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I have A Judgment How Do I Collect?

I have A Judgment How Do I Collect?

I have A Judgment How Do I Collect?

Often the most common misunderstanding clients have is that filing a lawsuit and obtaining a judgment means that the other party is just going to write a check.  While in certain types of cases, (like auto accidents, slip and falls and dog bites) the defendant likely has insurance that is going to pay.  But what about in breach of construction contract case or breach of a commercial lease a judgment can sometimes be worth the paper its printed on, which is nothing.  Often times the prevailing party in a litigation will have to take further court action to collect that judgment.  You were the Plaintiff, know you are  a judgment creditor, so what is next?   There are several things a judgment creditor can do to help increase the chances of collecting.  The first thing is to record the judgment in the defendant’s (now judgment debtor) County recorder.

When you record your judgment, it creates a public notice of the judgment.

If the judgment debtor attempts to sell real property, and you record the judgment, you could receive money from the sale of that property.  The biggest obstacle in collecting on a judgment is determining what assets the debtor may have.  You could hire someone to  conduct an asset search, but before doing that there you can seek a court order compelling the debtor to appear in Court and provide you with relevant financial information so you can determine what collectible assets he/she/it may have.  This is known as a judgment debtor exam.

Once armed with this information, the judgment creditor can then seek other post judgment activities to collect on the judgment.  Also depending on the nature of the underlying litigation and the verbiage contained within the judgment or the contract between the parties, the judgment creditor may also ask the Court to award post judgment collection related attorney’s fees.  So you have a judgment and you ask how do i collect

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