Organize Your File on Collecting the Judgment
First, organize all of the paperwork leading up to your trial and keep it in a safe place. Then, make a new file on collecting the judgment.
In your new file for judgment collection, consider including:
- A copy of the judgment.
Pay special attention to the date the court entered the judgment (not the date you received it in the mail) as you may be able to get interest on the money owed to you from this date until the debt is fully paid. (For information about computing interest on the unpaid portion of the judgment, click here.)
- The judgment debtor's contact information – at home and at work. Keep track of changes in the debtor’s contact information.
- Information on the judgment debtor's property and where it is located.
- The dates of any partial payments made by the debtor.
If the debtor makes a partial payment by check, make a photocopy of the check – front and back - and be sure to write down:
- How much was paid (you can only charge interest on unpaid amounts),
- The location of the bank branch, and
- The account number.
- A list of all the types of collection efforts you made.
Keep notes on who, when and where you tried to collect the money judgment, and when and why each effort ended.
- A copy of each document used to collect the payment.
(For example, the writ of execution, wage garnishment, bank levy, etc.)
- Because judgments are good for 10 years, include a reminder to renew your judgment at least 6 months before it is time to do so. If the judgment is renewed, keep a copy of the court order extending the judgment.
- A list of all your collection expenses. (Keep your receipts.)
Many collection expenses can be reimbursed. (For help with getting back your out-of-pocket costs click here.)
Do anything else that will help you to stay organized. Keep in mind that even if you are unable to collect the judgment right now because the debtor doesn’t have any money, you may be able to collect in the future if he or she gets money or sells property.
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