bailiff's seizure before verdict

What is The seizure before judgment?

Generally speaking, before a creditor can seize a property or bank account, he must obtain a court judgment ordering the debtor to pay. However, in some instances, the creditor may be entitled to seize an asset before a judgment is handed down. The seizure before judgment is a safeguard. It may be carried out only with the authorization of the court.

If the creditor doubts debtor’s intentions, he may ask the court to authorize the seizure of the debtor’s assets before judgment.

However, creditor must convince the court that the debt is in jeopardy and that the seizure is essential.

When a seizure before judgment is authorized, it is carried out by means of an enforcement notice based in the garnisher’s instructions, supported by his sworn statement in which he confirms the existence of the debt and the facts that gave rise to the seizure. 

Pros en Cons of The Seizure Before Judgment?

In particular, in situations where valuable assets (such as surplus houses) are known to be sold and the owner still has outstanding debts, pre-judgment is advisable.  

As the debtor does not have to be heard in the application for the seizure, (he is often confronted with it only after the seizure has occurred) the application must be submitted by the attorney – which requires a certain investment


Nevertheless, it gives the creditor peace of mind since all debtor’s property can be confiscated: mobile property(e.g. cars, stocks or commercial property), real estate, and all other rights (e.g. claims).

In practice, however, seizures are often used not only as a means of gaining security but also to exert pressure.

Measured and carefully timed seizure of bank account or large customers owing to debtor can paralyze debtor’s business.

In this situation, the debtor often chooses to pay the creditor to avoid further problems.

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