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Ask an Attorney: Collections

I got a judgment against someone. How do I collect it?

If you are forced to sue someone for money someone owes you, getting your judgment is just the first step in the process.  The judgment is just a piece of paper.  You then have to collect the money the judgment gives you the right to collect.  The law allows a number of different avenues to help you collect on your judgment.  First of all, you are allowed the opportunity to ask questions of the debtor, either face-to-face in court or in writing, to determine what assets they own.  In many instances, you are allowed to attach his or her bank account and force the bank to turn over funds belonging to the debtor.  In many instances, you are allowed to attach his or her wages and force the employer to withhold a portion of pay to the debtor and turn it over to you.  You are also, in some instances, allowed to seize personal or real property of the debtor and sell it to satisfy your judgment.  There are other, more complex ways to recover your money, but these are some of the most common.

All of these avenues involve the legal process and legal filings.  Further, debtors have certain rights and protections that must be honored, and certain exemptions against collection.  You can get into legal trouble for violating these rights and exemption.  All of this may seem complicated and time-consuming (and it can be), but before you resort to the baseball bat, come talk to one of our Annapolis Attorneys and see what your options are.