I’ve got a Court order for another party to pay me, now what?

by | 25 Feb 2023 | Litigation

 So you’ve managed to win your case, and the other party has been ordered by the High Court to pay you $500,000, but now what? If you do not enforce your Court order, then the other party is still unlikely to pay you.

There are several ways to force the other party to pay. For example, you can ask the Court to summon the debtor and examine their financial situation publicly in Court. However, although it may be embarrassing for the debtor to be questioned by a Judge in public, this does not necessarily mean the debtor will pay the money. Alternatively, you could ask the Court to deduct a certain amount from the debtor’s salary on a monthly basis, but it could take years to recover a large debt using this method.

In my experience, a fastest way to force a debtor to pay is to use an enforcement method which will result in the sale of the debtor’s property if they don’t pay. If the debtor owns real estate, I usually recommend my client to first apply for a charging order, followed by a sale order.

A charging order is a “stop order” that is registered against the debtor’s land to prevent it from being sold. Once you have successfully applied for a charging order against the debtor’s land, then the debtor will not be able to do anything with that land without your permission.

However, a charging order itself does not force the debtor to repay you. Next, you must apply for a sale order in the High Court. Once you obtain the sale order, the Court’s bailiff will have the power to sell the debtor’s land. A charging order will expire after 2 years. Therefore, the land must be sold under a sale order within 2 years, otherwise the charging order may be discharged.

If you have any questions about resolving commercial disputes in New Zealand, speak to us at Capstone Law, and we will be happy to assist you.

Kenneth Sun

Kenneth Sun

Partner & CEO

Kenneth is the founding partner of Capstone Law.  Kenneth has a MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and he was also awarded the prestigious Dean’s Academic Achievement Award for graduating from the University of Auckland law school in the top 5% of his class. Kenneth has worked at some of the best law firms in the country before starting Capstone Law.


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