If you win the case and the judge issues a judgment in your favor, you can start collecting your judgment right away as long as:
The court will not collect the money for you. But the court will issue the orders and other documents required to force the debtor (the party who owes you money) to pay. Keep in mind that not all judgments are collectable because the debtor may not have any income or property of value.
There are some initial steps you can take:
Note: Judgments expire (run out) every 10 years. To avoid this, learn how to renew your judgment.
Do not use illegal ways to collect your money. The debtor may be protected from abusive or unfair ways to collect the debt. And generally, it is not a good idea for you to use unfair or deceitful tactics to get the money the debtor owes you. In your efforts to collect the debt, you should NOT:
- Lie or make misleading statements to collect a debt;
- Harass the debtor;
- Ask another person for more than basic information about where the debtor is;
- Tell the debtor’s employer or other people that the debtor owes you money (except when you get an earnings withholding order from the court); or
- Get in touch with the debtor before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. or at any time or place that is not convenient.