Commercial Collections Lawyers

How do I collect an unpaid invoice?

The first step in any collection process is to issue a demand letter. Often times the debtor has simply neglected to make timely payment of an invoice and needs to be advised that the creditor will take additional measures if they do not pay.

What do I do the debtor refuses to pay?

If the debtor does not respond to a demand letter, the matter should proceed to litigation. In Alberta you can pursue litigation in either the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, or the Provincial Court of Alberta. The primary factor in determining which court to select is the amount at issue. Claim in the Provincial Court of Alberta are currently limited to $50,000. Additionally, the Provincial Court offers a quicker and more streamlined procedure, meaning that even if your claim is slightly above the $50,000 limit, then it may make more sense than a Queen’s Bench action, which can be prolonged and expensive.

How do I enforce my judgment on collections?

If your matter reaches conclusion, you then must enforce your judgment. This involves using a variety of procedures to collect on the monetary amount of the judgment.

Judgment enforcement usually begins with examination of the debtor. You can serve the debtor with a request to provide financial information. Once the debtor provides the requested information, you can bring the debtor in for questioning to determine what the debtor owns, how much its worth, and where it is located.

If you discover any information about the debtor’s assets, you can retain a civil enforcement agency seize the assets. Once the assets are seized, they can be sold and applied against the judgment debt.

Another option for judgment enforcement is garnishment, which compels a third party to pay to the judgment creditor a debt which the third person would otherwise have to pay to the judgment debtor. Judgment debtors often garnish banks or employers to realize on their judgment debt.

Be aware that certain property is exempt from enforcement proceedings. The law provides that individuals are entitled to maintain minimum amounts of specific property.

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