Unfortunately, obtaining a judgment against someone is not always the end of the story for the life of a lawsuit. Setting aside appellate issues, once a plaintiff obtains a judgment they have to take steps to enforce it – to collect. In today’s poor economic climate it is a necessary part of any Los Angeles Trial attorney’s practice to be able to actually take steps to collect on the judgment.
Here are 4 post-judgment collection steps to consider in California:
1. Record an Abstract of Judgment: An abstract of judgment is a lien that is recorded with the county recorder’s office. A judgment creditor can record an abstract of judgment in any county in California where the judgment creditor thinks the judgment debtor may have real property. This is fairly inexpensive way to place a lien on the debtor’s real property without even having to identify the specific real property. The lien attaches to any real property the debtor may have in the county where the abstract of judgment is recorded.
2. Do a Post-Judgment Asset Search: These searches are done by third-party. They can be as cheap as $200 but can also be quite expensive. Generally, the more you are willing to pay the more detailed information you will obtain. Often times a debtor’s financial picture may change during the time after they have been sued and before judgment. You may even discover a fraudulent transfer that needs to be set aside.
3. Schedule a Judgment Debtor Exam: These exams allow you to examine the debtor’s assets. This can be good, but often times the debtor is not truthful. These exams are useful for obtaining an overview of the debtor’s assets, like where the debtor banks.
4. Get a writ of execution: A writ of execution allows a judgment debtor to enforce their judgment. For example, this is the first step to being able to levy on a bank account (access a debtor’s bank account).
Schorr Law, APC, has extensive experience in judgment collection. Our attorneys have taken enforcement steps in California and internationally. For more information, contact us – www.schorr-law.com, 310-954-1877, firstname.lastname@example.org.