Garnishee Proceedings In Singapore – A Lawyer’s Guide

Written by Team Farallon

  • Farallon Law Corporation
  • June 5, 2019

What Are Garnishee Proceedings?

In Singapore, when a creditor obtains a favourable judgment against a debtor, and the debtor refuses to comply with the judgement, there are a variety of enforcement methods available to the creditor which are typically executed for the creditor by a litigation law firm in Singapore.

Garnishee Proceedings are one such method. Here’s an example of how it works:

Company A has obtained a judgement against Mr Tan for a sum of $100k by the courts. Despite repeated requests to pay the judgement amount, Mr Tan has not complied. Lawyers acting for Company A proceed to apply to the Court for a provisional garnishee order to order XYZ Bank (the garnishee) to pay $100k to Company A, instead of releasing the funds to Mr Tan, provided there is sufficient money in the bank account.

Garnishee proceedings thus change the obligation of the garnishee, instead of being obligated to pay the money to Mr Tan (the judgement debtor), the garnishee now has to pay the money to Company A(the judgement creditor)

The Court will then order the garnishee to pay the judgment creditor ‘the amount of any debt due or accruing due to judgment debtor from the garnishee or so much thereof as is sufficient to satisfy that judgment or order and the costs of the garnishee proceedings’

How Does A Garnishee Order Work?

Acting under the instructions of the judgement creditor, a lawyer will proceed to obtain a Garnishee Order from the courts by applying for a Garnishee Order To Show Cause.

How To Garnish A Bank Account In Singapore

If you have obtained a judgement in your favour, and the judgement debtor is not cooperating in some way, one of the options you have is to contact a litigation lawyer in Singapore who will be able to assist you with garnishee proceedings.

Provided there is money in the bank account, and all conditions are satisfactory, you stand a decent chance of recovering your money.

How To Find Out If There’s Money In The Account?

Also known as pre-enforcement, this is the legal process of examining the judgement debtor’s assets to determine if there are:

  • Properties to be sold
  • Whether he has money in the bank
  • Assets that are available for use to satisfy the judgement debt

Examination Of Judgement Debtor

By applying (by summons) for an examination of the judgement debtor on oath to determine the assets available to satisfy the debt.

Prior to the summons hearing, a court order would have been served to the Judgment Debtor requiring them to appear in court for the hearing, which includes a questionnaire for them to fill up, stating their assets, and accompanying documents, such as bank statements from the last 6-12 months.

On top of being given access to the questionnaire, the judgement creditor’s lawyers may also examine the Judgment Debtor further in court regarding their assets.

This allows the Judgment Creditors to ascertain the Judgment Debtors solvency, bank account details, how much money there is in the bank accounts etc.

Committal Proceedings In Singapore

Should the Judgment Debtor not turn up in court, they may be committed to prison following legal provisions for Committal Proceedings in Singapore.



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