The Maintenance Enforcement Office (MEO) will review the file and decide what enforcement action should be taken.
Action, through The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1997, may include:
- garnishing (take money from) the payor's wages, other income or bank account;
- garnishing payments that the payor may receive from the federal government such as Employment Insurance, Canada Pension, Old Age Security, grain advances, Revenue Canada refunds or GST rebates;
- enforcing the order or agreement against a corporation which is owned solely by the payor, or owned by the payor and related family members;
- reporting the payor to a credit bureau;
- seizing and selling the payor's personal property, such as a vehicle;
- putting a lien on any real property that the payor owns to prevent the payor from selling, remortgaging or leasing it without making payment arrangements with the MEO;
- attaching pension contributions that the payor has made;
- suspending the payor's driver's licence; or
- requiring the payor to appear in court to explain why payments have not been made. The judge presiding over the default hearing may make an order to put the payor in jail for up to 90 days for contempt of the support order or agreement.
There is no minimum amount of money that must be left for the payor after an enforcement action is taken. In the case of garnishment action, if there is not enough money available to satisfy the garnishment the shortfall must be made up the next time a deduction is due.