'Luxury ban' prompts repayment a decade after ruling was made

(China Daily)     Updated : 2022-07-26

After being refused permission to buy tickets for flights, a travel agency executive agreed to repay a debt of 200,000 yuan ($29,600) to an ex-girlfriend this month, about 10 years after he had been ordered to do so by a Beijing court.

The man, surnamed Li, who said he was an executive with the agency, borrowed the money from a woman surnamed Qu with the excuse of funding business ventures. At the time, Li and Qu were a couple, but after they broke up, Li disappeared and refused to return the money.

As a result, Qu sued Li at Beijing Haidian District People's Court in 2013. After she won the case, she applied for the judges to push Li to comply with the ruling.

However, the court failed to locate any of Li's named assets-such as his house, car or savings-which resulted in the implementation of the ruling becoming deadlocked.

After Qu resubmitted the application last year, Yang Zhe, a judge with the court's enforcement department, began a process to force Li to return the money by preventing him from purchasing luxury goods, such as air travel or high-speed rail services, in accordance with a measure introduced by the Supreme People's Court, the top court, in 2015.

"Just a few months after we barred him from buying flight tickets, Li contacted us to say he was seriously affected by the ban because he works for a travel agency. He repaid the money because he was inconvenienced in his work and life," Yang said. "If we'd had the ban earlier, I believe that defaulters like Li would have repaid earlier and verdicts would have been implemented more quickly."

The ban, which places restrictions on defaulters' daily lives and prevents them from gaining promotion at work, has now been written into a draft civil enforcement law as a measure for the courts to take if people refuse to comply with rulings.

If the draft is passed, the nation's courts will be required to take the step after receiving an application for enforcement, Yang said, adding that the measure will remove the present confusion faced by some courts regarding when and whether to impose the ban on defaulters.

Statistics released last year showed that some 7.51 million defaulters had complied with court orders by December 2020 because they felt restricted in their work and lives.