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Got my Judgment! Ready to Collect!

People are often shocked to find out that once they get court issued Judgment, that doesn’t mean they then get paid. What?!

Yes – just because the Small Claims Court or the Court of Queen’s Bench has heard your case and decided in your favour, it does not mean that you automatically get the money that Judgment is for.

If you went to Small Claims Court as a self-represented litigant, i.e. did not use legal representation, then you likely find yourself in a situation where you will want to be hiring a lawyer now.

Like the various considerations you had to make in deciding whether or not to pursue your matter through the legal system, you will now have to put your mind to the considerations that come into play when it comes down to collecting your money.

There are legal processes that are open to you in collecting on your Judgment, and each will offer their own costs and benefits. It’s important to take the time to sit down with a lawyer and learn about your options you have with that judgment. They’re only valid for
10 years, subject to a right of renewal, so once issued, the clock starts ticking for you to try to get paid.

Examples of these procedures can involve the garnishment of the debtor’s various financial assets; registering the judgment against land; getting an order for seizure
of assets; and even forcing their attendance to your lawyer’s office to make them testify under oath as to what their asset holdings and financial circumstances are.

Another means of resolution (often well-assisted with legal counsel) is to negotiate an agreement for a payment arrangement. Often, these can be set-up in a manner that would offer you, the Judgment holder, with some added protection which you can then rely on at a later time should there be any default by the debtor in the payment schedule. In
today’s hectic world, with ever-increasing costs, this less invasive and cooperative measure may be more encouraging and less likely than the Judgment debtor attempting to evade having to pay you.

That being said, there are debilitating effects to having a judgment entered against you, especially so if you are in business for yourself or in already fragile financial circumstances. With a Judgment ordered against you, you risk not only your credibility as an individual, but also your credit-rating with your bank(s) and associated financial
services, you credit bureau credit-ratings, and your ability to secure any needed financing for your business, home, or other personal matters.

If you find yourself on the receiving-end of a Judgment holder, it would be wise for you to seek a lawyer’s help as well. Sometimes, our positions will only be as good as we can negotiate, and you’ll never know what that may be, unless you’re willing to try.

If you find yourself holding a Judgment against a debtor, having a Judgement issued against you, or run a business and would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact our office to arrange for a consultation in order to discuss the particular circumstances of the challenge you’re currently facing.

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Notice: The articles on our website are provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or opinion. They reflect the current state of the law as at the date of posting on the website, and are subject to change without notice. If you require legal advice or opinion, we would be pleased to provide you with our assistance on any of the issues raised in these articles.