Eliot Wagonheim: There is nowhere to cash in a judgment. One can't go to the bank and have them turn it into money.
Irwin Kramer: In many cases it's easy to get a judgment against the deadbeat debtor. But collecting on that judgment, that's really the hard part.
Eliot Wagonheim: Each State gives creditors arrows in their quiver to use in order to turn a judgment into money. And it's just a matter of figuring out, which arrow is the right one.
Irwin Kramer: One way to cash in on judgments is to garnish their wages.
Eliot Wagonheim: Most States will allow me to have a portion of that paycheck. Not all of it, but a portion of that paycheck sent to satisfy my judgment.
Irwin Kramer: You can also go after other property, ceasing cars, bank accounts, collectibles, virtually anything of value.
Eliot Wagonheim: Those things can be in most jurisdictions ceased and sold to satisfy the judgment. Same thing with real estate, a house can be foreclosed, because of judgment just like a mortgage access a lien on property.
Irwin Kramer: In many cases, you are going to find yourself standing behind a long line of creditors who already have liens on their property. So the key is, finding assets you can really use to satisfy your judgment.
Eliot Wagonheim: Most States allow questions which have to be answered by the Creditor to discover assets. And those questions can be, list your bank accounts, do you have a job; how much do you make; where do you live; do you own your home; are other any mortgages you just own it?
Irwin Kramer: The problem with this process is that the very same Debtor that ignored your lawsuit is likely to disregard your hunt for assets.
Eliot Wagonheim: It's not as if, one could simply send a series of questions to the guy that owes you money and expect specific, comprehensive replies by return mail. It doesn't happen. The person won't answer; you will have to go to court to get a court order, forcing them to answer. It takes a lot of time.
Irwin Kramer: The best time to ask these questions is long before you need the answers.
Eliot Wagonheim: You want to take certain information from that prospective customer. Where they bank; where they are employed, assets. It can provide you with information that will give you a heads up before you ever have to ask them questions in post-judgment discovery. So the best place is to look to have your judgment satisfied.