Can You Protect Your Property from Seizure?
If the court decides that a creditor’s claim is valid and issues a judgment against the debtor, the creditor registers a writ of enforcement to permit seizure of personal property to pay the judgment debt, interest calculated from the date of judgment and costs. Creditors will also engage a bailiff to handle the seizure of your property.
You will receive 3 documents when a writ of enforcement is registered: they are a notice of seizure, a notice of objection and an information for debtor form. These documents may be handed to you or they may simply be posted at your entry. The bailiff may take the property immediately. If the property is not immediately seized, then the bailiff will caution you against selling, moving or damaging the property.
You have 15 days from receipt of the notice of seizure to file the notice of objection explaining reasons why your property should not be seized. If you do so, you will later receive a date for a hearing to decide if your creditor is entitled to take your property. Filing an objection notice also means that your property cannot be sold without a court order.
What Property Can Be Seized?
If you own land or buildings, the writ of enforcement may be registered in the Land Titles Office, preventing you from selling or refinancing the property until the judgment is paid. Your creditors, or rather, the civil enforcement agency they engage to perform the seizure, cannot take everything you own. Some household furniture and appliances, a vehicle and tools, or personal property you need to earn a living may be exempt from seizure.
Can Seizure Be Stopped?
It may still be possible, even at this stage, to talk to your creditor, pay some of the money you owe and work out a payment plan for the rest to prevent seizure.