If you have won a judgment from a court, you probably know that the court does not automatically force the debtor to pay despite confirming the debtor’s enforceable obligation to pay. As the judgment creditor, it is your job to collect the debt. Although the collection process is time-consuming and costly process, it can work. Every collection step requires you to approach the clerk, fill out additional forms, and pay some fees. As you collect on a judgment in New York, you want to reduce the chances of errors as much as possible to avoid delaying the collection. That is why you may want to consider hiring a collection lawyer. The following are some tips to help you with the collection:
Communicate with the Judgment Creditor
Following a judgment, the debtor has thirty days from the time they were notified of the judgment to pay it before legal action can be taken against them. If you won a default judgment due to the party’s absence in court, don’t assume they know they owe a debt. Notify the party as to what occurred and request payment.
Pick a Collection Method
There are many ways you can recover money the judgment debtor owes you. These include the following:
- Wage garnishment. This means taking income from what the debtor is earning at their job.
- Non-wage garnishment. Take out funds from the debtor.
- Liens. Putting liens on the debtor’s real estate.
- Attachment and sale of the property. This means seizing and selling the property of the debtor.
- Driver’s license suspension. This can apply only to car accidents.
- Often, a wage or bank garnishment is the most effective method to collect on a judgment. For every collection method, a filing fee must be paid upfront. This fee is added to the judgment you can collect.
Where to Garnish the Judgment Debtor
Before you start collecting from your debtor, ensure you know whether they are employed, own real estate, have bank accounts, or own attachable property. You can request a Judgment Debtor Exam to get this information.
On the court date, you can ask questions to determine where you can find assets that are enough to pay your judgment. Under oath, the debtor must answer your questions. You can ask questions about their employer’s identity and place of employment, proper location, bank accounts, number of vehicles they own, location of any rental property they own, and their tenants’ identity.