Legal Aspects of the Process of Debt Collection

The point where the legal process begins in relation to debt collection is the preparation of the summons. Court proceedings start with a written claim. The claim has different names in different courts in various jurisdictions and may be called a statement of claim or a summons or writ. However, the claim must be served within six years of the dead or it will be statute barred under the statutes of limitation. The claim must also state the case, the facts and the whole history of the debt and must be clear. The creditor pays filing fees for the claim and its own legal fees. Once the claim has been made the court then issues a summons, and the credit and debt overcome the plaintiff and the defendant respectively. The summons may be an ordinary summons which orders the debtor to appear in court to answer a claim for a liquidated or unliquidated claim. It may also be a special summons which saves time by requiring evidence from the defendant of a liquidated or unliquidated claim such as under contract by affidavit instead of requiring the defendant to appear in court. If the defendant is not reply liability was admitted. The default summons which is the third option is a summons for a debt of a liquidated amount. It states that the plaintiff can obtain judgement by default without a court hearing unless the defendant enters the defence.

The next step in the process is service. The creditor or its representative serves a statement claim on the debt will personally, with a copy to the court, and the debt or has a certain number of days in which to lodge a defence. An affidavit services then lodged with the court. If the devil disputes the death the lodge what is called the defence most debtors do not defend a claim for a debt, but if it ever does dispute the claim, the debtor may lodge a defence. Sometimes the defence is used as a tactic to buy time to pay the debt. The defence was specifically answer and deny each of the allegations in the claim. The debtor may have a case against the creditor for example for breach of contract. I defence and counterclaim, the debtor may counterclaim against the creditor. Sometimes the parties may serve interrogatory is on each other and/or they may apply for discovery of documents in the possession of it the other. These core processors must then be answered. Once the court has determined the liability for the debt and reach an outcome in relation to the judgement that judgement may be by default if no defences entered within the time allowed all the creditor enters judgement by default. In lower courts, this is signed over the counter, and the creditor gets an award of costs. In higher courts, the creditor may need an affidavit attached to the claim to support default judgement and outlining the fact that the debt is not being paid.

There is then a number of methods of enforcing judgement. Once the court has handed down judgement in favour of the creditor, the better may still refuse to pay. Many judgement debtors pay promptly, but some still need encouragement to pay. The creditor may then have to enforce a judgement against the debtor. Unsatisfied legal judgements may be enforced by solicitors, debt collectors and commercial agents and can form the grounds of bankruptcy. There are many ways in which to enforce an unpaid judgement. This may include an examination process examination summons oral examination which requires the debtor to attend court to be questioned on assets and income. The core examines the evidence and will normally make an order but not if the debtor is insolvent. The next, enforcement is called an installment order whether creditor, the debtor or the court may approve payment of the judgement debt by installments. The court will not approve and installment order if the debtor cannot pay the interest owing. The third major form of enforcement is called a writ of execution. This is a court order address to a court to auction the debtor’s goods. The sheriff staff wear uniforms resembling those of police, but they have no authority to enter the debtor’s premises unless they are allowed in. Some have been known to bluff their way in. The red tape goods to be auctioned and formerly required to pay within a certain period such as 14 days. The sheriff can take the auction proceeds and give the surplus proceeds to the creditor. Certain goods, such as tools or furniture, cannot be taken by the sheriff. There are also garnishee orders which allow a court to order a bank to remove money from a person’s wages, there is a charging order which is issued against annuities, funds, shares of deposits money in the decor’s name, there is a writ of delivery and a writ of sequestration which allow the sheriff to recover property not being land of money from the debtor. These are the major forms of enforcement, which are the final stage in relation to debt recovery proceedings before insolvency, which is a different area of law.

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