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The debtor isn't paying me. How can I find out more about their financial situation?

The debtor isn't paying me. How can I find out more about their financial situation?
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Reviewed: 
February 23, 2017
Answer

If you're the plaintiff in a Small Claims Court case and you win, you become a creditor. The person you sued becomes the debtor.

If you aren’t sure about the debtor’s financial situation, you can ask for an examination hearing. In an examination hearing, the debtor gives information about their financial situation, assets, and ability to pay you and the court.

Both you and the debtor must attend the examination hearing.

Why you may want a hearing

You may need an examination hearing if:

  • the debtor hasn't followed an order to pay what they owe
  • you're thinking about filing an order for garnishment.

How to get a hearing

To get an examination hearing, complete:

You will also need a Certificate of Judgment if you want the examination hearing or garnishment in a different city than where the claim was issued. For example, you may want to do this if the person who owes you money has moved.

What happens at a hearing

At the examination hearing, the debtor will give you and the court information about their financial situation, assets, and ability to pay. The judge may make an order for payment at the hearing.

The debtor may be found in contempt of court if:

  • they don't attend the examination hearing, or
  • they attend the hearing, but refuse to co-operate.

A person found to be in contempt of court can be sent to jail or fined.

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