As a long-established firm with a significant corporate and commercial clientele, we fully understand the importance of debt recovery in today’s difficult business environment. Over the years we have developed a very efficient and cost-effective approach to debt collection for our broad spectrum of clients.
There are three Court jurisdictions in which to bring a debt collection claim. The amount of the debt will determine the Court in which the claim is to be taken as follows:
- District Court – €0 to €15,000.00
- Circuit Court – €15,000.00 to €75,000.00
- High Court – all amounts over €75,000.00
The procedure for obtaining judgment depends on whether or not a case is defended. We have significant experience in acting for both debtors and creditors in debt collection proceedings. We have considerable experience in acting for individuals, companies and financial institutions in the District Court, Circuit Court and High Court and indeed, regularly attend applications for summary judgment before the Master of the High Court and applications to transfer proceedings seeking summary judgment before the Commercial Court.
The Commercial Court is a division of the High Court which deals with claims exceeding €1,000,000.00. The Commercial Court has proven to be highly efficient in disposing of commercial disputes.
For mortgage arrears litigation, the jurisdiction is determined on the rateable valuation of the property. Proceedings for Possession Orders can be brought in either the High Court or the Circuit Court. The introduction of the code of conduct of financial institutions recently means that lending institutions must wait at least six months from the time the arrears first arise before applying to the Courts to commence repossession proceedings.
Ultimately, when judgments are obtained, you will then be in a position to enforce the judgement and the following steps should be taken;-
Registration of Judgment
This will need to be done through the High Court and can be registered through the judgments section of the High Court.
This can be the most effective way of recovering sums due. This type of Judgment registers a mortgage over the property of the debtor. It should be noted that any mortgage that the property is already subject to will rank in priority to this type of Judgment.
A Judgment mortgage will remain valid for 12 years and failing satisfaction of the debt within this time it can be removed by the debtor. Alternatively, the creditor can through the courts seek a Well Charging Order which will compel the sale of the debtor’s property.
This can be quite an effective method of recovering monies owed. This method of recovery summons the debtor to the District Court and requires them to produce what is known as a statement of means which sets out all of the income, expenditure and assets of the debtor. As this statement is a form of evidence it can be cross-examined. This method is quite effective and has the function of providing a truthful assessment of the debtor’s ability to repay the monies they owe.
Based on the statement of means and any replies to the cross-examination a judge will make an Instalment Order and set a particular amount of money to be paid every week/month by the debtor.
These will be granted where a debtor has failed to comply with an Instalment Order. The effect of this type of Order is that a debtor is committed to prison. These types of orders are rarely used however and in most instances, the costs of making the application would outweigh the benefit achieved from the Order being granted.
This type of Order effectively allows you to step into the shoes of the debtor and receive any monies that are due to them. It is often the case that a debtor claims they cannot pay their debts because they are owed money also. A Garnishee Order effectively allows you to have any monies owed to the debtor paid directly to you.
If the debtor is a company an application can be made to have a liquidator appointed and the company wound up once the debt is greater than €10,000.00. This can be quite complicated and as such its viability should be carefully considered.
For further information on the above please contact Margaret Fortune on 051 840001 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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