Organize Your File on Paying the Judgment

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First, organize all of the paperwork leading up to your trial, put it in a file folder and keep it in a safe place. You may need the information later. Then, make a new file on paying the judgment.

If you are paying the judgment in installments

Keep a list of all of the payments you have made with the: 

  • Amount 
  • Type of payment (personal check, cashier’s check or money order – and the number of the check, etc.) 
  • Date paid 
  • Address of payment 
  • Date cashed if payment was by personal check, cashier’s check or money order.

TIP: It is best not to pay cash. If you do pay cash, get a receipt signed by the judgment creditor which includes the amount paid and when and where the payment was made.

Keep receipts or copies of all checks or money order payments you have made.

NOTE: Every time you pay any money on the judgment, the creditor has to file an Acknowledgement of Satisfaction of Judgment (Form EJ-001) with the court and send you a copy. Make a list with the dates the creditor filed each Form EJ-001 and keep the copies.

Keep a list of all the types of collection efforts the creditor has made, the dates made, and when they end. Write down who, what, where, and when the creditor tried to collect the money judgment, so that you know what you have done already or need to do.

For example: 

  • Abstract of Judgment on my house (with the date noted); 
  • Bank levy on my accounts; 
  • Wages garnished, amount garnished, beginning on _____; ending on _______.

If you filed a Claim of Exemption (Form EJ-160), you should keep track of important dates. 

For example: 

  • Filed Claim of Exemption on ________ with sheriff 
  • Creditor filed Notice of Opposition to Claim of Exemption on _______. The hearing date is __________; 
  • Amount I pay __________ every payday. (Amount your employer deducts from your paychecks.)

To learn more about Claims of Exemption, click here.

Keep a copy of any court order renewing the judgment. 

 To learn more about how a judgment is renewed, click here

Do anything else that will help you to stay organized. If you are unable to pay all of the judgment debt now, the creditor can keep pursuing the matter for years until he or she gets paid in full.

NOTE: Remember that the creditor may legally add interest and costs to the amount you owe.

  • The creditor will be able to get interest in the amount of 10% per year on the money you owe – usually from the date the court entered the judgment against you until it is paid off.
  • The creditor may also add the costs of collecting the judgment to the judgment debt.
    (See California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 685.070) Opens new window


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