Debt collection

LEGAL MATTERS

Last week, I discussed the process involved in securing judgement before the Courts in respect of debt collection matters. This judgement may then be enforced against the individual who owes the money (the debtor ). If the debtor still refuses to pay a number of options are available to the individual who is owed the money (the creditor ). Such options include the following:

Lodgment of judgment with the sheriff. The sheriff is a civil servant with responsibility for seizing and selling goods belonging to debtors in discharge of a debt. The sheriff has power to seize all movable goods, monies, shares, bank notes, and certain other assets. The sheriff will not seize tools of trade or essential household items.

Judgment Mortgage. The judgment can be registered as a mortgage over any land or property owned by the debtor. The judgment is in effect converted into a mortgage and is registered against the title to the property in the Land Registry or Registry of Deeds.

Instalment Order. A Court can rule that a debt may be paid off in instalments with a weekly or monthly payment being paid to the creditor until the debt is exhausted. The Court will be guided by the financial circumstances of the debtor.

Garnishee Order. When a debtor has no assets but is owed money by a third party, the judgment creditor may apply to the Court for an order directing the third party to bypass the debtor and pay the creditor directly.

Register the judgment in the Registry of Judgments providing for the publication of the debt. This will have an obvious impact on the debtor’s credit rating.

This column is prepared by Dolores Gacquin, solicitor. Byrne Carolan Cunningham have offices in Athlone, Moate, and Lanesborough.

A person should always contact their solicitor to obtain legal advice specific to their own situation. The above column contains general information and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

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