Winning a court case may seem like the end of the process, but it is important to be aware that winning a case does not guarantee payment. There are several circumstances that may prevent payment after winning a case.
Why wouldn’t a defendant pay after losing a case?
One reason a defendant may not pay is because of lack of money or assets. This is something to look into before taking the defendant to court, so as not waste time and money for nothing. Or if such a circumstance occurs you may be faced with only getting a fraction of what is owed.
Another way a case could lead to a dead end in payment would be if the defendant tries to appeal against the original judgment. Even if the appeal isn’t won, this could at least delay payment.
If a defendant just refuses to pay, there are ways to ‘enforce Judgment.’
How do you ‘enforce Judgment?
If the defendant has money or assets it is possible to go through the courts to ensure payments. You can acquire a Warrant or Writ and bailiffs or sheriffs will go to collect your money. If the defendant does not have money on hand then property can be seized and sold at auction for the debt.
Another way that money can be collected from a defendant is the use of an Attachment of Earnings Order, which will take money out of the defendant’s paychecks until the debt is paid.
In a similar way, if a defendant is owed money by someone else you can request a Garnishee Order and have the money owed to them paid to you instead.
Another course of action is a Charging Order which will prohibit the defendant from selling any assets without paying you the portion owed.
Lastly, you could pursue the defendant and require that they go through insolvency proceedings if the debt cannot be paid.
It is important to note that all of these options will also require additional court fees, which you can tack onto the debt owed by the defendant; however, if the defendant simply cannot pay it will result in more debt that you will never be repaid.
Things to consider:
Remember to do your research before taking a defendant to court over debts. It may turn out that you can and will win a case against them, but they will just not be able to pay. This will only result in more fees and wasted time.
If you have already taken a defendant to court and they cannot pay find out if it is worth it to continue with more court proceedings, and which way will be most effective to cut your losses.