I’m pleased to report that I just obtained a significant judgment for one of my clients against her former employers in a sexual harassment and wrongful termination case. However, the former employer is refusing to pay the judgment, without any reason, leaving me no choice but to aggressively enforce the judgment by bringing the awesome power of the court system down upon this recalcitrant debtor! This I do with great alacrity for my clients to make sure they get paid their damages!
Here’s how I go about collecting money for my clients from deadbeat defendant employers. . .
- I Locate the judgment debtor -In this case the judgment debtor is a business, so I have the address. I’ve written informally to the former employer’s attorney to determine at what bank or other place the judgment debtor has a checking or savings account, and what other real estate or personal property the judgment debtor may own.”
- Levy execution on the debtor’s wages – A wage garnishment orders the judgment debtor’s employer to periodically give the sheriff, who then will send me part of the judgment debtor’s wages until the debt is paid. To levy execution on (garnish) wages, I complete a Writ of Execution (Form EJ-130), which directs the sheriff to enforce my judgment.
- Levy execution on the debtor’s checking or other account (bank levy) – A bank levy means that money will be taken from the debtor’s bank, checking or savings account to pay the judgment. I get the name and branch address of the bank or other financial institution.
- Record an Abstract of Judgment – Recording an Abstract of Judgment (Form EJ-001) puts a lien on any land, house, or other building the debtor owns in the county where it is recorded. I obtain an Abstract of Judgment and record it with the county recorder in each county where the debtor owns or may own real property. If the property is sold with title insurance, the debt will be paid out of the proceeds of the sale..
- Have the sheriff do a “till tap” – This is my favorite If the debtor is a business with a cash register, the sheriff can go to the address of the business and take enough money out of the cash register to pay the judgment debt and the sheriff’s fee.
- Put a “keeper” in the debtor’s business – If the judgment debtor is a business, the sheriff will, for a fee, remain in the judgment debtor’s business establishment and take all the funds that come in until the judgment is paid. The keeper collect cash, checks, and bank credit card drafts.
- Conduct a judgment debtor’s examination – In an examination of a judgment debtor, the judgment debtor is ordered to appear in court to answer your questions about the existence, location, and amount or value of the judgment debtor’s salary, other income sources, bank accounts, tangible property, and anything else that could be used to generate proceeds to pay the judgment. If you wish, you can also subpoena the debtor’s bank books, property deeds, paycheck stubs, and similar documents and require the judgment debtor to bring them to the hearing. At the examination, you may have the judge order the judgment debtor to turn over any assets in the judgment debtor’s possession.
At the Law Offices of Daniel Feder, we don’t just get judgments. We make sure we do our best to get a judgment. And me do our best to make sure our clients are paid!