Recourse for Creditors Post Judgment Registration

So, you have obtained a judgment against a customer and it has now appeared in the public domain via StubbsGazette and StubbsGazette Credit Bureau. What next?

Registration alone doesn’t achieve anything more than publicising the judgment and perhaps causing the debtor some embarrassment but it does open up a wide range of other enforcement options, which are explained below:

The Sheriff
Each county in Ireland has a Sheriff who is a civil servant and whose responsibility is to seize and sell goods belonging to debtors in the discharge of debt. There can be long delays in this process and often the Sheriff can decide that the debtor has no goods worth seizing and selling. The Sheriff will NOT seize the tools of trade, or essential household items.

Instalment Order Process (only applicable to individuals and not companies)
After judgment has been obtained in Court the relevant debtor can be called to attend at the District Court to be examined as to his/her means. The judge will decide the level of weekly/monthly debt payments the debtor can make and will usually make an Instalment Order directing the debtor to make the repayments. The repayments will commence once the order is served on the debtor. It is unusual for a District Court judge to give an Instalment Order against an unemployed debtor.

If the debtor does NOT make the repayments the creditor can go back to the District Court and seek to have the debtor committed to prison for non-payment (by Committal Order).

A Garnishee Order is an effective legal enforcement option, although this is dependent on the creditor having good intelligence on any monies due, but not yet paid, to the debtor. In such circumstances, the creditor can apply to Court for a Garnishee Order, directing that such monies are paid by the third party directly to the creditor.

Timing is important so that the third parties are advised of the Garnishee Order before the monies are paid to the debtor.

Receivership by way of Equitable Execution
This is a similar process to garnishee, except that the ultimate objective is for the creditor to receive the net sale proceeds of an asset belonging to the debtor. An example of this would be the sale of a car, land or house.

Under certain circumstances the Court may prefer to appoint a Receiver, where the creditor is unsure of how much money the debtor will receive.

Judgment Mortgage
Once the judgment has been obtained, the creditor can apply in Court to have a Judgment Mortgage registered on the deeds of the debtor's property. This effectively prohibits any dealings with that property, unless the relevant debt is discharged.

The creditor can take a further step and have the relevant property sold, so that the debt is discharged, by applying to the court for a Well Charging Order and Order for Sale of the property.

Winding up of a Limited Company
To pursue the repayment of a debt from a limited company one of the options open to the creditor is to wind-up the company. Such proceedings can be quick and effective and are often an additional inducement to the company to repay the debt, so that this serious sanction is avoided.

To avoid spurious defences and the disapproval of the High Court, it is advisable to obtain a judgment beforehand, or at the very least, a written confirmation from the debtor company admitting the debt.

When a creditor fails to have a debt repaid on foot of a judgment, one option open is to declare the debtor bankrupt. Again, this is a serious inducement for the debtor to repay, if they have the means to do so. The creditor can seek to bankrupt an individual without a judgment from the Courts, though in practice many bankruptcy actions are taken where a judgment has been granted and returned 'nulla bona' (no goods) by the Sheriff.

Bankruptcy proceedings must be brought in the High Court and must involve debts over €1,905. Unlike similar procedures in England and Wales, bankruptcy proceedings in Ireland can be both costly and lengthy affairs. This is set to change with the new Personal Insolvency Legislation.

Mareva Injunction
With good intelligence a creditor may apply to the court, in anticipation of their application for judgment, for a Mareva Injunction. This demonstrates that there is a likelihood that the debtor may dissipate assets, or act in such a way to defeat any future judgment.

If successful, the order handed down can relate to specific assets, or be of a more general nature, in that it might prohibit the debtor from reducing their assets below a certain level.

Top Judgments Registered


Alan Brennan
Address: 132 Old Bawn Road, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 F63f
Amount: €40,617.72


Con Hennessy
Address: Lower Crossfield, Mallow, Co Cork
Amount: €18,776.65


Pats Scientific Limited
Address: R/o 24 Foxborough Park, Lucan, Co Dublin
Amount: €6,731.22


Mount Braven Limited t/as The Grey Goose
Address: R/o Unit 2, 89/90 West Street, Drogheda, Co Louth
Amount: €5,966.31

Limited Company Notices


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