Before the Creditor makes a decision as to which way he wants to enforce the Judgment, it is recommended that the Creditor gathers as much information about the Debtor as he can. In particular, attempts should be made to ascertain the following:
- Whether the Debtor owns their own house and what, if any, mortgages are on it?
- How financially viable is their business?
- Does the Debtor have a job?
- Does the Debtor have any other assets?
- What would be the impact on their business (and consequently their ability to pay you) if the Creditor obtained a garnishee order against their bank?
The advantage of using the EJO is that this office makes that investigation for the Creditor. Unfortunately however, the EJO does not have the resources to act as swiftly as the Creditor might expect and the Creditor might, in that instance, consider using a private detective / credit agency to gather information. Occasionally, Bankruptcy proceedings are the better option. For example, if the Creditor discovers that the Debtor previously owned property and transferred all of it to his/her spouse of children, Bankruptcy proceedings are the better option because the Receiver can claw the gift back into the Bankrupt’s estate.
Before either method of enforcement is chosen, it is recommended that the Creditor firstly carries out a Bankruptcy search against the Debtor to see if any Bankruptcy / Winding Up proceedings have already been instituted.
A lot of these considerations also apply to the enforcement process in Ireland. It is however important to bear in mind that, whereas in Northern Ireland the enforcement process remains under the control of the EJO, in Ireland the Creditor, through his Solicitor, must be more actively involved in commencing / pursuing each stage of the enforcement process.