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,
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.