Debt recovery: What is a Writ of Execution?9-March-2013 Commercial Disputes By Mark Streeter
The most common mode of enforcing the judgment debt against an individual judgment debtor or a company judgment debtor is to issue a Writ of Execution. This is a direction to the Sheriff or Bailiff to attend a given address (usually the home address for an individual or the principal place of business for a company) and take items belonging to the debtor, to be sold at public auction for the benefit of the creditor.
The Sheriff has the power to seize a wide range of goods, including furniture, motor vehicles, boats, household appliances, art, jewellery, stock on hand, office equipment and other goods found at the address belonging to the judgment debtor.
After the Sheriff has tagged the debtor’s goods, he or she will notify the creditor of the goods found and request payment of further fees which may be required to continue with the execution.
Once any fees are paid, the Sheriff will send a final notice to the debtor advising that if the debt is not paid by a certain date, the goods will be taken and sold at public auction. Such notification will include the original judgment debt, interest and the costs of the Writ of Execution.
After the goods have been taken away from the debtor’s premises, the Sheriff will proceed to sell the goods and any proceeds will be forwarded to the creditor, after the deduction of the Sheriff’s fees.
Writ on land
All Courts now permit land to be taken under a Writ of Execution. It can be lodged at the NSW Government’s Land and Property Information office and can be issued once the writ is issued to the Sheriff.
The Writ on land is not the same as a Caveat. It does not give an interest in the land, as the creditor is unsecured, not secured. The writ can be stayed if an application is made by the debtor to pay by instalments.
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