Seizure: Debt Collections In Alberta

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Seizure for Debt Enforcement

People who owe money often fail to pay it back. Even with a court judgment, not all debtors make payment. One collection tool includes seizing assets of the debtor. Seizure 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. Our Calgary based lawyers can help with collections in Alberta.

When Is Seizure Required?

If the judgment debtor or the judgment creditor is not prepared to negotiate, then more formal enforcement steps are required. These are legal means of collecting what is owed to you. One of these mechanisms is seizure. Basically put, “seizure” is a process whereby the property of a judgment debtor is taken and sold in partial or complete satisfaction of the judgment debt. You are seizing their property to pay out the debt.

Steps To Legally Collect Debts With Seizure

Collecting debts when people owe you money often includes frustrating complications. Sometimes debtors pay you. Other times you require the courts to rule in your favour. However, even with the court ruling, not all debtors pay. The following include examples of some of the steps required when you seek to collect on a debt utilizing seizure of assets as a strategy.

Registration of Writ of Enforcement

The first step in seizing assets, like with garnishment, is wining at court where the court has awarded you a monetary amount from the defendant (the person you sued). 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).

Civil Enforcement Agencies / Bailiffs / Sheriffs

Once you have your Writ of Enforcement registered at the PPR, you can retain a civil enforcement agency (also sometimes called a “bailiff”), to seize personal property from the judgment debtor, subject to the claims of other parties. In order to do so, there are a number of forms that you will have to complete and provide to the civil enforcement agency

Also, in order to make sure that it will be worth your while to hire a civil enforcement agency, you will want to order an additional search from the PPR to ensure that the item(s) you want to seize aren’t subject to a priority claim by somebody else (e.g., a car may have a lien on it for financing, which will take priority over a judgment debt). You will also want to take into account the fact that the Civil Enforcement Act imposes some limits in respect of what can be seized, and what is exempt from seizure. These limits may apply to food, clothing, vehicles, real property, work tools, and household furnishings, amongst other things.

Sale of Seized Goods

When the item(s) are seized, notice is given to the judgment debtors. If no objection is filed, the property will be sold and the net proceeds distributed amongst the judgment creditors. If an objection is filed, a court hearing will be required before anything can be done with the item(s).

Hiring Alberta Lawyers for Seizure

When collecting judgment debts, it is important to follow the correct protocols to avoid problems. Our lawyers will take the necessary steps required to seize good properly. We are able to act for the sole purpose of seizure 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.