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How Do i Collect on a Judgment?

How Do i Collect on a Judgment?

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Published by: api-26177744 on Mar 13, 2010
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Winning a Judgment
may be only
half the battle
collecting it,
the other half.
When you win a Judgment in City Court, the Court sends a
 Notice of Judgment 
to the parties. The losing party, the Debtor, has thirty (30) days to pay the Judgment. Thewinning party, the Creditor, should first contact the losing party, the Debtor, toattempt to collect the judgement. If the Debtor fails to pay, the winning party, theCreditor, may take steps to collect or execute the Judgment including:
In some instances, you may not be able to collect on a judgement. These include if a judgement debtor has filed for bankruptcyor if the judgement debtor hasfiled an appeal and has stayed the judgement.
An execution issued out of a City Court may be levied against, that is, used to seize,only personal property of the Judgment Debtor 
(UCCA Section 1504)
. Theenforcement officer of City Court is the County Sheriff 
(UCCA Section 105[b]).
Before the County Sheriff can seize personal property or assets of the Debtor, theCreditor must first identify the property to be seized. To learn the Debtor's assets, aCreditor may request an
from the City Court for afee.An 
is a legal document that directs the Debtor toanswer certain questions regarding the existence and location of assets as well asemployment and wage information. (Although usually served on the JudgmentDebtor, an Information Subpoena may be served on another person or corporation,such as a bank, that has knowledge regarding the Debtor's assets.)
Upon the filing of a request for an Information Subpoena and payment of thefilingfee, the City Court Clerk will provide you with the Subpoena, which consists of twosets of Questions and a cover letter. You must mail the cover letter, both sets of Questions, and a prepaid, addressed return envelope to the individual or institution
 being asked to answer the questions. It is recommended that you mail the forms bycertified mail, return receipt requested, so that you can provide proof of mailing to theCourt in the event that the completed Questions are not returned to you. Theindividual or institution directed to answer the questions must do so within seven (7)days of receipt.
If you do not receive a response to the Information Subpoena, you may commence acontempt proceeding against the individual who failed to answer the Subpoena. ACreditor may commence a contempt proceeding by filing the proof of service (for example: the certified mail receipt) of the Information Subpoena with the Court. TheCourt will then schedule a date for the other party to provide the InformationSubpoena to the Court, or appear in Court to explain why the information has not been provided. If that party fails to appear on the date set, the Court will issue a ContemptOrder and the person shall be in contempt of court until they provide the informationdemanded.
Once a Creditor receives the Information Subpoena or if the Creditor is already awareof the personal property of the Debtor, the Creditor may proceed with the execution of the Judgment. The levy on, or seizure of, a Judgment Debtor's personal property bythe use of a property execution is the most common method for enforcing a money judgment. Before proceeding to the enforcement officer, the Sheriff, to execute the judgement, the Creditor must file aTranscript of Judgementwith the County Clerk (
UCCA 1505)
(see below). After filing theTranscript of Judgementwith the County Clerk, the Creditor must provide the enforcement officer, the Sheriff, with instructionsidentifying the property and its location, as well as the names and addresses of other  people who must be served with the notice that the property is being seized. Thecompleted Information Subpoenawill provide some, but not necessarily all, of this information to the Creditor. Once assets are identified, the enforcement officer canseize assets and sell them at an execution sale, applying the proceeds to the Judgment.However, the Sheriff cannot seize all property belonging to the Debtor. Certain property is exempt from seizure under New York law
(Civil Practice Law & Rule[CPLR] Section 5205).
(Requesting aTranscript of Judgement)
As indicated above, a Judgment from City Court may be levied only against personal property of the Judgment Debtor. By obtaining a
for afee (payable by cash or money order only) from the City Court and then filing or  docketing that Transcript in the County Clerk's office (for an additional fee), aCreditor creates a lien against any real property, that is, real estate, the Debtor owns inthe county. If the Debtor should move or if the Debtor owns real property in another county, the Creditor may obtain a Transcript of the Judgment from the County Clerk'soffice and file it in another county within New York State. Once a Transcript is filedwith the County Clerk, there is a public record of the Judgment against the Debtor 

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