Enforcement of a Court Decision in Ireland

Updated on Monday 20th May 2019

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The debt collection procedure in Ireland is not complex, no matter if the recovery is completed through amicable or court proceedings. The law is very clear for both procedures, which is why debt collection in Ireland can be completed quite fast.

The main difference in the two proceedings rests in the enforcement of a court decision related to the recovery of the outstanding amount of money which is possible only when a judge issues such an order.

The most recent changes in the legislation provide for the Civil Debt Law of 2015 which relates to the procedure of recovering a debt based on a court decision issued by an Irish court.

Below, our debt collection lawyers in Ireland explain how court decisions are enforced in Ireland. We can help with both the debt collection and the enforcement of court decisions in Ireland.
 

Obtaining a judgment order for debt recovery in Ireland


It is important to understand that the enforcement of a court decision, which in Ireland is mostly known as the execution of an order, will be completed only after the creditor has tried to recover any outstanding amount of money in an amicable manner.

Once a petition is filed for a court debt collection procedure, a judge in an Irish court will try the case in an expedited procedure or in a civil lawsuit. Once a decision has been issued, any of the parties in the trial have the right of contesting the ruling and only after a final decision issued after the appeal can lead to the enforcement of a court decision in Ireland.

Our lawyers who have an extensive experience in debt collection in Ireland can help with the enforcement of execution orders.
 

What are the main ways of enforcing a judgment order in Ireland?


The new Civil Debt Procedure Law provides for several ways of enforcing a court decision in a debt collection procedure in Ireland. These are:
 
  1. through execution against the goods and various assets of the debtor (an assessment of these goods will be made);
  2. through the issuance of installment orders and committal orders if the former orders are not respected;
  3. through attachment of earnings – the court can dispose for a partial withhold on the debtor’s income;
  4. through a judgment mortgage, case in which the home of the debtor will be seized in order to repay a debt to the bank which credited the debtor;
  5. other ways which can include attachment of debts and personal bankruptcy procedures, which are rarely used.

The recovery procedure can be started by a debt collection agency in Ireland, however, once the case gets to court, it is advisable to ask for specialized support from a lawyer, especially when it comes to the enforcement of the court decision.
 

Irish courts dealing with debt collection execution orders


When trying to recover a debt through court proceedings in Ireland, it is important to know that creditors can address the District and the Circuit courts. Appeals, however, will be dealt with by the High Court.

All three Irish courts can issue debt execution orders and the decisions can be enforced by a Sheriff or a County Registrar who can complete the seizure of assets (where applicable) without previous notification.
 

Procedures related to the enforcement of Irish court orders


As mentioned earlier, once the court decision is issued, a Sheriff will be appointed to complete the execution of the respective order. The enforcement of the court order will imply:
 
  • an assessment of the goods and earnings of the debtor by the Sheriff (based on the complaint of the creditor);
  • the Sheriff can complete the order by going to the debtor’s home, however, he or she must act reasonably when carrying out the order;
  • there are certain items which cannot be seized by the Sheriff, among these clothes or tools used to complete the work activities of the debtor;
  • the Sheriff must notify the court about all the goods seized from the debtor (a list of the goods must also be provided to the debtor);
  • the goods seized by the court can be sold in an auction starting with the third day from the seizure.
 
In case an installment order is issued by the court, the debtor must comply with it, otherwise risking being imprisoned. Recently, the Irish legislators have provided for personal bankruptcy and our debt collection lawyers in Ireland can offer more information on this procedure.

It is also possible for the court to appoint a receiver who will oversee the debtor’s financial situation with the purpose of having the debt recovered.

If you are dealing with a debt collection case in Ireland and need help, our lawyers can help. You can rely on us for tailored advice in amicable debt recovery, court proceedings and enforcement of execution orders issued by Irish courts. Do not hesitate to contact us.