After getting a judgment, many people find that they have spent much time and usually a lot of money to get a piece of paper that states that they are owed a certain amount of money. After a judgment is granted in their favor, the fun part begins.
The majority of lawyers have stated that the rate of collecting on a judgment is very low, so never been collected. Few people are willing to go to the trouble and expense of pursuing a debtor. There are some important issues that you must consider to make a judgment worthwhile.
The biggest problem with judgment collection is that people sue the wrong person. Don’t sue a firm just because its name is on a sign outside a place of business, or the person you assume owns the business, research, and check further. Check with the local county clerk’s office, business-licensing bureau, and department of consumer affairs or police department to find out the actual name in which the business is registered, and who actually owns it.
When using a business, sue where the assets are. The service person who did the damage, the franchise owner, the corporate owner, or the parent corporation may all be liable and can be held accountable, in most cases, you must prove wrongful involvement. Sue whichever one has enough assets to pay your judgments. You can sue more than one, so it is very important to check for assets.
Unless your judgment is against a well-established organization, you may have to deal with a person or persons who are not willing to pay. The people are known for hiding assets, these assets must be uncovered in order to collect. If you have ever received a check from or give a check to the person who owes this debt, then you are on a good track of discovering where their bank account is.
If you have a judgment against someone who owns a home, then check with the county’s homeownership records in that area. If you have won a judgment against a business, go personally to the business location to see what equipment and machinery are on the site. If you have a rather large judgment, it would be advisable to hire an agency to do an asset search.
There are many businesses that do not have very good ethics, so beware of fraud. There are businesses that will go out of business to avoid creditors. Some will reopen the very next day under a different name on the same property with the same assets. If this happens you will need to hire an attorney to prove that the transfer of assets took place for the purposes of fraud.
Only an enforcement officer or sometimes the court clerk can forcibly collect judgments. You will be responsible for informing the officer where to find the debtor’s assets. Collection procedures are property execution and income execution. Property execution is when the officer seizes any property that is not exempt and sells it at auction to pay the debt. An income execution is when the officer garnishes a debtor’s salary. These procedures must be court-ordered.