State Courts Practice Directions 2014

Part XIV: Execution Matters

96. Filing of writs of execution through the Electronic Filing Service

(1) An application for a writ of execution shall be made by way of filing a writ of execution in Form 82, 83, 84, 85 or 207 of Appendix A to the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5).

(2) The writ of execution is deemed to be issued when it is sealed by an officer of the Registry pursuant to Order 46, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court.

(3) The previous practice of filing a Request to issue a writ of execution is discontinued.

97. Sale of immovable property

(1) If an execution creditor wishes to effect the sale of immovable property seized under a writ of seizure and sale, he shall file the requisite electronic form Request for sale to the Bailiff through the Electronic Filing Service. When filing the Request, the execution creditor must provide evidence of the following (if not already provided previously):

(a) the date of registration (and expiry) at the Singapore Land Registry of the order of court/writ of seizure and sale on immovable property;

(b) that a copy of the order of court/writ of seizure and sale on the immovable property has been served on the execution debtor; and

(c) whether the immovable property is subject to any mortgage or charge, and if so, that the mortgagee or chargee consents to the sale.

(2) The Bailiff shall not be required to proceed with the sale if the immovable property is subject to a mortgage or charge and the execution creditor is unable to produce the written consent of the mortgagee or chargee to the sale.

(3) If the Bailiff proceeds with the sale of the immovable property, the Bailiff may appoint any solicitor on his behalf to settle the particulars and conditions of sale.

(4) The Bailiff’s instructions to a solicitor appointed to sell the immovable property shall include the following:

(a) that the Bailiff may require more than one valuation report to be submitted by a certified  appraiser before proceeding with the sale;

(b) that the sale may be conducted by a licensed auctioneer and the immovable property may be offered for sale by way of private treaty, tender, auction or such other manner as the licensed auctioneer may advise;

(c) that the immovable property shall not be sold at a price below the forced sale value as specified in the valuation report, or if there exists two or more valuation reports, in the latest valuation report; and

(d) that the solicitor shall prepare all necessary conditions of sale, documentation, accounts and particulars on behalf of the Bailiff in accordance with the Bailiff’s directions, and shall be entitled to recover his legal fees and disbursements.

98. Writs of execution & writs of distress – movable property

(1) Bailiff to inform execution debtor of the seizure and/or sale

Prior to the seizure and/or sale, the Bailiff will notify the execution debtor, as far as is practicable, of the impending seizure and/or sale.

(2) Execution creditor or his authorised representative to be present at the seizure and/or sale

(a) The execution creditor or his authorised representative must be present with the Bailiff at the appointed date and time of any seizure and/or sale.

(b) If the execution creditor or his authorised representative is absent at the appointed date and time of the seizure and/or sale, the execution creditor shall be deemed to have abandoned the same.

(3) Requests for the Bailiff’s ad hoc attendance

(a) If any person requires the Bailiff to attend at any place in connection with any order of court or writ of execution or writ of distress whether during or after office hours for any purpose, that person must file a Request in the appropriate electronic form through the Electronic Filing Service. A Request for attendance made in any other manner will not be acceded to.

(b) The fees payable in respect of any such attendance by the Bailiff shall be as prescribed in the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5) or as determined by the Registrar.

(4) Effecting entry into premises

Where the execution creditor requests the Bailiff to exercise his powers of entry into the premises of the execution debtor, the following conditions shall apply:

(a) save in special circumstances, entry shall only be effected on the second or subsequent appointment or attempt;

(b) the Bailiff may, in any case, refuse to effect the entry without assigning any reason; and

(c) the execution creditor shall at his expense, upon the direction of the Bailiff, engage any security personnel, locksmith or any other person or facility as the Bailiff deems appropriate to assist in effecting entry into the premises and the execution process.

(5) Valuation Report

The execution creditor or his solicitors shall, at the Bailiff’s request, furnish a written valuation report of the item(s) that is/are the subject matter of the seizure.

(6) Auctions

(a) Scheduled auctions

If a scheduled auction is not proceeded with, or is abandoned due to the absence of the execution creditor or his authorised representative, the Bailiff may at his discretion release any or all of the items seized.

(b) Sale by auctioneer

Where the value of the property seized is estimated by the Bailiff to not exceed $2,000, the auction shall be carried out by an authorised auctioneer engaged by the execution creditor, and all costs and expenses incurred in connection with the auction shall be borne by the execution creditor and may be added to the judgment debt.

99. Directions for Engaging Authorised Bailiffs under Section 15A State Courts Act (Cap. 321)

(1) Judgment creditors may engage, for the purpose of executing a writ of seizure and sale for movable property or a writ of distress, any person from the Panel of Authorised Bailiffs maintained by the Registrar. They are liable to the Authorised Bailiff they engage for any costs arising from such appointment.

(2) In each case, a request in the form of a Letter of Authority to Act as Authorised Bailiff, is to be made to the Registrar by either the judgment creditors or Authorised Bailiff through the Electronic Filing Service (EFS), using the template provided for in Form 15 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions.  Appointments by the Registrar will be made on a case-by-case basis.

(3) The Letter of Authority to Act as Authorised Bailiff may be filed:

(a) together with the writ of seizure and sale or writ of distress; or

(b) after the issue of a writ of seizure and sale or writ of distress, but before the expiry of the said writ.

(4)  Judgment creditors intending to engage an Authorised Bailiff must provide the following to the Authorised Bailiff:

(a) An indemnity from the judgment creditors to indemnify the Authorised Bailiff on terms specified by the Registrar.

(b) An undertaking from the solicitors for the judgment creditors that:

(i) as and when required by the Authorised Bailiff, sufficient funds will be provided to meet the charges and expenses that may be incurred in consequence of the request to conduct the execution; and

(ii) if such undertaking is not fulfilled within a reasonable time, the Authorised Bailiff may take such steps as may be necessary to enforce the undertaking against the solicitors concerned.

(c) A deposit of $300, or such other sum as may be fixed from time to time by the Registrar, to enable the Authorised Bailiff to discharge his duties effectively.

(5) The appointment of the Authorised Bailiff will terminate upon discharge by the Registrar.

(6)  Solicitors for the judgment creditors must ensure that their clients send a representative to accompany and instruct the Authorised Bailiff at the execution premises. The creditors’ representative must decide whether the execution is to be proceeded with, and to point out to the Authorised Bailiff the items to be seized.

(7) The Authorised Bailiff may, at his discretion and without assigning any reason thereto:

(a) take all necessary measures to preserve the movable property seized and/or to ensure the personal safety of all persons involved in the execution;

(b) where the only occupier of the execution premises at the material time is:

(i) a young child and/or elderly person incapable of understanding the execution proceedings, postpone the seizure or sale; or

(ii) a woman (e.g. housewife or domestic maid), insist that the judgment creditors provide a female representative to be at the execution premises before proceeding with the execution; and

(c) take all necessary measures to ensure that all execution costs and expenses incurred be paid first out of any proceeds of sale.

100. Examination of Judgment Debtor

(1) A questionnaire in the recommended format as set out in Form 16 or 17 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions (whichever is appropriate) shall be annexed to the Order for Examination of Judgment Debtor when the said Order is served on the Judgment Debtor. Solicitors may modify the questions according to the circumstances of each case.

(2) If the Judgment Debtor or his solicitor is of the view that any question is unreasonable, he is to contact the solicitor for the Judgment Creditor to ascertain whether the issue can be resolved prior to the hearing.

(3) At the hearing, the answered questionnaire is to be produced to the Deputy Registrar and received as evidence upon the Judgment Debtor’s confirmation on oath that his answers provided are true and correct. Counsel for the Judgment Creditor may then apply to discharge the Judgment Debtor or proceed with further questioning.

(4) The Judgment Debtor need not attend at the examination hearing if:

(a) he is able to provide his answers to the questionnaire by way of an affidavit or statutory declaration; and

(b) the counsel for the Judgment Creditor agrees to apply for a discharge of the Order for Examination at the examination hearing.

101. Committal proceedings

An applicant seeking to lift a suspension order under Order 52 Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5) to enforce committal orders must prepare his or her own Warrant in accordance with Form 110 in Appendix A of the Rules of Court and bring the same to the hearing.

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