Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Belize
Executive Overview – We advise our customers who’ve asset protection problems to employ a Belize Trust. The property of a Belize Trust are immune from your decisions of a foreign court. This includes, bankruptcy courts, family courts, civil judgements and fraudulent conveyance allegations. Anything the foreign (Non Belize) court does is irrelevant when it comes to Belize Trust Property contained in Belize. The catch all that lawyers like to use is the fraudulent conveyance allegation. They sometimes get the home country court to make a ruling that there was a fraudulent conveyance. Any order, decision, ruling, etc. from a foreign court is a large zero when it comes to the Belize Trust in that it has no legal value concerning Belize Trust property. When one opens a bank account in Belize using a Belize Trust the banks tend to push issues regarding trust paper work to weaken the trust. So we do not have the Belize Trust open the bank account to preserve the privacy and asset safety value of the trust. What we do is make use of a Belize Corporation or additional corporation from another country to open the bank account. The shares of the corporation are then titled to the Belize Trust and this is recorded. This makes the corporation and corporate bank account property of the Belize Trust and thus immune from your decisions of a foreign court. Any such judgments from a foreign court cannot be domesticated or enforced in Belize against Belize Trust Property. This is the only Trust that has this provision. No additional trusts have a statutory exemption against fraudulent conveyance allegations. We will review some conditions for collecting a foreign judgement if the property are not owned by a Belize Trust, just a regular corporation. If the property are owned by a Belize Trust they may be safe so there is nothing further to talk about.
Belize Corporation Standard bank Accounts – One needs to remember that a personal judgment is not a view against a corporation. These offshore corporations lawfully in the eyes of the law have their personal independent liabilities and property. They are independent and unique judicial persons. Just because you own the stock, it does not imply your debts transfer to the corporation. The ownership of these anonymous bearer share corporations is not recorded in any general public registry or database. It is not easy for a creditor or monetary enemy to post evidence to the court to establish ownership. Actually if ownership was established there are a number of other hurdles facing your monetary enemies.
Foreign View Reciprocity – Belize will only identify the judgments of a country that recognizes their judgments in their personal courts on an equal basis with the way Belize treats their judgments. They tend to favor English Colonies in this regard. Other conditions that must be met to enforce a view in Belize follow:
Judgment has to be no more than six years.
Judgment must be final. Time for appeals offers expired.
Judgment needs to be from a Superior Court of the country. Municipal court judgments may be difficult or impossible to enforce.
The court experienced right jurisdiction over the matter.
The matter was not previously and correctly determined in another court.
The debtor was duly served according to the laws of that country and experienced ample time to respond.
If the plaintiff and defendant had an agreement to settle disputes inside a matter in a different way than using the court that issued view, then the view may be not admissible in Belize. Therefore the two parties may have agreed that proper location would be country B, yet the plaintiff sued in country A. The agreement may have called for arbitration yet the plaintiff just sued. This sort of thing could cause the denial of the judgment.
If the view is for a fine, penalties or taxes it might be disallowed.
Summary – It is most difficult to litigate against an offshore corporation where the underlying debt is definitely against a person or another corporation. If you use a Belize Trust you become safe from your decisions of any foreign court including fraudulent conveyance as long as the property are contained in Belize and thus under Belize regulation. In any event the conditions required for a view to be enforceable in Belize can be onerous and expensive from your perspective of a view creditor. Lawyers in Belize and the country of the view would be needed and double legal billing gets expensive right away. If the debtor realizes there is a pending action he will remove the property from Belize right away which thwarts the attempts of the creditor and the money he offers spent is lost. This is something not seen very often.