May 2021 – Someone owes me money. Now what?

Times are still tough. We all know that. We do our best or we should be doing our best to be helping those around us as much as possible. Sometimes we lend money on a good faith basis to our closest neighbours, friends, or business partners. However, even with a solid contract or a promissory note, things could still fall apart and you may never recover the funds that you loaned. 

Following proper procedure in Provincial or the Court of Queen’s Bench should lead to a solid judgment for the recovery of your funds. Getting the judgment is only one part of your struggle though – you have to be able to collect the outstanding funds.

Judgments from both Provincial and Court of Queen’s bench are enforceable in the Court of Queen’s Bench. A writ of enforcement must be prepared, which is a document that which outlines the amount of the judgment and binds the debtor’s property.

One option available thereafter is to request for the debtor to provide a financial report in order to identify their assets. This may be hit or miss as the debtor may conceal the full value of their assets.

If you know where the debtor banks or works, you can provide specific documents to their bank or workplace in order to garnish their accounts. You may really want to consider focusing on their bank accounts. Every time a bank is served with a garnishee summons, there is only a $25 administration fee. For $150, you could hit all six major banks in Calgary, and chances are that one of them will carry some sort of associated account to the debtor. 

When an employer is served, they are only required to remit the amount by which the debtor’s monthly pay exceeds his or her earnings exemption, where the minimum exemption is $800 plus $200 for each dependent of the debtor’s household. 

Financial report request and questioning produced nothing. There are no bank accounts. The debtor does not appear to be working.

What else?

Let’s go after their property. To initiate seizure, a creditor must submit a letter of instruction and a warrant to the civil enforcement agency, which will then carry out the seizure. Only a civil enforcement agency can seize and creditors should not be taking things into their own hands. Seized property remains under seizure, until it is sold, disposed of, or released from seizure by the seizing agency. 

The biggest piece of the pie would be to go after someone’s land and the corresponding real estate. The civil enforcement agency must give notice of its intention to sell the land. The sale must be delayed for 180 days after notice is given, although that time may be abridged by a Court order. At least 30 days prior to the sale, an enforcement agency must serve notice of the method of sale on the enforcement debtor and other persons specified in Civil Enforcement Regulations. Verifying any additional real estate owned by the debtor can be done through the Land Titles Office

During these uncertain times, it is important to understand that there are options available to you which will assist you in recovering your loaned funds. We should all work together and assist each other as much as possible. However, we should not be taken advantage of and we have a right to collect what is rightfully ours. 

Steve Dimic

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