A court judgment is a good start, but it’s just a piece of paper. The sad reality is that most judgments aren’t actually collected. If you’re working on an enforcement of judgement, here’s what you need to know:
Some property is exempt
You can go after a person’s assets to try to satisfy your judgment. If they have classic cars, a coin collection, famous art or really anything of value, you can try to seize it to satisfy your judgment. However, keep in mind that certain property is exempt.
The exact rules vary by state, so it’s important to read up on the local laws. In some states you can take vehicles, and in other states you can’t. There might be exemptions for household furnishings. Once you’re clear on what you can seize, personal property can be a helpful way for enforcement of judgement.
You can look at real property, too
If you have a judgment, you can place a lien on a person’s real property. That means that if the person sells the property, you get paid before they get anything from the sale. Again, each state operates a bit differently. In some states, a lien automatically attaches when you have a judgment. In other states, you have to register the lien with the right government office.
Consider an assignment order
Most people get a tax refund. If a person owes you money, you might be able to get their refund before they do. This can apply to other types of irregular funds that people receive such as commissions or dividends. If the person you have a judgment against doesn’t perform regular work for pay, this can be a great way for enforcement of judgement.
Work with a collection company
If you don’t have the time, knowledge or energy to do all of the tedious collection work, you might want to work with a judgment company. There are companies that buy your judgment from you. You can leave the tedious collection work to them and have immediate cash in your pocket.