment insurance, social assistance and pension payments. A notice of garnishment remains in force of 6 years from the date it was issued by the court. and for a further 6 years from each renewal.
3. Seizure of debtor's personal property. The creditor can ask for the enforcement office to take specific personal possession belonging to the debtor and sell them at public auction so that the judgement can be paid. A debtor is entitled to certain exemption from seizure of personal property up to certain amount, including (i) clothing, (ii) household furniture, utensils, equipment, food and fuel, (iii) tools and instruments used in the debtor's business, (iv) tools, books and instruments used for the tillage of the soil or farming and livestock, fowl, bees and seed; and (v) One motor vehicle worth less than the specific amount. This writ is in force of 6 years from the date it was issued and for further 6 years from each renewal.
4. Place a lien on the debtor's land/property. The writ can encumber any land (including a house) presently owned or land which may be purchased in the future by the debtor in the country or district where the writ is filed. The amount of judgment has to be paid to the creditor from the sales proceeds, when the debtor will sell the property. The creditor may also instruct the enforcement office to sell the property for his/her debt collection. This writ remains in force of 6 years from the date it was issued and for a further 6 years from each renewal.
5. Ask for the return of personal property. The owner can request a court order for a writ of delivery, which authorize enforcement staff to take the specific personal property/item and return them to the rightful owner.
6. Hire a collection agency. Creditor can hire a professional collection agency to pursue a debt collection for them. The collection agencies usually charge the creditor a percentage of the amount collected.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be construed as a legal advice, but strictly for information only in this entire website. Please contact Trustworthy Legal Service for your independent legal advice in your particular situation. The first consultation is also required prior to my retainer of your case.
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