Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act

Checklist for Applicants

This checklist is meant to help guide applicants through the garnishment process under Part I of the federal Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA).

Before you complete an application

  • ☐ Is the debtor currently an employee or a contractor of a federal department or agency, a parliamentary entity or a Crown Corporation listed in section 6 of the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations?
    • Garnishment against a debtor is only possible if salary or remuneration is payable to the debtor.
    • You cannot apply for garnishment under GAPDA if:
  • ☐ Do you have a final court order or judgment that is valid (meaning it is still enforceable in Canada) or a family support agreement that is enforceable as an order?

Preparing to apply for garnishment and documents required

  • ☐ Did you complete the application form (HTML, PDF, 92 kb) with the required information and with as much detail as you know?
    • Did you include the name of the department or agency where the federal public servant or contractor works? Registries do not have lists of active employees and contractors paid by the federal government. (You may find information on federal employees in the Government Electronic Directory Services.)
  • ☐ Did you sign and date the application form and include your mailing address?
  • ☐ Did you obtain a garnishee summons (which includes a notice of garnishment, payment orders or other documents of similar nature) issued by a court or a provincial maintenance enforcement program? Provincial and territorial garnishment laws and procedures apply.
  • ☐ Does the garnishee summons name "Her Majesty in right of Canada" as garnishee?
  • ☐ Do you have a copy of the order, judgment or family support agreement?

Applying for garnishment and service of the documents

  • ☐ Did you include all of the documents:
    • the application form (HTML, PDF, 92 kb);
    • the garnishee summons;
    • the copy of the order, judgment or family support agreement;
    • where provincial or territorial law require it, a copy of a blank provincial response form for completion by the federal department (i.e. Garnishee's Statement, etc.)?
  • ☐ Are you serving the documents on time?
    • A garnishee summons must be received by the Garnishment Registry within 45 days of its issuance, otherwise, the application will be rejected.
  • ☐ Are you serving the documents to the right place?
    • Check the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations to find out where the garnishment documents must be served. In most cases, documents are served to the Garnishment Registry responsible for the region where the garnishee summons was issued and not where the employee or contractor resides or works. Please note that each parliamentary institution has its own Garnishment Registry. For employees or contractors of a Crown Corporation, documents are served to the head office of the corporation.
  • ☐ Are you serving the documents the right way?

After service of your garnishment documents

  • ☐ Did you receive a letter from the Garnishment Registry indicating whether your application has been accepted?
    • If yes, keep that letter someplace safe. You may need to refer to it later on.
    • If no, contact the Garnishment Registry where you served the documents 15 days following the service of your documents.

After your application has been accepted

  • ☐ Did you know that it takes between six to eight weeks from the date the Garnishment Registry received the garnishment documents for moneys to be garnisheed?
    • It takes 15 days for the garnishment to become binding after the Garnishment Registry receives the application.
    • The actual garnishment does not start until the second pay period after the garnishment becomes binding. Any moneys payable before then will not be garnisheed. Pay periods are usually every two weeks or on a monthly basis.
  • ☐ Did you know that the payments will only be sent to the Court or the maintenance enforcement program indicated in the garnishee summons? The payments will be sent within 15 days following garnishment.
    • If you have not received a payment after the period stated above is over, contact the Court or maintenance enforcement program that issued the garnishee summons. They may have received a notice explaining why moneys were not garnisheed or may not have distributed the moneys yet.
    • If the Court or maintenance enforcement program has not received payments or a notice, contact the compensation office indicated in the letter you received from the Garnishment Registry and not the Garnishment Registry. The compensation office will know if and when moneys were garnished.
  • ☐ Did you know that "salary" under GAPDA does not include certain amounts?
    • Certain amounts are excluded from salary. Examples of such exclusions include tax payments, contributions to employment insurance and to the Canada pension plan. Check the Garnishment and Attachment Regulations for the full list of amounts excluded from the garnishable salary.
  • ☐ Did you know that only part of the garnishable salary can be garnisheed?
    • Provincial garnishment law establishes how much of the salary may be garnisheed.
  • ☐ Did you know that garnishments for family support obligations take precedence over other garnishments?
  • ☐ Did you know that an active garnishment could be suspended if the debtor files a notice of intention, a proposal, a consumer proposal or declares bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act?

Ending garnishment

  • ☐ Did you know that garnishment will end when the garnishee summons expires?
    • Provincial garnishment laws set out the rules.
  • ☐ Did you know that a garnishment termination document must be sent to the Garnishment Registry that accepted your application if you no longer wish to enforce the debt owed to you through garnishment or if the debt has been paid in full?
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