It’s important to understand your responsibility for judgment collection after settlement.
Many people find themselves wondering how to handle judgment collection after settlement. Once you win a case, it’s entirely up to you to make sure the debtor pays their judgment. The court will not help you out. Unfortunately, you may find out the hard way that not every debtor wants to repay their debt judgment. While you cannot always count on judgment collection, you can follow these tips to increase the likelihood of getting paid.
Understand the Repayment Terms
Depending on your case, the judge may have the debtor pay their judgment in full or in several installments. Reviewing these terms is important. An individual with the means to pay in full will often do so to keep their credit in good standing. Those who don’t have the finances to pay immediately will most likely choose to make installments. If the debtor fails to pay on time, it’s up to you to collect from them. Sometimes a judge will revise an award to help facilitate you getting payment.
Locate Any Personal Assets
In most instances, the losing party will provide a disclosure statement that lists all their personal assets. If they fail to repay their judgment, you may have the right to go after their assets. Some of the most common types of personal assets include:
- Trust funds and inheritances
- Bank accounts of all types
- Real estate properties
- Vehicles, jewelry, or other items of value
- Certain types of business ownership
If you decide to seize any of these assets, you must go back to court to do so. You should never contact the debtor on your own. Asset seizure is not an easy process, and the court will not allow the debtor to go bankrupt to pay the judgment. Some assets are exempt from seizure. For example, social security earnings, student loans, and child support are all exempt under Georgia law.
Find Out Where They Work
Judgment collection is easier if the debtor has a regular job. Ask for a wage garnishment from their paycheck. This is only an option after a debtor refuses to make good on their debt judgment. To start the process, you must schedule a court hearing. The court will decide how much to garnish from each paycheck until the judgment payments are complete and paid in full.
Wage garnishments only work for as long as a person remains employed. If they lose their job, you will no longer receive payments. The amount garnished also relies on the debtor’s income. In other words, if they don’t make very much money, you cannot count on receiving large payments. Most states cap wage garnishments at 25% of the worker’s disposable income.
Get Legal Assistance Today
If you’re trying to collect a debt judgment, you may benefit from legal assistance. Don’t try to navigate the system on your own. Schedule your complimentary consultation with the Wilbanks Law Firm, P.C. about judgment collection after settlement by calling (706) 335-2355 now.