Ways to Collect From the Debtor

Collecting your judgment can be one of the most difficult parts of your small claims case. Remember, the court cannot collect the money for you. But the court can help you get the tools you need to collect your money. The different topics in this section give you information and instructions about what you can do to try to collect your money.

Before you start any of the collection methods, make sure the judgment is final. Read through the tips for collecting your judgment and about special rules for small claims cases. Also, keep in mind the small claims advisor can help you.

Once you are ready, click on each topic below for more information.

Get the Debtor to Pay You Voluntarily
The best possible situation is that the debtor pays you voluntarily so you avoid having to spend time and money trying to collect from the debtor. This section gives you tools and suggestions to help you encourage the debtor to pay you voluntarily.

Get Information About the Debtor's Assets
If the debtor will not pay you on his or her own, this section helps you find out what types of assets (property) the debtor has that may be used to pay the judgment.

Collect From the Debtor's Property
Once you know where the debtor works, where he or she has bank accounts, whether he or she owns a house or other property, you can get help from the court to collect from these sources. This section gives you information and instructions to garnish the debtor's wages, put a lien on the debtor's bank account or house, and other things you can do to collect the money you are owed.

More Ways to Collect
This section helps you find more ways to collect your judgment, like getting money from the debtor's business or having the debtor's professional license or driver's license suspended.