Judgment Recovery Services - "Wow, I won my case! Now what?"
Today is THE DAY! It's Judgment Day!
It's your day, right now, right this second, as you read this page.
You may have just won a small claims, civil case or difficult divorce. Maybe you have just recorded your judgment and don't know what to do. Could it be that you have worked so hard on this, by yourself, and don't know where to go now? Better yet, maybe it's the day that you say "Enough is enough!" and take action.
Today it's about satisfaction....not only satisfaction of the judgment, but personal satisfaction knowing that the wrong action was righted and that you have stood up and said, "Not to me, you don't!" and "You didn't get away with it."
I Understand What You Are Going Through - Who Knew?
When I was younger, my mother sued a local car dealer and won. As we were walking out of court, the lawyer told her that the court had ruled in her favor. She was so excited - she would get her money back! Well, it doesn't really work that way does it?
When my mother left court, she was the victor, and all she had to show for it was a piece of paper judgment in her favor. There was no moola, no cold hard cash, not even a promise to pay. Just a court decision (which was cool) and not the final hurrah.
She did not have anyone to guide her, and worse yet, she had no idea that she would have the "job" of recovering the money. Can you feel the need for patience here? Fast forward several years and, low and behold, she got a call from a lawyer. Turns out the dealership was in the process of being sold and thus the judgment had to be satisfied. And, my mom got paid. Thank goodness my mom's lawyer had recorded the judgment. Otherwise, it may have never been addressed at the sale, or even addressed at all. But why wait?
Here's Where It Gets Really Awesome!
You don't have to worry about a similar fate or be frustrated any more. You now have me! Because of my love of investigation and desire for others NOT to go through what my mother experienced, I poured my heart and soul into learning about and offering judgment recovery training and services. I want everyone to say, "It's Judgment Day!" reveling in both the judgment satisfaction AND most importantly the personal satisfaction.
Before you get started, here are some things to consider:
You may wish to contact an attorney to help you recover your judgment. You may also choose to recover the debt yourself or you may choose to hire someone to assist in the recovery. This following should not be construed as legal advice and we always advise to consult with an attorney. What follows is our experience with judgment recovery and advice from the local court system.
You have the option of:
Contacting the Debtor: You may wish to begin by contacting the judgment debtor (the party that owes you the money). This can be in the form of a demand letter which can explain what you intend to do if the debtor does not pay you and/ or whether or not you are willing to accept payments and set up some sort of payment plan. Some courts and follow up methods require that attempts to collect have been made before proceeding further.
Start Additional Court Proceedings: You may also choose to start additional court proceedings to enforce collection of the judgment. Some of these actions are listed below. Additional fees may be incurred and added to accruing court costs. These may be recoverable as an addition to the awarded judgment amount. Please speak to the appropriate court jurisdiction to confirm.
Court Actions That May Help You Recover The Judgment Monies*
The party awarded judgment is known as the Judgment Creditor and the party who the judgment is against is known as the Judgment Debtor.
1) JUDGMENT DEBTOR EXAMINATION: The purpose of a Judgment Debtor's Examination is to obtain information about assets and other information relevant to the judgment debtor that may aid you in collecting the judgment.
You may file a PETITION IN SUPPORT OF SUPPLEMENTAL PROCEEDINGS with the clerk. There is a fee for issuing an Order for Supplemental Proceedings and you can determine this by contacting the appropriate court jurisdiction such as Justice Court or Superior Court. If your Petition is approved, the court will set a date and time for the judgment debtor or other named person to appear as ordered. You must also be present at the scheduled examination, unless you have obtained counsel to appear on your behalf. We are available to assist you in conducting this Judgment Debtor Exam. (please see below).
The Petition and Order for Appearance will need to be served on the judgment debtor or on a person who has information or documents concerning the assets of the judgment debtor. The Order must be served by an officer of the court (a licensed process server). The process server will charge a fee for the service. OBTAIN SERVICE OF PROCESS
The Order for Appearance must be served personally on the judgment debtor; substitute service will not suffice. Be sure to instruct the person serving the order to note on the affidavit of service the judgment debtor's physical description and date of birth. This may need to be included on a civil arrest warrant, should it be necessary to issue one for failure to appear.
At the debtor's examination the party to whom the order was issued will be placed under oath and then you, or your representative, will conduct the examination. You may ask the judgment debtor questions concerning his/her assets or property. You should be prepared to know what questions you plan to ask the judgment debtor. The judgment debtor is required to bring the documents and records specified by the order and to be prepared to answer your relevant questions concerning his/her assets or property. If the debtor fails to appear as ordered, after having been personally served, the court will issue a civil arrest warrant if one is requested.
If the judgment debtor fails to make a good faith effort to properly participate in the proceedings or otherwise fails to comply with the Court's order, you may file a Motion for Sanctions for Non-Compliance. The court clerk can provide you with a form or we can assist with this.
2) GARNISHMENT: Garnishment is a process that will enable you to gain access to monies owed to the judgment debtor by others.
There are two general types of garnishment proceedings:
1 ) Garnishment of earnings (wages the debtor is earning at a job).
2 ) Garnishment of non-earnings (i.e., deposits in a bank account).
You must let the clerk know the type of garnishment action you will be taking. The clerk will provide you with a garnishment packet containing required forms and more detailed information specific to the garnishment type. To initiate the garnishment proceedings you will have to know where the judgment debtor works, banks, or who may owe the judgment debtor money. A written demand is required prior to garnishment of an individual's wages. After filling out and filing the application, the court will issue the Writ of Garnishment. A process server must serve the writ. The party or business holding the money must file an answer to the garnishment with the court. After an answer has been filed you must then apply for an order for the judge to release any money being held to you. There is a fee for issuing a Writ of Garnishment. Additional costs will be incurred for service of the order. If you do not know a bank account number most banks will do a search for $25.00.
3) EXECUTION: A Writ of Execution allows the Constable to take non-exempt personal property of the judgment debtor and hold it for sale at a public auction for the purpose of satisfying the judgment. The clerk can provide you with a writ of execution form. There is a fee for issuing a writ of execution plus constable service fees and other constable fees incurred with execution of the writ. There are two kinds of writs of execution. A special writ tells the constable to execute on personal property that is specifically named or identified by the creditor. A general writ tells the constable to execute on any nonexempt personal property, at the constable's discretion, that the constable may find or locate at the address provided by the creditor.
After the writ of execution is signed by the Judge, it will be forwarded to the Constable of the precinct where the property to be attached is located. The Constable will go to the location noted on the Writ. If the Constable determines there is insufficient personal property to satisfy the judgment, the writ will be returned unsatisfied. The writ is returnable in 60 days (meaning the Constable has up to 60 days to execute the writ). You should contact the Constable's office serving the writ if you have specific questions as to how the execution will be made and to find out how much the constable service fee will be.
4) JUDGMENT LIENS ON REAL PROPERTY: To record the judgment as a lien on real property, you must file a transcript of the Justice Court judgment with the Superior Court and then record it with the County Recorder. It can affect the judgment debtor's real property currently owned or later acquired (except any real property exempt from execution). The judgment lien is active for five years from the date of the judgment. If you choose to follow this procedure you must obtain a certified copy of the judgment from the Justice Court. There is a fee for the certified copy. Take the certified copy to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court. You will file the certified copy with the Superior Court and pay a filing fee at that office. A Superior Court TJ (transcript of judgment) case number will be assigned. When the transcript is filed with Superior Court, the judgment will be deemed the judgment of the Superior Court, and will be will be carried into execution in the same manner and with like effect as a judgment of the Superior Court.
You must then take the Superior Court Transcript of Judgment to the County Recorder's Office in any county where you think the judgment debtor owns real property. You will have to pay a recording fee to record it. When the recording is completed, the judgment lien is in effect.
5) FOREIGN JUDGMENTS: If the property or assets of the judgment debtor are located in another State it will be necessary for you to lodge your judgment as a foreign judgment with that State to pursue collection proceedings in that State. You must obtain a certified copy of the judgment from the Justice Court. There is a fee for a certified copy. Take the certified copy to the Office of the Clerk of the Superior Court. You will pay a filing fee at that office and a TJ (Transcript of Judgment) case number will be assigned.
6) JUDGMENT LIENS ON DRIVER'S LICENSES: If the judgment is the result of damages from a motor vehicle accident, a lien can be put against a judgment debtor's driver's license if the judgment remains unpaid 60 days after the judgment is entered.
The lien will result in a suspension of the person's driver's license. You will have to request that the clerk of the Justice Court fill out a form certifying that the judgment is not satisfied and request a certified copy of the judgment. The clerk will send the clerk's certification and the certified copy of the judgment to the Motor Vehicle Department. There is no fee for the certified copy of the judgment or for the clerk's certification.
7) RENEWAL OF JUDGMENT: Your judgment is good for five years. As the financial status of the judgment debtor changes or you find out new information that will aid you in your collection attempts, you may actively pursue collection of your judgment for five years. If you have been unsuccessful in satisfying your judgment and the judgment is nearing five years in age, you may renew the judgment and continue collection proceedings for five more years. At anytime within 90 days prior to the expiration of the judgment you may file an Affidavit of Renewal with the court. You will be required to calculate the new judgment amount. The clerk will provide you with a worksheet and affidavit for calculating the present judgment amount. A renewed judgment can then be recorded with the County Recorder's office or reported to the Motor Vehicle Department in the same manner you followed with your original judgment. There is a fee for filing a Certificate of Renewal.
8) SATISFACTION OF JUDGMENT: After you collect the judgment, you must file a Satisfaction of Judgment form with the Justice Court. The clerk can provide you with the form. You must also mail a copy to the other party. If a transcript of the judgment has been filed with Superior Court, the satisfaction of judgment must also be filed in the office of the Clerk of Superior Court. If you have recorded your judgment in the County Recorder's office, you must also file a copy of the satisfaction of judgment in that office. If you have filed a clerk's certification of non judgment with the Motor Vehicle department, you must also file a copy of the satisfaction of judgment with that office.
It is up to you to decide which avenue of collection you will pursue and then prepare and file the appropriate court forms.
It is also your responsibility to find other information you may need about the debtor (such as social security number, identifying characteristics, address, and bank account information) as you pursue collection. We can assist you with locating this identifying information as well as locating assets and bank accounts.
In recovering your judgment, you may feel uncomfortable as it is an adversarial situation or you may not have the time or resources. Still you may wish to be done with it all and prefer to hand it off to someone to worry about for a while! We are available to assist where needed and you can view a list of our services below.
Information obtained whole or in part from: http://justicecourts.maricopa.gov/HowTo/Collect_Money_Judgment_packet.pdf
Our Judgment Recovery Services:
Asset Location: In pursuit of an active judgment, we are able to locate Credit Card Transactions, Statewide and Nationwide Bank Locates, Brokerage Account Locates, Employment and Insurance Carriers as well as identifying information for the debtors. Please contact us for a full list of services.
Basic Locator Report: We will use our state-of-the art database, available to law enforcement and investigative personnel, to locate your individual or business.
Comprehensive Report: Again using our state-of-the-art database, we will attempt to reveal Subject Information, Potential Subject Photos, Criminal History, Possible Employers, Address Details, Cities History, Counties History, Driver's License Information, Professional Affiliations, Professional Licenses, Bankruptcy Records, Liens, Judgments, Current Property Deeds, Past Property Deeds, Property Foreclosures, Property Assessments, Evictions, Current Vehicle Information, Past Vehicle Information, FL Accidents, US Business Affiliations, UCC Filings, US Corporate Affiliations, Aircraft Records, Pilot Licenses, Voter Registrations, Hunting Permits, Weapon Permits, Possible Relatives, Likely Associates, Possible Associates, & Neighbors' Phones
Prepare and File Petition and Notice/Order to Appear for Supplementary Proceedings (JDE): Commonly known as the Judgment Debtor(s) Exam Hearing, we will prepare and file the Petition and Order forms for you. Once the court date is assigned, we will obtain the original documents and forward them to you so that a Process Server can serve them on the Debtor(s)/Defendant(s). Note: You will have to have these served by a legal Process Server. We offer these services here.
PROCESS SERVER/Service of Order/Notice to Appear JDE, Service of Writ's of Garnishment: These must be served by a licensed Process Server. Please see our Process Server page to schedule and pay for these services as they vary by time, location and number of defendants.
Assist with Judgment Debtor's Exam Hearing: In this proceeding, it will more than likely be you with the defendant - without a judge or counsel. Again, because this is an adversarial proceeding, we are happy to help get your evidence for you and attend this hearing as a witness.
Prepare and File Writ of Garnishment (Earnings and Non-Earnings: We will prepare and file the Garnishment forms for you. Once the Writ's are approved, we will obtain the original documents and forward them to you so that a Process Server can serve them on the Debtor(s)/Defendant(s). Note: You will have to have these served by a legal Process Server. We offer these services here.
Prepare and File Writ of Execution: We will coordination the preparation and filing the Writ of Execution forms for you. Once the Writ is approved, you must obtain service from the Constable or the Sheriff's Office. Please contact us if you would like to have us add this to your preparation services.
Let us manage the judgment recovery process for you from start to finish!
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Private Investigator Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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