How Do You Get Your Money After You Win a Lawsuit?
Published on 5th February, 2019 by Benjamin Li Yong Le
What happens after you win a lawsuit and the loser does not pay you?
There are essentially three ways in Singapore where you can enforce a Court judgement after winning a lawsuit in the Courts - writ of seizure and sale ("WSS"), garnishee and bankruptcy proceedings.
A WSS authorises the Court bailiff to seize and sell movable property belonging to the judgment debtor to pay the judgment debt. This applies to movable property e.g. sofa, fridge, motorcar, watches and to immovable property e.g. condos and landed property.
For the avoidance of doubt, HDB flats cannot be seized under a WSS.
A garnishee Order is a Court order which requires a third-party who owes money to the loser (such as a bank or employer), to pay the money to the judgment creditor instead of the loser of the lawsuit.
When the loser has no assets or money to pay the judgement debt owed, the judgment creditor can apply for bankruptcy proceedings (for individuals) or winding up proceedings (for companies).