Enforcing security over Guernsey real property

In Guernsey, proceedings to enforce a general bond, judgment debt or other security registered against a property are known as ‘saisie proceedings’. By a saisie, the creditor (the principal creditor) seeks that the debtor’s real property be vested in the principal creditor in satisfaction of the debt due and owing to that creditor. The procedure is governed in Guernsey by the Saisie Procedure (Simplification) (Bailiwick) Order 1952. The procedure is as follows:

1. Judgment debt and preliminary vesting order (PVO)
The principal creditor must first consider whether the debtor has any significant assets other than realty and, if so, seek judgment to enforce the debt on such assets first. This is because Guernsey law does not allow the principal creditor to seek payment from the debtor for any shortfall incurred from the sale of the charged property, and once a nomination for proceeding against real property is made (by seeking a PVO), personal property cannot be pursued. Enforcement is therefore sought first against the debtor’s personal assets, if any, and the charged property will later be seized to recover the balance. This is particularly relevant for commercial premises (e.g. where the debtor has commercial goods that can be sold).

The saisie begins with the principal creditor obtaining a PVO from the Royal Court, normally at the same time as the initial summons issued against the debtor if he/she has not responded to the letter before action…

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