You Have a Paper Judgment. Now What?

Congratulations, you have a piece of paper from the Court that says a person or business owes you money.  Now what do you do with that piece of paper?

Judgments can be enforced several ways:

  1. Garnishment;
  2. Writ of Seizure and Sale; and
  3. Examination in Aid of Execution

The most common way to enforce a judgment is by issuing a Garnishment, which is served upon an employer, bank, or a third party who owes your debtor money.  A Garnishment is a Court order that orders a person or entity, known as the Garnishee to pay you the amount of your judgment.  An employer is obligated to deduct 20% of the debtor’s net wages until the Garnishment is paid in full.  A bank who is served with a Garnishment must withdraw the full amount of the Garnishment.  If the full amount is not available, the balance must be withdrawn, and the account remains frozen until paid in full.  It does not always get paid in full, as debtors tend to open new accounts at new branches.

Garnishments can also be issued against a third party who owes your debtor money.  Instead of that party paying the debtor, they must pay you instead.

Garnishee has ten days from the date of being served with the Garnishment to serve you with the Garnishee Statement, which outlines how much they will be sending to the Court and when.  If they fail to send you the Statement, you can request judgment against the Garnishee for the debt owed by the debtor.

Issuing a Writ of Seizure and Sale of Land places a lien on any property owned by the debtor in the jurisdiction that the Writ is issued.  There is no limit on the number of Writs you can issue.  You can file a Writ in every jurisdiction that the debtor owns property.

If the debtor refinances or sells their property, your judgment must be paid out before the refinancing is complete or title is transferred.

If you issue a Writ of Seizure and Sale of Land, and any other party obtains judgment against the debtor and they successfully enforce their judgment, a portion of the amount collected on their enforcement will go to you.

If you do not know where the debtor banks, works or owns property, you can proceed with a Notice of Examination.  This allows you can examine and obtain information on their finances.  This allows you to the information you need to enforce your judgment by way of Garnishment or Writ.

If you find yourself with a piece of paper and you would like assistance in turning that piece of paper into money, give us a call and we will be more than happy to help you!

Murray Brown, Paralegal