Top court seeks ways to force verdict compliance
China's top court has pledged to work closer with banks and financial
institutions to allow judges to withdraw funds directly from the accounts of
defendants who fail to comply with court-ordered payments.
"A quick deduction process would accelerate our procedures and force defaulters to abide by rulings, as well as further contribute to improving the social credit system," Zhou Qiang, president of the Supreme People's Court, said on March 29.
Currently, judges can only find and freeze defaulters' savings in a preliminary cooperation arrangement with banks. If they want to withdraw money to enforce a ruling, they have to apply to the bank, which is time-consuming, according to Mao Jinke, a judge from Haidian District People's Court in Beijing.
He supported the plan to further cooperate with banks, saying that "the more accurate the information-sharing is between financial organs and us, the quicker we can lock defaulters' assets and push them to carry out rulings - especially to urge debtors to pay back money".
Until now, judges have only been allowed to search for and freeze 14 kinds of defaulters' property, such as their savings accounts, private cars, securities and real estate. To that end, the top court connected the networks of more than 3,700 banks and more than 10 government departments, the court said.
On March 18, land and resources authorities were ordered to inform the top court whenever they transfer, mortgage or change the real estate of defaulters. That was followed a day later with an online system for sharing defaulters' marital status and monthly family income. It was a project of the court and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
"It can be seen that support for fighting defaulters is growing," Zhou said, encouraging lower courts to find more innovative and effective techniques for urging people to comply with verdicts.
The top court established a website in 2013 to ensure that defaulters obey court rulings by disclosing their information, including names and identity card numbers. As of Thursday, information on 9.96 million defaulters has been made publicly accessible.
In addition, people who do not comply with court rulings will also face restrictions on their daily lives, in line with a guideline of the top court. For example, defaulters are barred from buying airline or some high-class rail tickets.
As of Thursday, the top court has stopped 10.15 million flight trips and 3.91 million rail trips, including high-speed railways, the statement said. It added that 2.22 million defaulters have complied with rulings because of the inconvenience.