I have previously written about pre and post judgment garnishing
orders as well as the types of funds subject to garnishment.
However, there are other methods of enforcing a judgment beyond
garnishing the debtor's wages or bank accounts.
If the person or company whom the creditor has a judgment
against owns real property in British Columbia, that creditor can
register the judgment against that property (s.210 Land Title
Act RSBC 196 ch. 250). This applies to both judgments obtained
in the Supreme Court and Provincial Small Claims Court. The
registered judgment will show up as a charge against the title to
the debtor's land. If the creditor is uncertain as to whether
or not the debtor owns land, the creditor can do a name search at a
land title office for a modest fee. Alternatively, the creditor may
wish to have a lawyer or notary provide the same service. By having
the judgment registered against the debtor's land, it makes it
very difficult for the debtor to sell, mortgage or re-mortgage that
property without first paying the judgment.
However, if the debtor does not plan on selling or mortgaging
their property, the creditor will not be able to realize on their
judgment unless positive steps are taken to force the sale of the
property. Discussing the forced sale of the property will be left
for another day, but suffice it to say it is an expensive and time
consuming process with no guarantee of the desired outcome.
The registered judgment is good for two years and can be renewed
every two years. Judgments are effective for 10 years at which
point they can also be renewed. There is a greater likelihood that
the debtor may sell or re-mortgage their land over a long period of
time, therefore it is a good idea to renew the judgment when
Where the debtor's property is owned jointly with someone
else, certain complications can arise that can limit the
effectiveness of the judgment. The judgment can still be registered
against the debtor's interest in the property; however, if the
debtor passes away, the creditor's claim may vanish due to the
right of survivorship.
In conclusion, it is prudent to register a judgment against a
debtor's land. It is a simple and inexpensive process and can
be very effective when the debtor wishes to sell or re-mortgage
their land. In my next blog, I will discuss examining the debtor
under oath as to their ability to pay the judgment and seizing
assets to satisfy the judgment.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The Canadian Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions ("OSFI") recently ruled that a bank cannot promote comprehensive credit insurance ("CCI") within its Canadian branches under the Insurance Business (Banks and Bank Holdings Companies) Regulations (the "Regulations").
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