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Understanding a Post-Judgment Claim in the Collection Process

Unfortunately, winning a judgment in civil or small claims court on a debt owed does not mean that the defendant will automatically and immediately pay the funds due. In fact, despite the good news of winning a collection case, a plaintiff has only won “half the battle.” The actual financial recovery phase still needs to occur. This is especially true if a defendant who owes the judgment doesn’t want to be cooperative. Read on to learn more about the post-judgment claim process.

The Specifics of Post-Judgment Claim Collections

A  post-judgment claim involves legally and correctly exercising a number of tools to initiate payment recoveries. These tools, when put into effect, involve more familiar terms such as garnishments, liens, seizures, and property liquidations. However, to get the desired post-judgment claim recovery, the legal process often requires various forms of filings and paperwork. Ergo the term post-judgment claim.

In practice, liens, garnishments on paychecks, and property seizures have to be documented in court. This protects any agency or institution involved in the recovery from making a mistake with a seizure. For example, a bank could find itself in deep trouble if it made a mistake turning over one party’s bank balance to another. As a result, bank managers want to be sure that a post-claim judgment order actually applies to their business without an exception to the matter. This first requires a winning plaintiff to find and identify a defendant’s property. When the plaintiff obtains that information, then the plaintiff can initiate the action to force the defendant’s title on the property to be eliminated. Then the institution holding the asset can transfer the property to the plaintiff.

The Cost of Errors and Mistakes

Post-judgment claim filings can be extremely technical with local court rules. It is easy to make mistakes in the filing process. And those mistakes often allow a defendant to delay payments. Sometimes, the mistakes cause a plaintiff to have to refile a post-judgment claim all over again. These basic technicalities can include a defendant finding out early that a filing is being made. This gives a defendant time to move assets before they can be seized. In addition, finding errors in filing information invalidates the claim against the defendant, and not providing correct notice per civil procedure rules also creates a problem.

The best way to avoid post-judgment filing mistakes and to ensure post-judgment claims are processed efficiently is for the collecting party to  use an experienced collections attorney. An experienced attorney offers more than just basic knowledge of the legal collection process. He can also offer a way to navigate the differences of local court rules, which can vary quite a bit.

Post-Judgment Claim in Summary

An effective post-judgment claim and related filings make a legal recovery complete. A legal recovery brings back lost funds and allows a plaintiff to get on with business and life. As a result, using a qualified attorney in the effort only makes good business sense, especially when the financial recoveries involved are significant and sizable. Contact Howe & Associates today to get started on your debt collection.