What Happens After I Lose a Lawsuit?

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If you participate in a lawsuit and lose, the judge will issue an order against you. The order will outline the details of his decision, specifically the details of what you are legally obligated to do. In many cases this involves paying somebody a certain amount of money. At this point you can simply choose to pay the amount the judge has ordered you to. However, for a lot of people this is not a realistic option.

In that case, the winner of the lawsuit, who is known now as the creditor, is forced to collect against you. To do this, the creditor will have to take the order to the sheriff’s office and apply for an “Execution Order”. It is the execution order that gives the sheriff’s office the authority to start enforcing the judges order. It costs money and requires legal paperwork to obtain the execution order and some creditors will never even take this first step in collection.

Prior to applying for an execution order the creditor will have to register the order at both the Registry of Deeds and the Personal Property Registry. The debtor (the person who lost) will be notified when this is done. As the debtor, this is an important step because once you have a judgement registered against you at the Registry of Deeds you cannot buy, sell or remortgage a property without paying out the judgement first.

Also, after one year of having the judgement registered the creditor can choose to force the sale of your property under the Sale of Land Under Execution Act. This is obviously a situation you want to avoid.

One option available after judgement has been entered is to approach the creditor and attempt to negotiate a payment schedule. Many creditors are open to this because it saves them the effort and cost of going through with the execution process.

With the execution order the sheriff is allowed to drain the contents of any of your bank accounts and freeze them such that any incoming payments will be redirected to them. They may also serve the order on your employer and your employer will be required to garnish your wages down to a minimum set by the government.

Another reason to avoid having the order enforced by way of execution order is that as the debtor you are required to pay the sheriff’s cost for doing the work of the collection. In addition, interest accumulates daily so your judgement amount is growing every single day.

If you have a judgement against you or your contemplating a lawsuit where you feel a judgement may be entered against you, it is strongly recommended you have a conversation with a lawyer who can help you either avoid the situation or minimize the impact of the judgement.

If you have any questions about this subject, you can call us at (902) 826-3070 or email us at info@highlanderlaw.ca to set up a meeting with one of our lawyers at our Tantallon law firm. You can also schedule a no commitment Issue Review Consult for $100+HST where you have the opportunity to explain your situation to a lawyer and get basic advice before deciding whether or not you'd like to retain us.


By: Dianna M. Rievaj LLB, MBA Managing Lawyer


The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Nothing contained on this blog is legal advice or constitutes a legal opinion. While it is our goal to provide information which is current, legislative changes and court decisions, among other matters, may result in some information no longer being current or accurate. You should consult a lawyer before relying on any information. The views expressed herein by individual contributing lawyers posting entries to the blog are solely those of the authors and should not necessarily be attributed to or considered representative of the firm of Highlander Law Group Lawyers