If you have been awarded a judgment, this does not mean you automatically collect money from the losing party. If the debtor doesn’t pay the judgment voluntarily to you, you can use the court process to collect the judgment. But if the debtor pays you directly, you must inform the court after they have completed payments. If you wish to know more about this just click here.
Options for Collecting on a Judgment
- Garnishments. Garnishments are an order that directs a third party to seize some assets, often from bank account money or wages from employment. After you get a judgment, you should file a garnishment request with the court clerk or sheriff. You should be aware of where the debtor works or the location of the bank that they do business with.
- Executions. With an execution, the sheriff is directed to seize the property of the debtor to pay for the judgment you won. You should determine what property the judgment debtor owns and give the sheriff exact descriptions, so they know what to look for. Once the sheriff serves an execution and seizes property, they will advertise when and where the property will be sold.
Steps to Take Before Collection
To enforce a judgment, you must register it first. Then, you will be able to legally collect on the judgment and share in the money collected for other creditors. Once you registered the judgment, you give enforcement instructions to the Sheriffs. These instructions can be a general statement of your intention to collect from the wages of the debtor, lands, and personal property. Also, more specific instructions such as information on the debtor’s employer and bank are usually given. You should also give a list of the debtor’s property and its location.
Moreover, you can send a questionnaire to the judgment debtor to know the money and property they had that can be used for paying the judgment. This questionnaire should be completed and returned to you within ten days of getting it.
Should the debtor fail to complete the questionnaire on time, you can ask the sheriff to require them to give information on the property and money they own. If the debtor stays uncooperative, you can request the issuance of a notice to examine the debtor. The debtor needs to attend this meeting to answer questions asked to them under oath. During this meeting, you can ask the debtor any questions regarding their finances and assets.