What to keep in mind when collecting money after a judgment

What to keep in mind when collecting money after a judgment

A judgment is not an end in itself but the initial stage in the recovery process.  Yes, the judgment has been done and you are happy that it has favored you. But, that is where it begins – judgment collection. You need legal expertise that will help expedite the judgment and therefore turn the piece of paper into money. Every ruling is unique and has peculiarities in implementation. The judgment enforcement attorneys will come in to ensure that you get back the money owed.

But what are the key things you need to keep in mind when collecting money after a judgment?

  • For the businesses or individuals that are stable, they will try to pay the judgments entered against them. This they will do to avoid unpleasant collection mechanisms by collectors. This is the best-case scenario for any creditor.
  • The debtor may adamantly refuse to pay a judgment or worse still, they are insolvent. In this case, the business/individuals debts are more than the assets and therefore even if you tried liquidating, it may be uneconomical. Here you will find it difficult to collect the debt. In the case of insolvency, you may decide to recover the much you can but still, it will be a loss.
  • Most court jurisdictions allow one to conduct post judgment interrogatories to unearth documents that would be useful in getting the judgment debtor’s information regarding their properties and assets and their source of income.
  • When a judgment is held against an individual, the judgment creditor could garnish that individual’s wages so that they can collect their judgment. Most of the states have a limit of up to 25% of the paycheck. However, before you get a judgment to garnish the judgment debtor’s wages, you must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused owes you money and has refused to pay back. This will require you to have a judgment collection attorney like Angell Molony Judgment Attorneys, who have the experience of helping individuals and firms collect their judgment.
  • If a company owes you money and you hold a judgment against them, the court may allow a sheriff to seize the amount owed from the company’s cash register. Machinery, equipment and other company assets of value may also be seized. However, you must ensure that only authorized persons conduct the exercise failure to which, it could hit you back through a court injunction and further litigation that would derail your collection efforts.
  • For many states, the period for collecting judgment is 10 years and this is renewable. Therefore, in the circumstances, that the business or individual you have judgment against doesn’t have any income to attach or assets that can be recovered, such may be assessable in the future.
  • If it happens that the judgment debtor files chapter 7 bankruptcies, the creditor’s ability to collect is cut off. That therefore would mean, you have lost it and if you insist, it could be costly.

Whether you are the judgment creditor or the debtor, the above facts will help you prepare and smartly chart your way. Whichever side you are, you will be in a better placed to understand any judgment and behave accordingly.


This article is legal information and the sole opinion of the author/blogger and should not be seen as legal advice. It does not constitute a client-attorney relationship of any kind. Please consult with an attorney before you rely on this information.

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