How to Collect a Small Claims Judgment
A judgment entitles the judgment creditor to money, but if the judgment debtor does not voluntarily pay the judgment, the creditor must take steps to collect it. The creditor should remind the debtor that additional court procedures will add costs to the judgment.
If you are unable to work out satisfactory arrangements for payment, this section describes some common collection procedures that are available through the court.
Supplemental Order - To find out the debtor’s income and assets
After judgment, you may have the debtor ordered into court to answer questions about the debtor’s property, income and assets. To begin this procedure, you will need to complete the Identifying the Judgment Debtor’s Property packet.
File it with the court and the clerk will set a date for the debtor’s appearance. The debtor must be served with the Order by a Sheriff or Constable at least 5 business days in advance. You are responsible for the costs. You must also appear on the designated date to handle the questioning.
You may ask the debtor about employment, assets and other funds owned. You may ask names, addresses and telephone numbers of those who owe you money. You should take detailed notes, so that you may later use the information. When you have the information about the defendant’s income and assets, you may proceed with the following additional actions.
Garnishment - To intercept money owed to the debtor by someone else
You may garnish debtor’s wages, bank accounts, or debts owed to the debtor. Begin this procedure by completing an Application for Garnishment. Once the application and Writ are completed, you must have the clerk issue the Writ of Garnishment. There will be $50 filing fee for this process. After the Writ of Garnishment has been issued, you should then give the entire packet to the sheriff or constable for service.
You may find more information on Writ of Garnishments on the State’s website.
Writ of Execution
A Writ of Execution is a court order to a sheriff or constable to seize and sell non-exempt property owned by the judgment debtor in order to pay the judgment creditor. Begin this procedure by completing an Application for Writ of Execution. Once the application and Writ are completed, you must have the judge issue the Writ of Execution. There will be a $50 filing fee for this process.
You may find more information on Writ of Execution on the State’s website.