garnishment; garnishee; garnishing bank acounts; garnishing employment income; alberta lawyer

Garnishment of Bank Accounts and Employment Income

Garnishing in Alberta

Garnishment is the process of collecting on a debt after it has been awarded by the courts. This is a form of post judgment debt collection. The Calgary, Alberta based lawyers of Kahane Law Office will help with collections in Alberta. Call for help 403-225-8810.

What is Garnishment?

If a judgment debtor or a judgment creditor is not prepared to negotiate, then more formal enforcement steps are required. Enforcement means enforcing or collecting what is owed to you based on a court order. One of these mechanisms is garnishment. Simply put, “garnishment” is a process where money that is owed to the judgment debtor is taken and distributed to the judgment creditors to satisfy the judgment debt(s) in whole or in part.

Procedure for Garnishment

As with Seizure, in order to take advantage of this process, you will first have to register a Writ of Enforcement with the Personal Property Registry (the “PPR”). Kahane Law Office can ensure that your Writ of Enforcement is registered. This can also be done at most registry offices in Alberta, once your judgment is registered with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (however, registration with the Court of Queen’s Bench is only necessary if your judgment is from the Provincial Court of Alberta).

Once the Writ of Enforcement is filed, the judgment creditor can send a document called a Garnishee Summons to any person or business that owes the judgment debtor money (the “Garnishee”).

Types of Garnishment

Any person or company that owes the judgment debtor money can be served a Garnishee summons. There are two more frequent garnishee summons issued. They are:

Employment Garnishees

Common Garnishees include the judgment debtor’s employer. This type of garnishee summons is good for one year. This type of garnishment must be renewed every two years. It can be renewed indefinitely. This process forces the employer to pay a calculated amount of the judgment debtors income to directly pay down the debt. Garnishment has some limitations imposed with respect to what can be garnished. For example, a portion of a judgment debtor’s employment earnings is exempt from garnishment.

Financial Institution Garnishees

The other common garnishee is serving the debtor’s bank. Unlike all other garnishee summons, a garnishee summons that is served on a bank is only good for 60 days. It can also be renewed. These summons force the bank to pay any amount that the debtor has in his or her account to pay down the debt. If a judgment debtor changes banks to avoid this form of garnishment, then the new bank will need to be further served. If the bank is not known, then multiple banks can be served with this notice of garnishment to ensure that funds are located.

How are Garnishment Funds Received

Once served on a Garnishee, any non-exempt funds subject to the summons are paid to the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. They are then distributed to the judgment creditors similar to how funds are distributed on a seizure.

Hiring Alberta Lawyers for Garnishment

When collecting judgment debts, it is important to follow the correct protocols to avoid problems. Our lawyers will take the necessary steps required for garnishment related matters. We are able to act for the sole purpose of garnishing wages or accounts or as part of a great picture of collection of secured or unsecured debts. Call today so that we can help you with your debt collections legal needs. You can reach us toll-free at 1-877-225-8817, or 403-225-8810 locally or email us directly here.