I am owed a significant sum of money by an individual. Despite numerous requests he has refused to pay me what I am owed. I know that he receives grant payments from the Government on a regular basis. Can I force him to pay me these monies when he receives them?
If you feel that you (the creditor ) have exhausted all methods of securing your payment you may pursue the individual who owes you money (the debtor ) through the Courts. Before issuing such legal proceedings, however, the debtor must first be formally warned and given an opportunity to pay.
It may be quite difficult to force the debtor to pay a sum of money you know he receives to you. Instead you may seek what is called a Garnishee Order. In circumstances such as yours, you may apply to the Courts for a Garnishee Order which will direct a third party to pay monies owed to the debtor to you instead.
Neither the debtor nor the third party are notified of the Court proceedings seeking a Garnishee Order. Therefore, the Order can be secured without them knowing anything about it until the Order is served. Once the Order is served, the debtor may apply to the Court if he has a valid objection, but otherwise the Order is binding.
A Garnishee Order should be considered only for larger debts as the costs involved are relatively high. The Court however has discretion to grant costs to the creditor which are usually recoverable in priority with the debt.
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.