How to Enforce a Judgment Debt

he person put in a place to enforce court ordered judgment debts is put in the position to be a very valuable asset for you. Collecting debt for a judgment can be strenuous especially after the extensive legal process.

Being involved in a lawsuit is never a pleasant experience. Even if you are able to prevail, in the end getting payment for the judgment might be as trying if not more so than making your case. Unfortunately, getting paid for a judgment is a different matter entirely. This article will serve as a primer to give you a course to follow for proper judgment enforcement guidelines; in others words, getting paid.

  1. Payment Clock. After a judgment is given by the court the debtor has 30 days to make payment on that debt. On the other hand, if the debtor files an appeal on that judgment within 10 days, that clock stops until the appeal is heard.
  2. Stick With the Debtor. After the judgment is rendered many debtors will pay the amount owed immediately. Unfortunately, many do not, because they either do not have the money. In this case it will be necessary to stay in touch in order to increase your chances that you will get paid. After you have received a judgment, make the debtor aware of your mailing address. You might also want to send the debtor a letter reminding him of his obligation, including a copy of the judgment.
  3. After Time Runs Out. If after all of the time that is allowed for payment runs out and you still have not been paid, you will need to consider your next course of action. This is probably best started by getting the advice of an attorney. If you used an attorney for your original case, it might do well to get his help with this matter as well.
  4. Making Collection. The state of California offers several remedies for getting money to satisfy a judgment. If a debtor is the employee of a business you can have their wages attached or garnished. This is a highly effective method of getting your money that provides for an employer to deduct up to 25 percent of the check amount to be awarded to you. If the person has a business, you can file a writ to have the sheriff enforce the judgment. This can take several forms, such as having the sheriff do a "till tap," which allows him to take money directly from a cash register to satisfy a debt. The sheriff can also be installed in a business as a "keeper," which means that a deputy will, for a fee, be kept in a business for the purpose of collecting money whenever it is received until the amount of the judgment is satisfied.
  5. Debtor's Examination. The court can also order a debtor's examination, which allows for the court to order a debtor to the court to answer questions regarding anything he or she owns that could be used to sell for satisfaction of a judgment. This might include cash, bank accounts, and other tangible assets that the court could order seized for payment.
  6. Professional Collection. If you would rather have someone else handle all of this, you might be able to hire a professional judgment collection business to handle this for you. Although these companies are paid a percentage of the amount they collect, they know what they can and cannot do to get their money.
  7. More From the Court. Just as you are able to perform actions to get your money, the debtor also has options to prevent payment such as filing for bankruptcy and other actions.

Satisfied? After you are awarded your money you are required to file satisfaction papers. This document acknowledges payment of the debt and releases the debtor's obligation. Failure to file satisfaction papers after the payment of a judgment can result in a fine being levied against you.

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