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I Got My Judgement, Now How Do I Get Paid?

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Information on how to get paid after receiving your judgement.

Information on how to get paid after receiving your judgement.

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  • 1. I Got My Judgment! (Now how do I get paid?) August 6, 2009 Brenda Terreault NACM Oregon
  • 2. Extent and effect of small claims judgment
    • Prevailing party may be entitled to small claims filing fees and service expenses paid
    • Possible setoff allowed to debtor not to exceed amount of plaintiff’s claim
    • Generally small claims judgment is conclusive - no appeal – except for defaults
    • Small Claims Judgment treated as Circuit Court judgment
  • 3. In (or right after) Court
    • If the debtor was in court with you
      • Ask in front of the judge for payment
      • Ask in front of the judge to speak with the debtor
  • 4. Demand Letter
    • Receive notice of Entry of Judgment
    • Send a written demand for payment
      • Must be served by certified mail, return receipt requested.
      • Keep copy of letter and signed receipt card
    • Simply state that you are making a demand for payment within 10 days and give the debtor the total balance due
  • 5. Arrangements with Debtor
    • Offer to settle this with debtor for a lesser amount
      • Why?
  • 6. How to collect after Judgment
    • Execution alternatives may be available if
      • Judgment is not paid immediately
      • Judgment is not paid within the time requested by judgment creditor
  • 7. Asset research
    • What are you looking for and how do you find it?
      • Lots of free search engines out there
      • Credit reports and other fee-based searches
  • 8. Real Property Liens
    • Positives – Can’t sell the property without you knowing
    • Negatives – in this economy, property is upside down. Lien may disappear, but judgment remains
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Knowing where the property is located
      • Being too far down the “list”
      • Cost of foreclosure v benefit of foreclosure
      • Renewing judgment and lien
  • 9. Lien effect of small claims judgments
    • Generally, if award is less than $10, without costs, no judgment lien
    • If award between $10 and a specific statutory amount, without costs, judgment creditor may create a judgment lien
    • If award is more than a specific statutory amount and meets other legal requirements, court clerk shall enter judgment into circuit court register which creates a judgment lien
    • Creditor can then also create a lien in other counties
  • 10. Transcription of Judgment:
    • Attach debtor’s real property
      • Judgment under $3,000 must be transcribed to the judgment docket of the Circuit Court.
        • File a request in writing with the court in the second county
        • Fee to have judgment transcribed
  • 11. Transcription of Judgment:
    • Attach debtor’s real property in another county
      • Judgment entered and docketed in any county
        • File a request in writing with the court in the second county ORS 18.152.
        • Fee to have judgment transcribed
    • Attach Debtor’s property in another state
      • Domesticate the judgment in the other state
  • 12. Personal Property Liens
    • Positives – Everyone has personal property
    • Negatives – Notice to general public
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Finding enough attachable personal property of value to cover the judgment and costs
      • Foreclosing on personal property
      • Bona fide purchasers for fair value
  • 13. Wage Garnishments
    • Positives – Can get a stream of payments over 90 days
    • Negatives – State’s disposable income calculation
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Knowing debtor’s workplace
      • Debtor’s unemployment
      • Working under the table
      • Government agencies garnishing first
  • 14. Bank Garnishments
    • Positives – Garnish the whole thing
    • Negatives – Writ good for only one attempt, and not good against exempt funds
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Knowing which bank and branch
      • Exemptions and hearings
  • 15. Writ of Garnishment (if you know defendant’s bank or job)
    • Issued by the court or an attorney.
      • Forms - Writ of Garnishment, Debt Calculation, Garnishment Response, Challenge to Garnishment.
        • Fill in, sign and submit it to the court with appropriate fee
        • Clerk reviews, signs and stamps the writ with court seal
          • Two weeks - large number of garnishments processed.
          • If self addressed, stamped envelope is provided, clerk will return garnishment to you by mail.
        • There is a fee for each writ issued.
  • 16. Writ of Garnishment (if you know defendant’s bank or job)
    • If the Washington County Sheriff or a process server will be serving garnishment
      • Original pages plus 3 copies of the Writ of Garnishment form only.
      • Additional fees to Sheriff's Department for service
      • If garnishing a bank account, bank will also charge an additional fee.
  • 17. Debtor exams
    • Positives – Ask the questions
    • Negatives - Lies
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Get little in return
      • Debtor may not show up
      • Court may not care
  • 18. Debtor Exams
    • When you don’t know where:
      • Debtor(s) assets are located
      • Where Debtor works
      • Where Debtor banks
  • 19. Debtor Exams
    • Question the debtor about assets
      • NOT in front of a judge
      • File Motion and Order, attach copy of demand letter and receipt card
        • Demand letter returned as undeliverable - DON’T OPEN IT
        • Attach it to the motion
      • Submit to a judge for signature
      • Serve on debtor
      • File Proof of Service with the court
  • 20. Debtor exams
    • Lies
      • Not under oath or before a judge
      • Don’t ask if you don’t know the answer
    • Debtor fails to appear
      • Court may give debtor additional opportunities to appear.
      • Court may issue a bench warrant
        • Last thing on Sheriff’s “to do” list
  • 21. Motion to Show Cause
    • Positives – Subpoena power, before a judge
    • Negatives – Expense and time, getting the court to do them
    • Pitfalls
      • Expense
      • Very tricky
      • Courts hate these
  • 22. Getting help from the Courthouse
    • Why courthouse employees aren’t going to help much
    • 2007 Multnomah County Court 423,800 cases
    • # of cases Judicial time % of caseload
    • Parking 227,400 2% 53%
    • Criminal 144,400 43% 34%
    • Family 8,500 29% 2%
    • Civil 40,400 26% 9%
  • 23. Show Cause (if defendant fails to appear for debtor exam)
    • Before filing for a show cause
      • RESEARCH WHAT THIS PROCESS CAN DO FOR YOU
      • Make sure you know the proper steps
      • Court clerks are unable to assist and WILL NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS.
    • Show Cause will bring defendant before a judge to answer questions regarding their assets.
  • 24. Show Cause (if defendant fails to appear for debtor exam)
    • Typical steps:
      • File Motion For Order to Show Cause, Affidavit For Issuance of Order to Show Cause and an Order to Show Cause
      • Contact the Court Calendaring Office and request a hearing date prior to filing Motion
      • Put that date in order and file paperwork with the Court Court clerk will submit the forms to a judge for signature
      • Once this paperwork is signed, have the paperwork served on debtor personally
      • File Proof of service with the court immediately in order to proceed with the show cause hearing date
  • 25. Check for individual state’s remedies For instance
  • 26. Oregon DMV License Suspension
    • Damages arise from motor vehicle accident
    • Debtor doesn’t satisfy within 60 days of entry of judgment
    • Creditor requests in writing that court send a certificate to Driver and Motor Vehicles Services (DMV) stating such.
      • Must include Debtor’s drivers license number
    • DMV suspends debtor’s license to drive until court notifies that the judgment is paid.
  • 27. Satisfactions
    • A form filed by judgment creditor
      • Acknowledges debt has been paid
      • Available at court or legal stationery stores
      • Notarized document. A court clerk can notarize the signature of a creditor if shown proof of identification.
  • 28. Satisfactions
    • A judgment debtor may have difficulty getting a judgment satisfied by a creditor for various reasons.
      • Judge’s order to satisfy the judgment
      • No court fee to file a satisfaction.
  • 29. Questions? [email_address]