How to Enforce Money Judgments

AdobeStock_368546040-300x200Litigation is a reality in the life of a business owner. Most business owners will, at some point, have to engage in litigation in order to protect their legal rights. Litigation can result in a monetary judgment that is enforceable by court order. A judgment is the first step to collecting what is owed.  Unfortunately, many defendants are either unable or unwilling to pay.  Luckily,  there are many ways in which a business lawyer can enforce money judgments through the legal system. Here are some of the legal tools at a creditor’s disposal that can help collect money owed pursuant to a lawful court order:

Writs of Execution

A writ of execution is a court order to the local sheriff that directs his (or her) deputies to seize a debtor’s assets in order to satisfy an existing money judgment. For example: if your company has a judgment against another company, you can ask the court to issue a writ of execution against the debtor company’s business accounts in the amount of your judgment.

Garnishment

Many business owners are familiar with the concept of garnishing wages. If your debtor  is an individual, it is possible to get a court order to garnish wages. It is also possible to garnish business income for debts owed by the business. It is important to ensure that the debtor is the same entity as the account holder. If, for example, you have a judgment against an LLC, you usually cannot garnish a personal account – even if the individual is the sole member of the LLC. Your business lawyer will advise you on the best way to garnish the business assets of a debtor that is a business entity.

Debtor’s Exam

A debtor’s exam is similar to a deposition. Once a plaintiff has obtained a money judgment, there is a legal right to conduct this oral examination of the defendant while the debt remains unpaid. The debtor must answer questions under oath about his or her finances. The purpose of this examination is to provide the creditor with information about the debtor’s assets. If, for example, your attorney learns about an underperforming or a frozen asset, this is helpful information. You might be able to seize the underperforming asset and make it profitable enough to satisfy your debt. You could ask the court to liquidate the frozen asset. These are just some of the many possibilities that can arise from a debtor’s exam.

Experienced, Aggressive California Business Lawyers to Help Collect Your Company’s Debts

Don’t leave your company’s judgment unpaid. The longer they sit, the less valuable they are because you are less likely to collect the debt. Contact Structure Law Group at (408) 441-7500 or  contact us online to schedule a consultation. Our experienced attorneys know how to use all legal tools to enforce creditors’ rights.

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