GENERAL GUIDE FOR JUDGMENT CREDITORS -
ENFORCEMENT OF JUDGMENTS / ORDERS BY WRIT OF SEIZURE AND SALE |
Understanding Enforcement of a Judgment or Order of Tribunal |
What is it?|
If you have obtained a Judgment or Order in your favour, but the other party has not complied with it, you can take out an enforcement action against the other party.
In all civil claims, the Judgment Creditor (the party who has obtained a Judgment or Order in their favour), is responsible for enforcing the Judgment or Order. The State Courts' Bailiffs Section is not able, by law, to unilaterally pursue any enforcement action for or on behalf of any party.
What is a Writ of Seizure and Sale (WSS)?|
A WSS is one of the options available for the enforcement of a Judgment or Order.
Under a WSS, you (Judgment Creditor) can request the Court to seize and sell movable property belonging to the other party (Judgment Debtor) to pay the judgment debt. It is one of several ways to enforce a Judgment or Order for payment of money when the Judgment Debtor fails to pay within the time ordered by the Court or Tribunal.
Where can I go to obtain legal advice?|
This guide is meant to provide general information only and must not be treated as legal advice. Please consult a lawyer if you require specific legal assistance with your case.
For a list of lawyers, please contact the Law Society of Singapore at 39 South Bridge Road, Singapore 058673, telephone number 6538 2500 or visit their website at www.lawsociety.org.sg.
For free legal advice, you may want to consider any one of the following:
- Visit the Community Justice Centre located at Level one of the State Courts building (Tel: 6557 4100) for procedural information and/or consultation with a volunteer lawyer; or
- Free legal clinics available at certain community clubs, a list of which can be obtained from www.pa.gov.sg; or
- The Law Society of Singapore, Pro Bono Services at www.lawsocprobono.org
If you wish to engage a lawyer, but are unable to afford one, you may wish to approach the Legal Aid Bureau at 45 Maxwell Road, #07-11, The URA Centre (East Wing), Singapore 069118. Please note that you will have to satisfy the means and merits tests administered by the Legal Aid Bureau before aid is extended.
Things to Consider Before Commencing Enforcement Proceedings by WSS |
What to consider?|
How much is the outstanding judgment debt? You should account for any part payment already received by you.
In addition, is the Judgment Debtor able to pay? Some checks that you may wish to make are:
a. whether other enforcement actions are pending against the Judgment Debtor;
b. whether the Judgment Debtor is a bankrupt (if an individual) or has been wound up (if a business entity);
c. whether there is any asset or item belonging to the Judgment Debtor worth seizing; and
d. whether the premises where you wish to effect seizure at belong to the Judgment Debtor or a third party.
For items (a) and (b) above, you may wish to make a search through:
the CrimsonLogic Service Bureau at 133 New Bridge Road #19-01/02 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413 Tel: 65389507; or
a law firm.
If the Judgment Debtor is a bankrupt or has been wound up, please approach the Insolvency and Public Trustee's Office (IPTO) at 45 Maxwell Road #05-11/#06-11, URA Centre,
East Wing Singapore 079903, to ascertain how you can claim against the Judgment Debtor.
For (d) above, you may wish to make a search through:
Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS); or
Singapore Land Authority
If you are unsure of what the result of your
search(es) mean, you should consult a lawyer. The Bailiffs Section and its staff cannot render legal advice. Although procedural assistance/information may be provided, this cannot be interpreted or acted upon as if it is legal advice.
What are the chances of success?||There is no guarantee that a WSS will be executed successfully, or that you will recover the amount owing to you or the expenses you have incurred for the execution or that you will recover any money at all. Please therefore consider carefully whether you should file a WSS to enforce the judgment or order you have obtained.|
What is the cost?|
Type of Judgment / Order
Type of Document
SCT / ECT||
|WSS Document Fee||$60.00||$155.00||$270.00|
|Undertaking, Declaration and Indemnity||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00|
|Order of Tribunal||$10.00||-||-|
|Request for Date to be Appointed for Execution ||$10.00||$50.00||$100.00|
|Request to Proceed with Auction||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00|
- In addition to the fees above, there are also electronic filing and manual handling fees chargeable by
CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.
- If you decide not to continue with execution of the WSS subsequently, the filing fees will not be refunded. You will not be able to claim the filing fees or other expenses from the Judgment Debtor either.
- If your documents are rejected upon filing due to error(s), rejection fees under the Rules of Court will be charged. Please ensure that your submissions are free of administrative or clerical errors to avoid rejection.
Other payables / Possible expenses:
|Bailiff's Attendance Fee||$50.00 per hour or part thereof|
|Court Commission (seizing of items)||Minimum $50.00|
|Court Commission (auction)||Minimum $100.00|
|Auctioneer's fee (if estimated value of seized items is $2,000.00 or below)||Minimum $150.00|
|Auctioneer's fee (if estimated value of seized items more than $2,000.00)||Minimum $800.00|
|Locksmith charges (for forced entry, if necessary))||market rate|
|Valuation charges||market rate|
|Transport expenses||market rate|
|Auxiliary police charges||market rate|
Can I recover the WSS expenses from the debtor?|
You may be able to recover your expenses if the execution is successful and the proceeds of sale are sufficient to cover the judgment debt and the expenses incurred.
However, if the proceeds of sale are insufficient to cover the Bailiff's execution expenses, the balance outstanding will be deducted from your deposit.
Apply for WSS |
How to apply?
Where to apply?
Applications are to be made via the Integrated Electronic Litigation System (eLitigation) either from a lawyer's office, or from any one of the two CrimsonLogic Service Bureaux situated in the High Court or near the State Courts (at 133 New Bridge Road, #19-01/02 Chinatown Point Singapore 059413).
Please complete the electronic template forms online through eLitigation (if your lawyer has subscribed to eLitigation) or hardcopy forms available at the Service Bureau.
Please note that if your documents are rejected upon filing due to error(s), rejection fees under the Rules of Court will be charged. Please ensure that your submissions are free of administrative or clerical errors to avoid rejection.
What to expect?||If the WSS documents are accepted, an Appointment Letter will be sent to inform you of the date fixed for execution. If you do not receive the Appointment Letter from the Bailiffs Section within three weeks after submitting or filing your documents, please contact the Bailiffs Section at 6435 5871.|
Attend at the Appointed Date for Execution |
Who should attend?|
Either you or your authorised representative must be present on the appointed date.
Whether attending personally or authorising a representative, a Letter of Authorisation and Indemnity signed by you must be produced. (A sample of the Letter of Authorisation and Indemnity will be provided with the Appointment Letter)
What to bring?|
You or your authorised representative must bring the following and hand them over to the Bailiff assigned to your case (as indicated in the Appointment Letter):
a. The Appointment Letter (issued by the Bailiff); and
b. The official receipt to confirm that a deposit of $300.00 or such amount as requested by the Bailiff, has been paid at the Finance Section of the State Courts; and
c. A Letter of Authorisation and Indemnity duly signed by you. If you are a business entity, the letter should bear your firm's/company's stamp/chop.
What must I do?|
You must be punctual for the appointment. If you are late, your appointment may be cancelled without further notice.
When requested by the Bailiff, you must also provide transport for the Bailiff to the place of execution and back to his office or to his next destination.
What to expect?|
Depending on the circumstances, the execution of the WSS may or may not be successful at the 1st attempt.
If the premises are accessible, the Bailiff will enter the Judgment Debtor's premises and may seize items identified by you (or your representative) and mark them accordingly. Please note however that there may be some items that cannot be seized by law. The Bailiff will then advise you which items cannot be seized. After the seizure, the Bailiff will serve the necessary Forms/documents on the Judgment Debtor including a notice not to remove or tamper with the seized items.
Premises not accessible or Judgment Debtor refuses/resists the execution of the WSS
If the premises are not accessible or if the Judgment Debtor refuses/resists the execution of the WSS, the Bailiff will serve or leave a notice at the premises. Generally, the Bailiff will not exercise his power of forced entry onto the premises on the first attempt at execution.
The Bailiff may exercise his powers of forced entry onto the premises on the second or subsequent attempts. In practice, forced entry is only conducted with the assistance of a professional locksmith. In such circumstances, you will be required to engage the services of a locksmith on your own and at your own cost. Please note that the Bailiff has absolute discretion whether to exercise his power of forced entry depending on the circumstances of the execution.
If execution of the WSS was not successful at the 1st attempt and if you wish to request for another attempt/appointment to execute the WSS, you will have to apply for a fresh date by filing the
Request for Date to be Appointed for Execution and pay the requisite fees where applicable for a new appointment date to be issued.
What happens after successful seizure?|
The Judgment Debtor is given 7 days to settle all sums owing.
The Bailiff may require a valuation of all or some of the seized items and for a valuation report to be prepared and submitted before fixing the auction date.
Can the appointment date be changed?||Unless there are exceptional reasons, requests for change of dates are generally not allowed.|
What happens if I do not turn up on the appointed date?||If you do not proceed on the scheduled appointment date, you will have to re-apply for a fresh date by filing the
Request for Date to be Appointed for Execution and pay the requisite fees where applicable.|
What happens if other parties claim ownership to the seized items?|
Where another party claims that the seized items belong to him/her and not the Judgment Debtor, the Court will have to determine who the rightful owner is. This is done at a separate proceeding known as an Interpleader. The claimant will have to file a claim and you will have to file an
Interpleader Summons at your cost, if you dispute the claim to ownership by the claimant.
At this hearing, the party claiming ownership of the seized items must prove that he/she is the rightful owner failing which the Court may order the auction sale to proceed.
Auction Sale of Seized Items |
What must I do?|
If you do not receive any payment on the outstanding judgment debt after the seizure, and if you wish to proceed with an auction sale of the seized items, you will have to apply by filing the
Request to Proceed with Auction and pay the requisite fees where applicable.
You will be informed of the auction date through a letter sent by the Bailiff. You are required to contact and appoint the auctioneer selected by the Bailiff at least 7 days or 3 weeks before the auction date [whichever is required in the said letter]. The auctioneer will collect from you a fee which he considers sufficient to cover his fees and expenses
When will the auction take place?||The Bailiff may fix an auction date within 3 to 5 weeks from the date of service of the Notice of Sale, subject to availability of dates and the validity of the WSS.|
Can the auction sale date be changed?||Unless there are exceptional reasons, requests for change of dates are generally not allowed.|
What if I do not wish to proceed with the auction sale?||If you do not proceed with the auction sale, your WSS will be aborted. You may then wish to obtain your own legal advice about filing a fresh WSS and the Bailiff may exercise his discretion to release any or all of the items seized.|