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About Writs of Seizure and Sale

If you have failed to comply with an order or judgment to pay a certain sum of money to a party (the execution creditor), the party may file and execute a Writ of Seizure and Sale (WSS) against you.

A WSS enables an enforcement officer of the court (the Sheriff) and officers who are empowered under the Sheriff's authority (the bailiffs) to seize and sell your assets or property to satisfy the debt owed to the execution creditor.

You will be known as the execution debtor.

Stay of execution

If the execution creditor obtains a WSS against you, you may apply for a stay of execution. A stay of execution temporarily prevents the execution creditor from enforcing the judgment and executing the WSS.

You may apply for a stay of execution if:

  • You are unable to pay the judgment debt.
  • There are special circumstances that make enforcing the order or judgment impractical.
You may apply for a stay of execution by filing the following:
  • A summons.
  • An affidavit in support of the summons.

The affidavit should state the following information:

  • The reasons for your application.
  • The evidence to support your reasons for the application.
    • If your reason for filing the application is based on your inability to pay, you should include documents stating your income, the nature and value of any property you own, and the amount of any other liabilities you may have.

Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

How to file

You may choose to file the documents personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, you must file the documents through eLitigation at the LawNet and CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

You must follow the Rules of Court and the State Court Practice Directions or the Supreme Court Practice Directions to prepare your documents before heading down personally to do the filing.

After you file

The summons and a copy of the supporting affidavit must be served on the execution creditor before the date of hearing of the stay of execution application.

If your assets or property are being seized

If the Sheriff or the bailiffs, and the execution creditor (or their representative) arrive at your place of residence or premises to execute the WSS, you should observe certain rules to facilitate the seizure process.

You should...

You should not...

  • Co-operate by allowing the Sheriff or the bailiffs and the execution creditor (or their representative) to enter the premises.
  • Allow the Sheriff or the bailiffs to seize the assets or property identified by the execution creditor.
  • Attempt to remove seized properties without the authority of the Sheriff or the bailiffs.
    • Seized properties are in the legal custody of the Sheriff and the bailiffs once they have been seized. Removing items without the proper authorisation may constitute an offence of theft.
  • Interfere with the seizure process.

Items that cannot be seized

The Sheriff or the bailiffs will not be able to seize the following items by law:

  • You and your family's clothing and bedding, where the value of such items does not exceed S$1,000.
  • Your tools of trade that will be necessary for you to earn a living, where the value of such items does not exceed S$1,000.
  • Your wages and salary.
  • Any pensions, gratuity or allowance granted to you by the Government.

After the seizure of assets or property

After your assets or property has been seized, you have 7 days to settle the outstanding debt with the execution creditor.

If the debt is not settled, the execution creditor may notify the Sheriff or the bailiffs to arrange for an auction to sell your seized assets or property.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Refer to:
For State Courts: the Writ of Seizure and Sale video.
Legislation associated with this topic include Order 45 to 47 of the Rules of Court.
Refer to:

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