Compulsory Execution Against Corporeal Movables Under Korean Law : the Story of so-called “Red Sticker”


A couple of years ago, I got a request for explaining Korean civil execution system. The questioner had seen, in Korean dramas, a group of men barging into the other’s house sticking palm sized red stickers on furniture and other items around the house. He though that was unfamiliar to U.S. citizens and asked me about that. The below article was a short introduction essay on that issue, which was supposed to be contributed to a U.S.magazine:

Under Korean Civil Execution Law, the compulsory execution can be classified into 4 categories according to the objects of the execution; (i) immovables, (ii) vessels, motor vehicles, construction machines and aircraft, (iii) corporeal movables, (iv) claims and other property right. Compulsory execution against corporeal movables shall be effected by a execution officer who has been appointed by the competent court over the location of the corporeal movables upon a written application of a creditor who has already got an executory exemplification(such as final and conclusive judgment).The process of compulsory execution against corporeal movables comprises seizure of the object, encashment and distribution. A seizure of corporeal movables in possession of the debtor shall be effected by taking possession of the objects by the execution officer, provided that when the creditor consents thereto or their transport is difficult, they may be left in the custody of the debtor by clarifying, by the sealing (usually it is called “red stickers”) or by other means, that they are the seized objects.

Although the value of corporeal movables mostly becomes insufficient to satisfy the creditor’s claim, compulsary execution against corporeal movables is widely used to give psychological pressure to

the debtor for a voluntary repayment because the execution officer can break into the debtor’s private residence and take the debtor’s daily properties by force regardless of the debtor’s resistance. If the debtor or someone removes the sealing then he or she shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or by a fine not exceeding seven million won(approximately 7,000 USD).

By Wonil Chung, a bilingual Korean attorney practicing in Seoul, South Korea, specializing in Korean legal issues affecting Korean-Americans and other foreign people around the world.

© 2008 Wonil Chung, a Korean Litigation Lawyer/Chung & Partners, a Korean Litigation Law Firm. All rights reserved. Some copyrights, photos, icons, trademarks, trade dress, or other commercial symbols that appear on this post are the property of the respective owners.


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