What is seizure of movable immovable assets?

Seizure of assets occur when a person (debtor) is not able to pay his debt and his impatient creditor goes to the court and obtains a judgment ordering that the debtor must pay the amount stated therein. As a result, if said debt is still unsettled, the creditor shall now decide to seize his assets whether movable or immovable to enforce that judgment.

This article talks about seizing a debtor's movable and immovable assets.

When can assets be seized?

A creditor cannot seize all of his debtor's assets. Seizure of movable immovable assets occurs only by a bailiff who is of a great standing in the chamber of justice in Canada. Seizure of movable immovable assets by not getting a judgment is not generally possible. There are rules that do state that no collection agency or a person can get a bailiff to execute what is called a seizure until and unless the agency or the person has got an order of judgment for you to give them a particular amount of money. However, there are a few cases where a seizure can be executed even before a judgment was obtained.

Types of seizures

Now there are different types of seizures. The first of these types of seizures are of movable property. This is subjected to those legal limitations that come in regard with the assets that are exempted from those that are to be seized. Movable property includes those personal property that can be moved from one location to another like cars. If the value of this movable property is enough to pay the debt, this can be subject to seizure. The next type of seizure is of the immovable property. Immovable properties are those that are permanently attached to the ground like land and buildings. This procedure is many a times used against those debtors who do not go by the alimony order even if the amount is much less than about 10000 Canadian dollars. The last type of this seizure is the garnishment. This type of seizure is generally used when there is money or assets in the hands of a third person that genuinely belongs to you. Hence in this type of a seizure the creditors are allowed to seize the contents of all your bank accounts as well as the salary that you earn within those limits that are set by the law of the Canadian government.

Exemptions from seizure

Not all movable and immovable property may be subject to seizure. In Quebec, the Code of Civil Procedure provides for the limitations of the properties to be seized. With respect to movable property, the following cannot be seized:
(1) A movable property serving as the main residence of the debtor including his households with value of $6000.
(2) The food, clothing, and others that are essential for his living.
(3) The instruments and materials needed in carrying out his professional activity
With regards to Immovable property it is exempt from seizure when it involves the principal residence of the debtor and the amount of the claim is less than $10,000 except in certain cases specifically provided under the law.

Procedures on seizure of assets

For seizures of movable and immovable assets, the creditors will need to prepare official documents called the writ of seizure. If this document is completed and then signed by the court where this judgment has been handed down, then the proceedings of the seizures can be initiated. The writ also authorizes the bailiff to come down to your house and then seizes all the assets and then the debt can be paid off using this. It is necessary that the bailiff has to be accompanied by one witness to complete a document that is official and referred to as the seizure report.

In summary, seizure of movable and immovable assets is a legal remedy granted to the creditor in case the debtor cannot pay what he owes. However, in order that this remedy may be given the force of law, certain procedures and steps must be complied with. Otherwise, this remedy of seizure of assets cannot be resorted to by the creditor.


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