Enforcement of Judgments

Legal Compliance Resource
October 21, 2013 — 1,247 views  

Getting a judgment means that the court has ruled in favor of the creditor in a civil liability case. This means that, in a civil liability case, the court has decided that one party owes money to the other, in this case a debtor (person that owes the debt) and a creditor (person that is owed). The judgment of the court is not self-enforcing, which means that the debtor must wait on the creditor and can ask for the aide of the court to enforce the judgment. In some cases, the debtor will be able to pay the whole amount that is owed in full, while other cases require a collection of assets. Judgments have a negative connotation when it comes to the debtor trying to take a loan from a bank. The bank will want the unsatisfied judgment to be cleared before money is to be lent. The different enforcement techniques include finding the assets of the debtor, linking the attachment as the lien on the assets and selling or liquidating the assets for cash in order to settle the judgment.

What is a Lien?

There are three different types of liens – consensual, judicial, or statutory. Civil liability judgments are called 'floating liens' and it requires the creditor to ensure that the judgment lien is attached to the specific property owned by the debtor. After the lien is attached to the property, the process works on the line of a consensual lien. In order for this to be effective, the creditor must ensure that he/she knows the location of the debtor's assets and the court will aide the creditor by attaching the judgment lien to the asset.

Location of Assets

In order for any judgment to be effective, the creditor must identify and locate the assets of the debtors. This is the most important part in attaining a successful enforcement of judgment. Creditors that are successful ensure that they have the asset information of the debtor as a part of their credit filing during their business dealing. Banks are the most successful business when it comes to collection of assets. This is because they collect a lot of information beforehand when they are lending out money. In the same way, the creditor must collect as much information of the debtor if the collection of assets is to be successful. One of the ways that creditors can collect information about their debtor's assets is to hire a private investigator to perform the service. Such investigators require an hourly fee for their services.

Attaching Lien to Personal Property

The creditor has the right to attach the lien to the personal property of the debtor. These types of property include bank accounts, vehicles, bonds, and stocks. For this to be executed properly, the creditor must get a 'Writ of Execution' (Writ of Fiera Facias). The write of execution is created by the court and as such, it can order the head of police to execute the judgment on the property of debtor.

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