The Writ of Debt is a legal order issued by a court to a debtor, compelling them to pay a specific amount owed to a creditor. This article explores the definition, requirements, process, and implications of the Writ of Debt as outlined in the Federal Decree-Law No. 42 of 2022 on Civil Procedures (CPL).
The Writ of Debt is an exception to the general rules of filing a First Instance Case, and it can only be pursued under specific circumstances. The competent court to issue the Writ of Debt is the court in which the debtor resides.
According to Article 143.1 of the CPL, the following requirements must be met for a creditor to apply for a Writ of Debt: a. The creditor’s right must be proven in writing, whether electronically or in hard copy. b. The creditor’s right must be due and enforceable. c. The creditor must be claiming a fixed amount of money or a specified movable asset.
Filing a Writ of Debt does not prevent the creditor from claiming interest, compensation, or initiating precautionary measures, as stated in Article 143.3 of the CPL. However, this provision applies specifically to monetary claims arising from commercial contracts or when the creditor possesses a commercial instrument, excluding cheques.
Before applying for a Writ of Debt, the creditor must send a demand letter or legal notice to the debtor, giving them a minimum of five days to pay the amount due. Article 144.1 of the CPL stipulates that this step is mandatory.
Debtors who receive demand letters or legal notices should seek immediate legal advice, especially if they know that the combined requirements for a Writ of Debt are fulfilled. On the other hand, creditors should serve the demand or notice in a way that allows for proof of delivery, such as through notarization.
The creditor submits a petition along with the debt instrument and evidence of serving the demand to the court. The petition should include the details of the Statement of Claim. The Writ of Debt is issued within a maximum of three days from the submission of the petition, determining the amount to be paid or the movable assets to be handed over. The judge has the authority to accept or reject the request for a Writ of Debt, and if rejected, the decision must be reasoned. Creditors can still file a substantive case against the debtor for the recovery of the debt amount. Challenging the Writ of Debt is possible through a grievance or an appeal, depending on the claim amount.
The creditor must personally summon the debtor with the issued Writ of Debt, as per Article 146 of the CPL. Failure to summon the debtor within three months renders the Writ of Debt null and void. Once the Writ of Debt is issued, it becomes immediately executable, allowing creditors to proceed with enforcement without waiting for further proceedings or appeals.
If a creditor wishes to attach assets in the possession of third parties, usual attachment procedures apply, as stated in Article 149 of the CPL.
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