Current as of
What happens when a creditor gets a judgment against you
If you have debts you are not paying, your
creditors can and probably will sue you to recover the money that you owe.
Take action. If you don't take action, your creditor can get a default judgment from the court. Then you will not have the chance to negotiate or to present your side of the story.
There are three actions that you can take:
Contact your creditor if you haven't already done
so. You may be able to negotiate a payment
plan that you can handle. If you and your
creditor agree to a plan, the creditor should
immediately inform the Civil Division of
Provincial Court in writing that the matter has
You can pay the claim and related costs to the
court, or directly to the creditor or his
representative. Make sure you get a receipt. The
court will only accept payment by cash, certified
cheque or money order. You will not have to
appear before a judge if you choose this action.
The court documents you were served will tell you how many days you have to file a defence. It is around 20, but varies by province.
If you do not file a defence the court will award the creditor with a judgment against you.
Once you file a defence the court will hold a settlement conference and advise you of the date.
If a settlement is reached that ends the matter.
If no settlement is reached, the creditor must request a trial.
If you don't appear in court on the day of the trial, the creditor may still get a judgment against you in the full amount.
CanLaw Guides are not legal advice, they are information.
A judgment appears on your credit record and will lower your credit rating and credit score.
Even after you pay the debt, the judgment record will remain on your credit record for several years.
Businesses may not be willing to give you credit if you have a judgment on your record.