Forced execution of a judgment

If the losing party (the debtor) in the case fails to pay the amount specified within the time limit, you, as the creditor, can take the following measures to force execution: 

  • examine the debtor on his or her property and income;
  • seize the debtor’s movable property (for example, a car);
  • seize other property owned by the debtor but in the possession of a third party (for example, the debtor’s wages or bank balance);
  • seize immovable property belonging to the debtor, with the exception of the debtor’s main residence.

Intervention by a bailiff

You cannot take measures to force execution yourself. You must act through a bailiff, except if the only measure planned is to seize the debtor’s income in the hands of a third person.

If the only measure planned is to seize the debtor’s income in the hands of a third person, you can prepare the notice of execution yourself, with help from the clerk. You must send a copy of the notice by registered mail to the debtor and garnishee, or have it served by a bailiff.

It is important to note that the bailiff’s fees are paid by the debtor, within the limits provided by law.

Measure to promote the recovery of small claims

Until September 21, 2020, the Ministère de la Justice will, in some circumstances, pay the fees and expenses of court bailiffs for the execution of a judgment rendered by the Smalls Claims Division of the Court of Québec.

To be admissible for the measure, a case must meet various criteria, including the following: 

• a judgment has been rendered in your favour;
• the judgment is for an amount of $2,000 or less;
• the person required to pay (the debtor) has failed to meet the deadline for paying the amount;
• you are a natural person (individual) and not a legal person (corporation);
• you have contacted a bailiff to attempt to seize some of the debtor's movable property, or money belonging to the debtor that is in the possession of another person;
• no property or money has been seized.

If you want to take advantage of the measure, your bailiff must submit an invoice to the Ministère de la Justice for the reimbursement of the bailiff's fees.

It is possible to search for a bailiff on the website of the Chambre des huissiers de justice du Québec. (in French)

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