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How can I apply to have money taken from the debtor's bank account or income to pay back what they owe me?

How can I apply to have money taken from the debtor's bank account or income to pay back what they owe me?
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Reviewed: 
February 23, 2017
Answer

The person who owes you money is called the debtor. If the debtor isn't paying you, you can apply to have money taken from their bank account or income. This is called garnishment.

You can apply for garnishment if you have a court order that says the debtor must pay you, and the debtor has not paid you what you're owed. If you want to issue the Notice of Garnishment in a different city than where the payment order was issued, you also need a Certificate of Judgment.

Garnishing income

You can't garnish more than 20 percent of a person’s wages. For example, if they make $1,000 per week, you can only garnish up to $200.

You can't garnish:

  • employment insurance
  • social assistance
  • pension payments

Even if the payments listed above have been deposited into a bank account, they can't be garnished.

Garnishing a bank account

If the person has a bank account, you can garnish the whole account unless:

  • someone else is a co-owner of the money, for example, a joint bank account
  • it has money that can’t be garnished, like employment insurance or social assistance

If there is a co-owner, no more than 50% of the account may be garnished.

How to garnish the debtor

Before you can apply for a garnishment, you need to know the correct name and address of the people and companies involved in the garnishment. This includes the debtor. It also includes:

  • co-owners, such as the joint of a bank account, and
  • the garnishees, such as the debtor's bank or employer.

Once you have the correct names and addresses, complete and file:

Once these documents have been filed at the court, serve them to:

  • the debtor
  • the bank, if money will be taken from the debtor’s accounts
  • the employer, if money will be taken from income
  • any other garnishee
  • any co-owners of the money to be garnished

You can serve your documents:

  • in person
  • by mail or fax
  • by courier

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