Obtaining a judgment is only the first step in recovering funds that are owed to you. While a judgment is a court order to make payment on a debt that is owed, the person who owes the funds will often disregard the judgment unless you force collection. When this occurs, your only option may be to hire an attorney who understands how to enforce a judgment.
Legal Options When a Judgment Has Been Issued
Once a judgment has been issued by the court, there is typically a deadline for the debtor to make good on the monies owed. Judgments in Nevada are enforceable for a period of six years and may be renewed. In California, they are valid for 10 years. If a debtor fails to pay the debt, in spite of the judgment, you have other legal options for collecting the debt. Creditors may seek additional relief through the courts by asking for:
- Real Property Liens – a lien may be placed on the debtor’s home and in the case where the home has sufficient equity you may be able to foreclose on the property. If the property does not have sufficient equity, you may leave the lien on the property in the event it is sold which would mean the judgment would be paid as part of the sale.
- Wage Garnishments – in some cases, the court may allow creditors to assess an employee’s wages to satisfy a judgment. There are typically limits on how much money may be removed from the wages; in both California and Nevada, this amount is 25 percent of wages after taxes. If there are other wage garnishments in place, the total amount of garnishments may not exceed 25 percent.
- Levies Against Assets – in some cases, we may be able to secure a lien or levy against other assets including stocks and bonds, life insurance policies and other assets. This may require an attorney who is familiar with collection techniques, as well as court policies about identifying assets and locating them.
If you have been awarded a judgment against a debtor and have been unsuccessful collecting on that judgment, contact Joel Selik, Attorney at Law, at 800-894-2889 for assistance. We have been successful in helping creditors with the process of collecting judgments throughout California and Nevada. In some cases, we will help you collect on judgments with no attorney fees until you collect, costs only basis.
This disclaimer required by Nevada law: “A suit brought solely to harass or to coerce a settlement may result in liability for malicious prosecution or abuse of process. In the event of a loss, the client may be liable for the opposing party’s attorney fees, and will be liable for the opposing party’s costs as required by law.”