What Should I Tell The Judgment Debtor?
It is probably not a good idea to contact the debtor in person. Some debtors will scream harassment or rape or whatever they think will make you go away. It happens frequently. Beware.
Inform the judgment debtor that the court has made a judgment against her. You may agree to accept payment in full or on a specified schedule. Not a good idea since she obviously does not pay her debts or you would not have judgment against her.
You can remind the judgment debtor of the following consequences of not paying:
- It can affect the judgment debtor's credit rating. This may prevent the judgment debtor from getting a loan, buying property, getting a credit card, etc. Usually people who are judgment debtors have worthless credit ratings and owe money all over town. So they don't care about their bad credit rating.
- It can tie up the judgment debtor's property.
- You can take further legal steps including garnishee her wages or bank accounts, if the judgment debtor refuses to pay.
- The amount payable will increase with interest and costs of enforcement.
How to Win
in Small Claims Court
Here's How To Collect Your Judgment
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SMALL CLAIMS COURT
How to Collect Your Money
About Judgment Enforcement
A judgment is a simple court ruling that the defendant owes you money which gives you legal powers to collect from the judgment debtor.
The money is payable immediately. However the courts will not collect the debt, so getting a judgment is not a guarantee of payment.
It is not the court's job to collect the money. If you are the successful party (called the judgment creditor) you will have to begin the process to collect the money from the unsuccessful party (called the judgment debtor).
Ask A Small Claims Court Lawyer
How Can You Collect Your Money?
There are a number of different ways you can try to collect your money.
- You can register the judgment.
- You can try to use the judgment to convince the judgment debtor to pay you.
- You can investigate to see if the judgment debtor has the means to pay you.
- You can start enforcement proceedings.
The more you know about the judgment debtor's financial situation, the easier it is to pick a method that will be successful.
Convincing the Judgment Debtor to Pay Up
You may try using the judgment to convince the judgment debtor to pay you. Sometimes initial contact with the judgment debtor may convince the judgment debtor to pay you.
You can contact the judgment debtor by registered mail, by phone or in person. If you do not want to approach the judgment debtor yourself, you might be able to hire a collection agency to help you convince the debtor to pay.
Collection agencies usually only work for businesses.
Registering the judgment in the Personal Property Registry. A registered Judgment acts like a charge or a lien against the debtor’s property by binding the property and therefore making the sale or the mortgage of the property difficult. By registering the Judgment you may get paid if the debtor decides to sell or mortgage that property. The debtor might also want to pay the judgment to clear his or her credit rating.
Where & How to Find Out About the
Debtor's Financial Situation
- Do a search on the Personal Property Registry System (PPRS) to see if there are other registrations against the judgment debtor's personal property. The search costs $5. The paralegal who performs the search will charge you for this service.
- Find out if the judgment debtor owns land by searching under his or her name at the Land Titles Office/Registry Office. There is a fee for this service. You can find out the property location, the tax account number, the assessed value of the property, and whether the property is a registered Land Titles parcel.
- Find out if there are other judgment creditors by checking at the sheriff's office, the clerk's office or the Land Registry. There are fees for these searches.
- Contact other judgment creditors to see if they are willing to share information with you.
- Do a search at the Motor Vehicles Registration Office to find out if the judgment debtor owns any vehicles, such as a car or snowmobile. Make your request in writing, including the reason for your search and include the search fee. If there is more than one vehicle, you can get a complete list upon payment of $8 for every vehicle.
- Look at past cheques to or from the judgment debtor to find a bank account number and bank branch. Also, you or your bank can do a credit check if you belong to a credit bureau.
Judgment Debtor Examination
If the judgment debtor refuses to say whether he or she can pay, you may get a court order to have the judgment debtor submit to an examination.
The judgment creditor and the clerk ask questions about the judgment debtor's assets and ability to pay.
The judgment debtor must answer the relevant examination questions.
If the debtor can pay, the clerk may make an order to pay by instalment. If the judgment debtor does not respect the order, you will need a lawyer to take civil action for contempt of a court order.
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This is not legal advice it is information .