Registering a Certificate of Judgement as Charge on Debtor’s Property

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Registering a Certificate of Judgement as Charge on Debtor’s Property

A Notary in British Columbia can help a client to register a charge against debtor’s property. You do not need to go to a lawyer only for this purpose.

The first step for an unsecured creditor who is not a contractor is to get a judgement against the debtor. Once a judgement has been secured, the Judgement Creditor has to obtain a Certificate of Judgement from the Court Registrar.

One must remember that a judgement against a debtor does not guarantee that the debtor will pay the Judgement creditor. The debtor may be unwilling to pay the creditor or may not have the wherewithal to pay due to his/her financial situation. For most judgements, the limitation period is ten years and it commences from the date of judgement. It is important to keep this ten-year deadline in mind.

If you have considered and have exhausted all other options to make the debtor pay it is a good idea to ascertain if the debtor owns real property in BC. If the debtor owns land in BC, you can register your judgement against the land. The debtor cannot sell or mortgage the land until the judgement is paid. It is an extremely effective procedure, but it may take many years before you are paid.

Second Step is to find the real property asset of the judgement debtor. The judgement creditor has to inform the Notary or the Lawyer about the assets owned by the judgement debtor or the Notary can do a name search of the registry for a fee. Thereafter a Notary will do a Title Search to confirm the ownership. The details of ownership on the Title must correspond to the details of the Judgement debtor in the Certificate of Registration provided by the Court Registrar.

The third step is to register the judgement against the debtor’s property. This registration is good for two years and you have to renew it when the registration expires.

If the asset is held in Joint Tenancy, the charge being contemplated is only valid till the judgement debtor is alive. Such a charge will die with the death of the judgement debtor and the property will get transferred to the surviving joint tenant and the registration of charge will have no effect.