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Objective information on small claims judgement collection

Small Claims Tips from CollectYourJudgment.org

Tip of the Week — September 27, 2010

If you have been awarded a judgment, waited the 30 days required, sent a demand letter giving the debtor a time limit for paying his/her debt; what should you do if you still have no money? You know that the court can do little, but before you take steps to garnish wages or bank accounts, consider suggesting negotiation or mediation if the debtor gives any impression that they want to settle the matter.

Tip of the Week — September 19, 2010

Debtor’s interrogatories require information before the court on all real estate owned, all bank accounts, both checking and savings; information about businesses if self employed; when utilities and rent are paid; the amount of your deposits and when they must be paid to you; and whether you are expecting a tax refund or an inheritance in the near future. Only under narrow circumstances may the debtor be excused and file an affidavit and written interrogatories instead.

Tip of the Week — September 12, 2010

Remember, there are two kinds of debtors; those who are “judgment proof” and those who are very good at hiding their assets. If one is “judgment proof,” he/she does not have the money, assets, or property to pay the judgment. The others are fair game. So you want to do your homework and use effective procedures in your collection efforts from both kinds of debtors.

Tip of the Week — August 29, 2010

One thing to keep in mind as we proceed through these very difficult economic times is that debtor’s prisons are a thing of the past. However, people are still being jailed for owing a debt that they could afford but refused to pay, or for missing a court date that has been scheduled regarding a debt. Most of these arrests come at the hands of debt collectors that buy old debts. Most states do not allow this to happen, but there are a few that find it an acceptable practice, including Illinois and Indiana.

Tip of the Week — August 22, 2010

If the debtor files bankruptcy because their bills have become overwhelming, don’t give up hope. When he first files, all judgment actions must stop (called a stay) until the court determines whether the bankruptcy should be granted. This can take several months. If it is granted and your judgment is discharged you would lose; however if the bankruptcy is granted and your debt is not discharged, you can continue your collection efforts.

Tip of the Week — August 15, 2010

Before you head to small claims court, remember that mediation may be a good alternative to court. It is less time consuming and less expensive. Some courts require you to enter into mediation before you go in front of the judge. Mediation allows you to bring up other issues that may be poisoning your relationship and would not be considered relevant in court...and solving these issues may help you repair a relationship and collect your debt. Contact us for more information about mediation and how to find mediators in your area.

Tip of the Week — August 8, 2010

Because small claims cases and collecting your judgment (should you win) can be confusing and somewhat intimidating; check with your court for available clinics or training sessions offered by volunteer lawyers. Also contact your state’s Bar Association about classes. They may have a small attendance fee, but be sure to register and attend.

Tip of the Week — August 1, 2010

If it is personal property that you would like to seize from the debtor, be sure you do your homework. Find out what property is exempt from seizure in your state. Generally, no one else should have an interest in the property which includes liens on homes and cars; it should not be the primary residence; with some exceptions for luxury cars, it cannot be the debtor’s only form of transportation; and it cannot be money from either the Veteran’s Administration or Social Security.


 

Resources for
collecting your judgment

General Methods for Collecting Your Judgment

More judgement collection and judgment enforcement articles & resources

Article of the month

Bank Account Garnishment

What You Should Know
Before You File a Claim

Resolving Claims without Going to Court

Important Terms to Know

More pre-litigation articles and resources...

States—A Closer Look at Small Claims

This month’s focus: Michigan

All states

Document Samples

Collect Your Judgment Links

Small Claims Court Links to each State

Other Resources

Tip of the Week

September 27, 2010

If you have been awarded a judgment, waited the 30 days required, sent a demand letter giving the debtor a time limit for paying his/her debt; what should you do if you still have no money? You know that the court can do little, but before you take steps to garnish wages or bank accounts, consider suggesting negotiation or mediation if the debtor gives any impression that they want to settle the matter.

More tips...

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