The first step in the collections process involves calling the debtor to inform them that they owe money and that our law firm has been asked to collect that debt. Many debts are collected at this stage, but we will typically follow up our phone call with a letter as well.
If the debtor refuses to pay, we will then commence a lawsuit against the debtor, with our client’s permission. If the debt is $35,000 (CAD) or less, then the lawsuit will proceed in the small claims court. If the debt is larger than $35,000, then the lawsuit proceeds in the Superior Court of Justice.
The vast majority of civil lawsuits in Ontario conclude with a settlement. Most do not proceed to trial. To maximize the likelihood of a favourable settlement or successful result at trial, we commit extensive time and preparation to ensure the strength of your case prior to launching a lawsuit. This preparation involves obtaining and organizing the following documents and information from our clients:
Typically, we will obtain “judgment” against the debtor, which means that a Judge has ordered the debtor to pay money to our client for the debt that is owed. We can then proceed to enforce the judgment in many ways, including garnishing the debtor’s wages, seizing the debtor’s real estate or personal property and reporting them to a credit bureau.