If you have an outstanding debt owed and you cannot get the money back by yourself, you should always approach a lawyer in Singapore. Lawyers are professionals who are well versed in utilising legal means of recovering your money.
Unlike debt collectors or debt recovery agencies, who pressurises debtors into returning monies owed via intimidation and harassment tactics, more compelling and sure methods are available to civil lawyers in Singapore.
Small Claims Tribunal
If your claim is S$20,000 or less, it is best to file your claim with the small claims tribunal. It is a cheap and effective way of getting your money back.
However, please note that certain type of claims, such as employment, loans, shares and insurance disputes are not in the jurisdiction of the small claims tribunal.
Further, there is a limitation period of 2 years so if your claim exceeds this limitation period, the small claims tribunal will not hear your claim.
If you are unable to make a claim in the small claims tribunal due to quantum or other reasons, you should consider commencing legal action in Court.
Commencing Legal action in Singapore’s Court
Lawyers can assist you in commencing a legal suit in the Courts of Singapore by serving a writ of summons and statement of claim on the debtor.
If the debtor chooses to ignore court proceedings against him, summary judgment can be entered, and the Court will make an order for the debtor to pay up.
If you have security over the debt over the debtor’s assets or property, your lawyers can assist you in claiming those assets or property.
If the debtor still refuses to pay, your lawyers can assist you in filing an examination of judgment debtor (EJD), which allows you to discover the various assets that the debtor has.
From there, you will have various options available to claim the sums owing. For example, your lawyer can file a writ of seizure and sale for you to sell off the debtor’s assets and reclaim your property.
Your lawyer may even obtain a garnishee order from the court to compel a third party, such as a bank, to return the monies to you. If the debtor starts being extremely un-cooperative during this entire process, the Court may even charge him with contempt of Court.
However, do note that if the debtor contests your claim, you may have to proceed all the way to trial for a Judge to determine whether the claim is valid.
Alternatively, your lawyer may file an application for the bankruptcy of the debtor if the sum owed is more than S$15,000. The debtor may at this stage pay off his debts if he does not want to be a bankrupt.
Being a bankrupt comes with severe personal restrictions. For example, a bankrupt cannot be a director of a company and work in certain professions or jobs, a bankrupt also cannot travel overseas from Singapore, without the approval of the Official Assignee.
Once the debtor becomes a bankrupt, all of the debtor’s assets vests in the Official Assignee (OA), you can then receive your monies when the OA distributes all of the bankrupt’s estate.
However, if the bankrupt has insufficient assets to repay his debts, he will have to pay them back by a monthly instalment determined by the OA. This is not ideal if you are aware that the debtor has multiple creditors and has insufficient assets to repay all of them.
At Emerald Law, we have lawyers who are experienced with debt recovery and can advise you on how best to collect your debt or claim. Please contact us today for a free consultation at our office.
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