Debt Recovery in Malaysia: Part 1 – Obtaining a Judgment

Need to seek legal advice regarding debt recovery:

Debt recovery is a legal process that allows you to recover the debts that are legitimately owed to you by individuals, corporate entities, or organizations, i.e. debtors. These debts may arise from a breach of contract for service, contract for sale and purchase, or even a loan agreement.

Before we dive into some of the ways we can obtain a judgment for debt recovery in Malaysia, let us deal with the preliminaries, i.e. things to take note of before filing a claim in court.


1. If your debtor is an Individual

  1. Run an NRIC search with the National Registration Department (NRD) to ascertain the registered address of the debtor. A sum will be payable, and the search report will be made available in about 7 days.
  2. Run a bankruptcy search with the Malaysian Insolvency Department (MID) to determine the status of the debtor. If the debtor has been declared bankrupt, the pursuit of such debt may not be worth the while.
  3. Engage a lawyer to send a Letter of Demand to the debtor at his/her registered address. The Letter of Demand is to include details on the debt in question, and a specified period of time for the debtor to settle such debt.

2. If your debtor is a Corporate Entity or Organisation

The process is more or less similar to that of an individual. In this case, you will be making a company search via Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) website to ascertain the business and registration address. This process is instant and requires a sum to be paid for the provision of a search report. The search report will divulge information on the business and registered address of the debtor, as well as its solvency status.

3. Time

As with most legal causes of action, the time limit to file a claim against your debtor is 6 years from the time of which the event of default started. If the judgment is successfully obtained, creditors have 12 years to enforce the judgment against the debtor.


Creditors are to file their claim through a Writ of Summons together with a Statement of Claim in court against the debtor. Here, the creditor will be expected to provide evidence for the debt due and owing, including that Letter of Demand sent to the debtor.

Once the Writ is sealed, i.e. approved by the court, you will have to send the relevant legal documents alongside a letter to the debtor, requesting the debtor to Enter Appearance in court to contest the claim.

So what happens next?

1. If the debtor enters appearance

You will have two options to follow:

A. A normal trial will commence and judgment will be awarded by the court based on the merits of the evidence provided by both parties.

B. Alternatively, you can opt to file an application for Summary Judgment against the debtor. This option is usually taken in straightforward cases whereby documentary proof of your claims are strong and clear.

2. If the debtor does not enter appearance

If the debtor does not enter an appearance in court, the creditor can obtain a Judgment in Default against the debtor. This may also apply to creditors who could not be located or is evading the legal action.


Judgment does not equal recovery of your money.

The next step after obtaining a judgment in your favor as a creditor would be to commence execution proceedings such as filing for petitions for winding-up or bankruptcy, or proceed with filing a writ of seizure and sale.

The fastest process is through the filing of a Summary Judgment against the debtor. So take note to always keep your business and transactional documents in good order.

Use the following link for more info on how you can obtain a judgment against your debtor: