Getting a judgment that awards you money makes you feel excited. Unfortunately, your creditor may not be willing to pay. In this case, you need a debt collection attorney to protect your interests. This is particularly important if a huge amount of money is involved in your case. When you collect on a judgment in New York, here are important things you should keep in mind to avoid losing your chances of collecting what your debtor owes you:
Don’t Wait for the Judgment to Expire Before you Collect It
Did you know that judgments expire? Failing to collect your judgment before the expiration date will leave you losing the right to collect it. A small claims court judgment expires 6 years from the date it was issued. The majority of other judgments expire ten years after their issuance. Before the judgment expires, you should file a motion to renew it. Because the motion does not get heard and decided right away, file the motion long before the expiration of the judgment.
Establish a Payment Plan
During the trial, the judge can set up a payment plan if your judgment debtor cannot pay the full judgment. You and your debtor should agree to the plan. Your debtor can file a motion for installment payments to request a payment plan. If your debtor is current on payments, you cannot garnish their wages.
Use Other Collection Methods
If your judgment debtor refuses to pay the judgment, garnishments or property seizures might be your next option. But, you must know the location of the debtor, their assets, and the location of these assets. Also, you should get the social security number of the debtor and their place of work.
Discovering the Debtor’s Assets
To find out the location of your debtor’s assets, you can file a discover subpoena to ask for a hearing to discover the assets of the debtor. But, you will need to wait 21 days from the award of the judgment.
Once you get the subpoena, you need to have it served to your debtor by someone. This person must be least 18 years of age and not part of the case.
Garnishing Your Judgment Debtor
You can collect on a judgment through garnishment if your debtor refuses to pay. With this court process, you can collect money by acquiring it from somebody who controls the assets or money of your debtor or those who pay them.