Debt Collection

The Process


1. New Instruction

We will ask you to complete a Debt Collection Instruction Form which we will e-mail to Debt Collectionyou. This form contains all the information we need to take legal action on your behalf. If you wish you may e-mail us at

2. Demand Letter

Although not a requirement, it is best practice to give a debtor one final opportunity to make payment or make a proposal. This letter will warn that legal proceedings will be issued unless payment is received within seven days.

3. Issuing legal proceedings

If a satisfactory response has not been received in that period, proceedings can be issued in the relevant court as follows:

District Court (up to €6,348.50),

Circuit Court (€6,348.50 up to €38,091),

High Court (above €38,091)

If the proceedings are not defended the creditor can seek judgement in default of Defence. The terminology and timescales in the different jurisdictions are as follows:-

Jurisdiction District Court Circuit Court High Court
Title of Proceedings Civil Summons Civil Bill Summary Summons
Time allowed for debtor to respond Approximately 30 days 14 days 14 days
Time taken by Courts
To issue Judgement
30-60 days <30-60 days 7 days

If no response is given or a judge deems there to be a valid claim for monies owed, then a judgment against the debtor is issued by the relevant court office. The next step is to enforce the Judgement.

4. Judgment

If no response is given or a judge deems there to be a valid claim for monies owed, then a judgment against the debtor is issued by the relevant court office. The next step is to enforce the Judgement.

5. Enforcement

The Judgment Creditor has a number of options to enforce the judgment. (The Judgment Creditor is entitled to interest at 8% per annum from the date of judgement.)
Garnishee/Receiver by Equitable Execution.

These Orders are available where a third party owes money to the Debtor. The Court can order the third party to pay the money directly to the judgment creditor instead of the Debtor. Garnishee Order can be obtained where the debt is already due to the Debtor but not yet paid by the third party. Receiver by way of Equitable Execution – This is where the money will become due in the future by the third party to the Debtor. These Orders can be very useful where you know the Debtor is selling his house or has a Court case pending which he is likely to win, or is being paid rent, for example. The Courts will not generally make an Order against a Debtor’s salary.

Judgment Mortgage

This judgment can be registered as a mortgage over any land or property owned or part owned by the debtor. It prevents the property being sold without discharging the debt.

Order for Sale

This is an expensive procedure, which takes a long time and should not be considered unless the debt is very large and there is no other way of securing payment. If you have to sell the house, the costs can be very high depending on
how complicated the matter gets. It often takes a very long time to sell as the sale is conducted through the Courts and there are numerous meetings with the Examiner of the High Court who oversees the sale, and various applications need to be made to Court for assistance with the sale. It may be necessary to obtain an Order for Possession and evict the debtor. You would also need to be sure that there will be sufficient monies left over to pay your debt and recover your costs after payment of the debtor’s Mortgage and any Charges in priority to your Judgement Mortgage.

Registry of Judgements

You can register judgments to appear in the various Trade Gazettes. County/City Sheriff

The Sheriff will attempt to seize debtor’s assets to the value of the money owed. Instalment Order(individuals only)
An application is made to the District Court regardless of the size of the Judgment for the Debtor to be examined as to his means and the Court is entitled to make an order requiring the debt to be discharged in instalments, usually on a monthly basis.


This applies only when debtor is an individual and the debt is very large. It usually means that the debtor will lose everything he/she owns. This is an expensive application and would only be warranted where there are assets that can be sold off.


This is a remedy which requires careful consideration. An unsecured Creditor generally gains little by putting a Debtor company into liquidation as the company often has large preferential debts due to the Revenue or secured creditors which take priority.

The threat of Liquidation may make a trading company settle with you if it’s financial problems are not too great but for a company in serious difficulties, liquidation will not generally assist an unsecured creditor.

Our Costs and Charges

It is important when considering taking a debt collection action that you are aware of the costs from the outset. Where a case is defended or contentious, or requires additional input, such as settlement negotiations, our fees will be calculated in accordance with time spent in dealing with the case.


Outlays will be payable in addition to our professional fees. These include all relevant and necessary outlays such as agent’s fees, stamp duties, Companies Office search fees and property search fees, etc.
Undefended Debt Collection Fee Structure


Fee (€)
Letter of Demand 50
Sub Service Application – District Court (up to €6,348.69) 150
Sub Service Application – Circuit Court (€6,348.70-38,092.13) 250


Fee Structure

Size of Debt Proceedings Judgement
Fee to issue and service proceedings. Additional fee for affidavit of debt and drafting and
lodging Judgment papers
Up to 500 90 80
501-1000 110 100
1001-2000 165 150
2001-3500 190 170
3501-5000 230 220
5001-6500 265 250
6501-10000 320 295
10001-12500 335 320
12501-15000 365 350
15001-20000 425 385
20001-25000 475 440
25001-30000 550 520
30001-38000 650 600
38001-50000 850 800
50001-60000 995 950


Registration of Judgment 95
Lodgment with Sheriff 95
Judgment Mortgage District Court (up to €6,348.69) 500
Circuit Court (€6,348.70 – €38,092.13) 750
High Court (€38,092.14 upwards) 990
Section 214A Notice 250
Examination Order 200
Instalment Order 200

If you would like to discuss debt collection, then please contact us on +353 (0)21 425 1843 or via our contact form.

HALPIN & Co. SOLICITORS | Practical Experience, Trusted Advice