Collecting on a debt can be an onerous and time-consuming process. Although our primary goal is to recover a client’s debt without the expense and time of litigation, we are dedicated advocates and are ready to act for you at all levels of the process.
Our Lawyers understand that successfully suing for a debt is often only half the battle. We are committed to seeing the process through and helping you to enforce a successful judgement.
What is a Judgement?
In the context of debt recovery and collections, a Judgement is essentially a decision by a Judge ordering that the losing party (the debtor) pay the amount which was sued for (the debt), to the successful party (the creditor). In Alberta, a Judgement is valid for 10 years from the date the Judgement was made and may be renewed for a further 10 years upon application to the Court.
What Do I Do After a Successful Judgement in Alberta?
Unfortunately, being successful in Court, also known as getting a Judgement in your favour, is often not the end of the Court process. If the unsuccessful party (the debtor) does not voluntarily pay the amount awarded to the successful party (the creditor), the creditor must then take further steps to enforce the Judgement. The Court does not assist in enforcing or collecting on a Judgement, therefore, it is up to the creditor to pursue and often pay for enforcement remedies. In order to enforce a Judgement, you must first file your Judgement along with a special document called a Writ of Enforcement with the Court of Queen’s Bench. Once these documents are filed, you will be entitled to start the enforcement process.
What Types Of Enforcement Remedies are Available in Alberta?
In Alberta, the most common types of enforcement mechanisms are post-judgement garnishment or post-judgement seizure. A creditor can also attempt to collect on a Judgement through discussions with the debtor outside of the court process, such as negotiating a payment plan. Post-judgement garnishment is a process where the debtor’s money such as funds held in a bank account or employment wages, is diverted to pay off a debt owed to a creditor. Post-judgement seizure is a process where the debtor’s property is seized and sold off to satisfy the debt. In Alberta, a creditor may instruct a Civil Enforcement Agency to seize the debtor’s property. Civil Enforcement agencies employ individuals called bailiffs to collect on outstanding debts.
If you or your business need to recover a debt, we are here to help. At West Legal, we will explore the myriad of legal options and avenues available to you for recovering a debt, in order to ensure that we find the best fit for you and your case.