AB Wolfe & Co Solicitors AB Wolfe & Co Solicitors

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Client Information

In this area we try to assist clients and others by giving some quick answers to questions which are often asked of us about debt recovery. We do our best to give accurate, helpful and up to date answers but as we do not know the full details of your case we cannot guarantee that the answer is right for you. If you have any doubt, please contact us.

1 - What does "issue proceedings" mean?

The issue of proceedings means the formal opening of a case or claim in a court. A Claim Notice, Civil Bill or Summons will be issued in the appropriate court outlining the plaintiff's case against the defendant. A fee (sometimes called stamp duty) is payable to the Courts Service on issue. Once issued, the proceedings can be served on the defendant.

2 - What is a Claim Notice/Civil Bill/Summons?

This is a document prepared by the plaintiff's solicitor and formally issued by the Court. It commences legal proceedings. The Claim Notice, Civil Bill or Summons should then be served on the defendant.

A Claim Notice is issued by the District Court.

A Civil Bill is issued by the Circuit Court.

A Summary (or Plenary) Summons is issued by the High Court.

3 - Which court?

The District Court deals with a wide variety of legal business.

The District Court is presided over by a District Judge. As the name implies, the Court is district-based and there approximately twenty-five districts each presided over by one or more District Judges. There can be several venues where the Court actually sits in each district. Each district venue will have jurisdiction over defendants and/or certain types of cases relevant to its area.

Certain enforcement proceedings e.g. an application to obtain an Instalment Order are also brought in the District Court, regardless of the amount owing.

The Circuit Court is the court with civil jurisdiction in debt related cases up to €75,000. As mentioned above, proceedings are commenced by issuing a Civil Bill.

There are eight "circuits" with one or more Judges assigned to each. As the name implies a Court travels on a "circuit" sitting in all the major towns in each circuit area at different times during the year.

The High Court has unlimited monetary jurisdiction and has a very wide and varied caseload. From a debt recovery perspective it deals with all cases not dealt with by the District or Circuit Court. Proceedings for debt in the High Court are commenced by way of Summary Summons. Debt cases pursued through the High Court are almost always dealt with in Dublin.

4 - What does it mean when you talk about "service" or "to serve" a document?

The most usual document to be served is a claim notice, civil bill or summons. The document must be brought to the defendant's attention so that he has an opportunity to contest or defend the claim made and say that he or she is not responsible, for whatever reason, to the plaintiff in respect of the claim.

Only in unusual and extreme circumstances will a court deal with a claim made by a plaintiff if it cannot be proved that the defendant was served with the proceedings and had an opportunity to respond. High Court summonses for individuals must be given to the defendant in person. In the case of Circuit and District Court, service is generally by registered post. If there is difficulty effecting service by normal routes then substituted service (service by a different method) can be permitted by the Court.

5 - What is an Appearance?

An Appearance is a document filed with the relevant court office by a debtor or his solicitor indicating that he intends to defend the case.

6 - What is an Affidavit?

An affidavit is a formal statement of facts as known to an individual who is completing the affidavit. The person completing the affidavit is known as the deponent. An affidavit may have exhibits attached which would typically be documents or copies of documents referred to in the affidavit and which are important to the case.

As a formal statement of facts the affidavit must be completed in a formal way. It must be sworn or affirmed before a person who is recognised by the Irish Courts as being authorised to take affidavits. In Ireland any independent practising solicitor or Commissioner for Oaths is authorised.

In the United Kingdom any solicitor empowered to administer oaths is authorised. In other countries an affidavit can be sworn or affirmed before an Irish Embassy or Consular official or a Notary Public. In Ireland there is a fee of €10.00 payable to the solicitor/commissioner for oaths per affidavit and €2.00 for each exhibit.

An affidavit cannot be sworn by a deponent before a solicitor who is involved in the case to which the affidavit relates. The deponent must be present before the Commissioner for Oaths/practicing solicitor when swearing the affidavit.

7 - What is a Judgment?

A Judgment is a formal decision by a court. It is similar to an Order or a Decree. Typically, in a debt collection matter it confirms that the debt is due by the defendant to the plaintiff.

8 - What happens after judgment is obtained?

A judgment can be enforced against a defendant by various means e.g. sending it to the Sheriff, registration of a judgment mortgage or obtaining an instalment order. It can also be made public if it is registered in the Registry of Judgments.

9 - Who or what is a Sheriff?

A sheriff's official job, in connection with debt recovery, is to enforce a judgment. He/she will do this by seizing certain assets belonging to the debtor which he sells in order to produce money to satisfy the judgment debt. In most counties, the function of sheriff is exercised by the County Registrar. If they are unable to seize assets or obtain payment from the debtor to satisfy the judgment, they will usually return a verdict of "nulla bona/no goods".

10 - What is a judgment mortgage?

This is where a judgment is registered as a mortgage against property owned by the debtor.

11 - Can I claim interest on the outstanding debt due to me?

Usually yes. There are various ways in which interest can be claimed. Typically, it can apply under terms and conditions of trading, under legislation (e.g. the European Communities (Late Payment in Commercial Transactions) Regulations 2012) or otherwise interest may be awarded at the discretion of the Court.

Once judgment is obtained, interest at the rate of 8% begins to accrue on the amount of the judgment.

12 - What fees can I expect to be charged?

Our costs vary, depending on the case and the level of involvement required. We are happy to discuss this with you. Please contact us at +353 1 775 1900 or at info@abwolfe.ie to arrange an appointment.

Debtor Information

We always recommend that debtors seek independent legal advice from a solicitor. Always quote your reference number on all transfers and correspondence. This can be found in the "Our Ref" section of the demand letter.

If you have received correspondence from AB Wolfe & Co, the following options are open to you:

Pay the Debt

Your payment options are as follows:


To make a payment over the phone call our office on 01 7751900 and quote your reference number. You will be put through to the individual dealing with your case and he / she will advise you of your payment options.

Bank Transfer

Payments can be made directly to our account either via your internet banking service or through your bank. Please quote the reference number (Our Ref) on all transfers to ensure that your payment is allocated promptly to your case.

Our bank details are as follows:

Bank: Danske Bank, International House, 3 Harbourmaster Place, IFSC, Dublin 1.
Sort Code: 95 - 15 - 20
Account Number: 82795639
Swift/Bic: DABAIE2D
IBAN: IE18 DABA 9515 2082 7956 39

Cheque or Bank Draft

Payments can be made by cheque or bank draft payable to AB Wolfe & Co. and posted to: AB Wolfe & Co, 70 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2, D02.

Admit the amount claimed but cannot afford to pay

To make regular payments to pay off your debt, please call our office on 01 7751900 and quote your reference number. Payments spread over a number of months or weeks must first be agreed.

Dispute the amount

If you dispute the debt claimed, you should contact us as soon as possible outlining your reasons as to why you are disputing the claim.

Do nothing

AB Wolfe & Co will have no alternative than to proceed with legal action. This may result in a judgment being awarded against you which can affect your credit worthiness. You may also be required to attend court, and if the judgment is enforced it may lead to seizure of goods or property to satisfy the debt.

If you are in financial difficulty

If you are experiencing financial difficulty at present there are numerous organisations that can help and advise you.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Email us at info@abwolfe.ie and we'll be happy to help.