A debtor owes you money, and you have obtained a judgment for collection in a different province or country from where the debtor either resides or has assets. The legal process for pursuing recovery is known as enforcing a foreign judgment.
Each court, province and state has specific rules that dictate how you can collect your judgment in their jurisdiction. Similarly, the creditors’ remedies available to you will differ by jurisdiction.
Foreign Judgments in Canada
In general, Canadian courts apply “full faith and credit” to most foreign judgments if certain criteria are met. In other words, a jurisdiction will respect the laws of another jurisdiction—unless there is good reason not to do so.
In the province of British Columbia (BC) foreign judgments are enforceable. Some jurisdictions have reciprocal enforcement arrangements with the province, which enables the process to register the foreign judgment with the Supreme Court of BC to be relatively simple. For jurisdictions that aren’t reciprocating, different procedures have to be followed for the enforcement of a foreign judgment. When all the required steps are completed or “perfected”, the foreign judgment can be executed upon against the debtor as if it was a local judgment.
Once the foreign judgment is recognized, you have access to all the creditors’ remedies in that jurisdiction. If you hold a foreign judgment against a debtor in Canada, England or Wales, Hobbs Giroday can assist you in enforcing the foreign judgment against the debtor.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in advising on multi- jurisdictional debt collection and employing the most appropriate remedies for the situation. We will work with you to devise an effective and decisive strategy, in the most efficient and diligent manner.
If you need help with the enforcement of a foreign judgment and want to maximize the recovery of money owed to you, contact us for a consultation.