How to Collect My Judgment: Short Outline

If I have won my lawsuit and been awarded a money judgment, how do I collect my judgment? This is a brief list of steps to give a simple overview of the common procedures. This article is not a comprehensive tutorial on all of the ins and outs of how to collect my judgment.

The normal first thing to do is determine whether or not the judgment is enforceable. If the judgment is either void or voidable due to a legal flaw in the case or judgment there is a big problem to start with. If you check to see whether the judgment has been essentially wiped out in a bankruptcy proceeding you can figure out if bankruptcy will be a roadblock to collecting your judgment. Most money judgments in most jurisdictions will expire after a certain amount of time, usually 5 to 20 years. If the judgment is old it is wise to confirm whether or not it has expired.

It is a no-brainer to see the necessity of locating the debtor.

As vital as locating the debtor is identifying and locating his assets. If you want to know how to collect a judgment you will need to locate assets and determine their status as it relates to possible exemption claims.
Always record your judgment in the property records department in every county where your judgment debtor owns any interest in real estate. This will usually create a property lien. Sometimes creating this lien turns out to be the main thing that leads to successfully collecting a judgment.

Utilizing post-judgment discovery methods can be extremely helpful in attempting to enforce my judgment. Each court and jurisdiction will have its own rules about what discovery methods are allowed.
Finally, with sufficient information about the debtor and his assets it is possible to execute, levy, or garnish those assets. This is where you actually get paid what the judgment debtor owes you on the judgment.
If these steps don’t lead to a complete payoff of the judgment debt, then it is normal to rinse and repeat these steps.
After the last dollar of the judgment is collected, file a “Satisfaction of Judgment” form with the clerk of the court.
This briefly outlines the common steps you’ll follow as you discover how to collect your judgment.

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Statute Of Limitations For Debt Collection and Judgment Collection - Enforcing out of State Judgments Lawyers
Domestication of Foreign Judgments or Sister State Judgments

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