Civil Enforcement Services
Our firm is one of the only law firms in Ontario able to provide Civil Enforcement Services. This is because our senior partner, G. Dewar Laing, is both a lawyer as well as a duly appointed Baifliff by the Province of Ontario. Mr. Laing has been a lawyer since 1985 and a Bailiff since 2003. For additional information, you might want to visit our website specific to civil enforcement, which is www.civilenforcementservices.com.
Civil Enforcement Services refers to rights that you have under civil (as opposed to criminal) law. For example, if you sue someone in the civil courts for, say, an unpaid debt, once you get a judgment, the collection of the amount found to be owing is called a “civil enforcement”. But there are other types of civil enforcement that are granted by statute that, if applicable, save you from the delay and expense of going to court. These are remedies that are often called “self help” remedies, because they allow the creditor to seize and sell the goods of the debtor in satisfaction of the debt. Usually, you will want a Bailiff to handle this type of remedy for you because the rules and practices for such enforcements are complicated and numerous. This is precisely the type of enforcement that we specialize in.
Specifically, we combine our legal expertise with our substantial experience as an appointed and licensed Bailiff to implement the maximum recovery with a minimum of time and cost. This type of self help civil enforcement remedy is provided to creditors under the Personal Property Security Act (the “PPSA”), the Repair and Storage Liens Act (the “RSLA”), and the Commercial Tenancies Act (the “CTA”). We provide commercial collection services, and our settlement agreements, when we have to come to terms with debtors, all contain provisions that allow us status as secured creditors in future.
Of course, in the case of judgments, only the Sheriff’s Office is allowed to enforce the judgment. This is one of the reasons that the need for a judgment is best avoided. Not only is it a large investment of time and money to get a judgment, the Sheriff’s Office is not the most effective means of getting paid. First of all, the Sheriff’s Office does not do investigations. It is up to you to find the debtor’s assets and, once found, you have to pay the Sheriff’s Office a deposit before they will act. If they do seize the debtor’s assets, say, a bank account, they are required by law to hold that cash for thirty days and, at the end of the thirty days, to divide it proportionately amongst everyone that has a judgment against that same debtor. In other words, you could do all the work to find the asset, incur the cost of having the Sheriff seize it, and then lose most of the value if there are other judgments against the same person that are worth more than your’s.
This is why, when we do collections for clients, we will often enter into a Settlement Agreement providing for monthly or weekly payments. The main benefit of such an agreement is that it will provide in its terms that it constitutes a General Security Agreement against the assets of the debtor and that you are authorized to register a Notice of Secuirty Interest under the Personal Property Security Act (the PPSA) in the event of a default in payment. This means that if the debtor defaults in making the agreed upon payments, we can seize and sell the debtor’s assets without need of getting a judgment and without need to share the proceeds of such sale with any other creditors (other than the Canada Revenue Agency in some cases).
There are a number of pieces of legislation that create security interests to allow the recovery of debt without the need or expense of going to court. We specialize in the enforcement of these self-help remedies.