Attachments & Liens

Notice of Attachment

We can issue an attachment to anyone who owes the payor money requiring they pay all or a portion of the money to FMEP for the recipient.

Sources include:

  • wages, salaries and/or commissions
  • pensions and workers’ compensation benefits
  • long or short-term disability payments
  • rental property income
  • bank accounts
  • ICBC claims

The amount attached depends on the source. If the attachment is against the payor’s ICBC claim or bank account, we can attach up to 100 per cent. If it is against the payor’s wages, the amount we can attach is determined by a formula set by BC law.

If the payor believes there is an error in the attachment or the amount attached will mean he or she can no longer afford basic expenses such as food and shelter, the payor may ask us for a review.

The attachment is in place for five years or until the maintenance order or agreement is no longer enrolled with us. If the payor still owes arrears after five years, we will automatically renew the attachment.

The attachment may be withdrawn or suspended if the payor agrees to a voluntary payment arrangement.

See Notice of Attachment Fact Sheet (PDF, 119KB)

Federal Interception

We can issue an attachment to the federal government to intercept any funds owing to the payor from one or more sources, including:

  • employment insurance benefits
  • Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security payments
  • GST credits
  • income tax refunds
  • a variety of other federal programs

The amount intercepted depends on the source. For example, we intercept 25 per cent of employment insurance benefits, and 100 per cent of a payor’s tax refund.

We may also decide to issue an interception as part of a voluntary payment arrangement, specifically to intercept a tax refund to help pay down the arrears.

If the payor believes there is an error in the attachment or the amount attached will mean he or she can no longer afford basic expenses such as food and shelter, the payor may ask us for a review.

The interception is in place for five years, or until the maintenance order or agreement is no longer enrolled with FMEP. If the payor still owes arrears after five years, we automatically renew the interception.

See Federal Interception Fact Sheet (PDF, 126KB)

Maintenance Lien

We can register a maintenance lien against the payor’s personal property such as a motor vehicle, boat, trailer or manufactured home.

Registering a lien doesn’t mean we physically remove any personal property. If the personal property is being sold or transferred to someone else, FMEP must be contacted about removing the lien.

The lien stays in place as long as the maintenance order or agreement is enrolled with FMEP, or until:

  • the arrears are paid, or
  • the property is sold and the arrears are paid out of the proceeds of the sale.

See Maintenance Lien Fact Sheet (PDF, 64KB)

Land Registration

We can register the maintenance order or agreement against the payor’s land. A registration means:

  • the payor can’t sell, refinance, or transfer ownership of the land without our consent; and
  • the payor must use part or all of the proceeds from the land sale to pay the maintenance arrears and, in some cases, the payor may be required to provide security funds for future maintenance.

Even if payments are up to date, the maintenance order or agreement can be registered against the land as it secures future payments due. As well, the registration can also remain in place even if the arrears are paid in full.

If the land is being sold or refinanced, FMEP must be contacted to arrange for a discharge or postponement on the land. If the case has arrears, there is a $150 fee for this service.

The land registration stays in place as long as the maintenance order or agreement is enrolled with FMEP, or until the land is sold.

See Land Registration Fact Sheet (PDF, 80KB)