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How to Collect Money from a Civil Suit

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Collecting money from a civil suit involves a multi-step process, including identifying the debtor's assets, obtaining a court-ordered judgment, and enforcing it through methods like wage garnishment or seizing property, all while adhering to legal procedures and timelines. It often requires strategic planning and may necessitate the assistance of legal professionals to ensure successful collection.

Navigating the post-judgment process in small claims court or superior court is crucial when collecting money from civil suit cases, considering your financial situation. The complexity of attorney-involved cases can be overwhelming, especially with the financial situation, court orders, and potential challenges that may arise, including money judgment. Claiming a money judgment isn't as simple as walking into an office with a winning lottery ticket; it requires understanding legal procedures, dealing with attorneys, filing necessary forms in small claims court, possibly contacting the treasurer, and handling associated fees. This blog aims to demystify the complexities of small claims, equity, wage execution, and judgment creditor issues. It provides guidance on how to successfully collect your deserved lump sum or income following a successful lawsuit or judgment. Additionally, if you're considering alternative routes for debt recovery, exploring options like selling your judgment to a collection agency, like Debexpert, can be a viable choice.



Discovering and Evaluating Debtor's Assets

Importance of Identifying Debtors' Assets

After winning a small claims suit, the next step for the judgment creditor is filing for justice to get your money. The defendant, the one who owes you money in a small claims court, has to ensure justice by paying up. It's crucial to identify their assets.

  • Houses
  • Cars
  • Businesses

These are all things, like the judgment debtor's computer, that could be used by the court for execution to pay the debt.

Legal Procedures in Asset Discovery

There are legal ways, like a court-issued subpoena in the civil part, to find out what assets a debtor has and gather information. One way is through a judgment debtor exam. This is akin to a court judgment meeting where the debtor must respond to a writ request, answering questions about their property for the sheriff.

How to Evaluate Worth of Debtor’s Assets

Once the court has issued an order and you know what assets the judgment debtor owns, you need to figure out how much it's worth for execution. You might check court prices for similar items or get a constable's expert opinion on real estate value before file execution.

Obstacles in Accessing Financial Information

Sometimes it can be hard to get this information. Debtors might try to hide their assets in court or claim they're exempt from judgment, using various forms to evade paying debts. This implies that some property of the judgment debtor might not be available for paying off the court debt.

Remember, collecting money from a court judgment against a debtor isn't always easy. But knowing how to find and evaluate the assets of a judgment debtor can make court proceedings easier.



Understanding Writs of Execution

Writs of execution are legal tools. They assist in collecting money from a civil suit.

What is a Writ

A writ, or more specifically, a writ of execution, is a court order for a judgment debtor. The court allows the judgment debtor, the winner of a civil suit, to collect what's owed.

  • For instance, if you win a lawsuit and the judgment debtor doesn't pay up as ordered by the court.
  • You can ask the court for a writ of execution against a judgment debtor.

Getting Your Writ

To obtain your writ, there's paperwork involved. As a judgment debtor, you'll need to fill out execution forms at your local court clerk's office.

  1. Request the appropriate documents from the court clerk.
  2. Fill out these legal forms with accurate details.
  3. Submit them back to the clerk via certified mail.

Role of Law Enforcement

Local law enforcement plays an essential role here. The sheriff or constable carries out instructions from the court's writ for the judgment debtor.

  • They may garnish wages or seize property.
  • Think of them as your legal debt collectors!

Limitations and Exemptions

Writs do have limitations though. Certain assets of a judgment debtor might be protected against wage execution or seizure under state law, as determined by the court.

  • Each state has different rules about what can and can't be taken from a judgment debtor following a court ruling.
  • It's important for the court and judgment debtor to know these exemptions before requesting a writ.



Effective Judgment Collection Strategies

Wage Garnishment Strategy

One way to collect money from a judgment debtor after a court civil suit is through wage garnishment. This court-approved method allows you to take a portion of the debtor's paycheck until the debt is paid off, following a judgment. It's an effective strategy because it ensures regular payments.

Real Estate Liens Consideration

Real estate liens can also be used to secure payment from a judgment debtor as ordered by the court. By placing a court-ordered lien on the debtor's property, they are unable to sell or refinance without first satisfying their debt judgment. This court strategy puts pressure on the debtor to settle their debt quickly, aiming for a swift judgment.

Third-Party Debt Collectors and Attorneys

Sometimes, using third-party debt collectors or attorneys can help expedite collection efforts against a judgment debtor, following a court ruling. These court professionals have experience in dealing with stubborn debtors and know how to navigate the judgment process within the legal system effectively. However, keep in mind that the court usually charges fees for their services in judgment debtor cases.

Impact on Credit Reports

Lastly, reporting the judgment to credit bureaus can incentivize debtors to pay up quicker. A negative mark on a judgment debtor's credit report could hinder them from getting loans or credit cards in the future.

Remember, each judgment debtor case is unique and what works best may depend on certain types of debts and your personal circumstances. Always seek advice from a justice help center before deciding which collection strategy makes sense for you as a judgment debtor.

Insights on Fee Waivers and Bank Levies

Fee Waivers Explained

Fee waivers can be granted under certain circumstances. Say you're filing a civil suit against a judgment debtor but can't afford the costs. You might get a fee waiver.

  • This exemption helps folks with low income.
  • It covers charges like filing fees and renewal costs.

However, there are restrictions. Not everyone qualifies for a waiver.



Post-Judgment Scenarios: Payment Expectations

Realistic Timelines for Payments

After bagging a money judgment, expectations run high. But remember, it's not always instant cash-out. Depending on the debtor's financial situation and your state laws, obtaining a judgment could take weeks or even years.

For example, in California, a judgment creditor can wait up to 30 days before receiving any payment.

Structured Payment Plans

Sometimes, debtors propose a structured payment plan. This means they exercise judgment to pay you bit by bit over time instead of all at once.

These plans depend on the debtor's income and expenses. It might be slower but ensures steady payments.

Non-Compliant Debtors

What if the person owing you plays hardball? Some debtors turn uncooperative after losing a civil suit.

In such situations, legal recourse is available. You can seek judgment help from law enforcement or hire a judgment collection agency.

But beware! Agencies often charge a hefty percentage of the judgment amount collected as their fee.

Legal Recourse for Collection Failures

If initial attempts at collecting fail, don't lose hope. There are other methods like wage garnishment or property liens that can be used to satisfy your claims following a judgment.

However, these options require more paperwork and may extend the timeline further, necessitating careful judgment. So patience is key here!

Recap on Civil Suit Money Collection

Navigating the judgment process of collecting money from a civil suit can be intricate and demanding. This guide has covered essential steps such as discovering debtor's assets, understanding writs of execution, implementing effective judgment collection strategies, and exploring fee waivers and bank levies. It also provided insight into post-judgment scenarios and what to expect regarding payments. If you're seeking a streamlined approach to collect money after winning a judgment, you may consider exploring platforms like Debexpert, an international debt trading platform that connects sellers and buyers of debt portfolios, providing you with options to monetize your judgment efficiently.

The knowledge and judgment gained here should empower you in your journey towards successful debt recovery. Remember that each judgment is unique and may require tailored strategies for each situation. Don't hesitate to seek professional help if needed. Stay informed, proactive, and patient throughout the judgment process for optimal results.

How Debexpert Can Help You to How to Collect Money from a Civil Suit

Debexpert, as an international debt trading platform, offers a valuable resource for individuals and entities looking to collect money from a civil suit. Here's how Debexpert can assist you in this process:

  1. Access to a Wide Network: Debexpert connects you with a vast network of debt buyers and collection agencies, including hundreds of companies. This network increases your chances of finding buyers interested in purchasing your judgment or debt portfolio.
  2. Efficient Listing: You can create a listing for your judgment or debt on the Debexpert platform. This listing allows interested buyers to review your case and submit competitive offers.
  3. Professional Assistance: Debexpert provides access to professionals experienced in debt collection. These experts can offer guidance and strategies to help you maximize the value of your judgment or debt portfolio.
  4. Streamlined Transactions: Debexpert simplifies the process of selling your judgment or debt. It facilitates transactions between sellers and buyers, making it easier to monetize your civil suit winnings.
  5. Tailored Solutions: Whether you're an individual seeking to collect a personal debt or a business looking to recover funds, Debexpert's platform offers tailored solutions to meet your specific needs.

In summary, Debexpert streamlines the collection process by connecting you with potential buyers and providing professional assistance. It's a valuable resource for efficiently collecting money from a civil suit, ensuring that you receive the funds you're owed.

To leverage Debexpert's services and start collecting money from your civil suit efficiently, create a listing on our platform today. Our extensive network of buyers and collection agencies is ready to assist you. Don't miss out on the opportunity to maximize your civil suit winnings. Get started with Debexpert now!

Written by
Carlos Aispuro
Lender Relationship Director

With thirty years of experience in banking, debt collections, compliance, audit, and governance, I have supported strategic plans and improved customer experiences. I possess hands-on knowledge in crucial C-Suite areas, including developing new policies and procedures, optimizing their models, and exploring new tools to help institutions achieve their goals more effectively.

  • Banking, debt collections, compliance, audit, and governance expert
  • Crucial C-Suite areas expert

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