Collecting on a Judgement Filed at the District Justice
Attorney Brian Zellner discusses the options available to collect money owed to you after judgment has been given in your favor. For your convenience, the transcription for the video is included below.
Collecting on Judgements that Have Been Entered at a District Justice
“Hi, my name is Brian Zellner. I’m an attorney here at Hynum Law - my practice is mostly in collections. I’m going to talk with you today about collecting on judgements that you may have gotten that had been entered at a district justice.
Receiving a Judgement In Your Favor
If you receive a judgement in your favor, and the 30 day time period for appeal has expired, you can ask the district justice if the service is available to file what’s called a Writ of Execution in an attempt to collect the monies that you’re owed.
Involving the Constable
The district justice will send out the constable to the person’s residence and tag items of personal property to sell. Some district justices do not have that option available. If that isn’t possible in your jurisdiction, then you would have to get the judgement certified and filed in the court of common pleas where the defendant resides.
Methods to Collect on the Judgment Amount
At that point there are several options available to try to collect on the judgement. Once the judgement is filed, you can send them written questions, called interrogatories, in aid of execution. Those questions ask about a person’s assets and liabilities to try to find out what they have: if they have anything of value, that you could possibly garnish, or execute on, to collect the judgement.
The other option is to file what’s called a Writ of Execution. For most judgments you can execute on personal property that’s entitled in that person’s name, a bank account that is in that person’s name, or real estate which is in their name. The personal property Writ of Execution; the sheriff serves it would gather together items that the person owns and list them for a sheriff sale.
Payment Options Available to Debtors
At that point, this matter can still be settled. Debtors are welcome to enter into payment arrangements or pay the judgement in full at that point. If you have bank account information for the person, you can garnish a bank account. And that would also be done through the sheriff’s office.
Real Estate Collection
The last option is execution on real estate. Generally that is the most expensive option - the sheriff requires a substantial deposit to pay for the advertising. And you would also need to have done a title a search to make sure that there are no other judgements, or liens, on the property which come before yours.