How do you get someone to pay you after youhave been awarded a judgment?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do you get someone to pay you after youhave been awarded a judgment?

Went to small claims and won.  The person doesn’t own anything but works a good job. Its there intention not to pay the judgement. They think that nothing will happen to them if they don’t pay it.

Asked on February 2, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Since you have a judgment against this person, you are now a "judgement creditor" and the person against whom you have the judgment is your "judgment debtor".  As such, you may obtain what is known as a "garnishment" against their wages (since they don't have any other assets).  A continuing writ of garnishment will order their employer to deduct money from their wages until they have paid off the judgment.

However, FL has some very strict laws on this.  Wages of the "head of a family" are exempt from garnishment unless their net wages are more than $500 per week and the person has agreed in writing to allow wages to be taken to pay the debt.   A head of family includes people who provide more than 1/2 of the support for a child or other dependent. Wages in a bank account that belong to a head of family retain their protection from being seized for 6 months even if the wages are mixed with money from other sources. If a head of family had not agreed in writing to allow the garnishment of wages, all wages are exempt.  Note:  The debtor must file an affidavit with the court in order to be granted head of family status and protect their wages.

Additionally, people who do not qualify as head of family are still protected under of federal law which limits the amount of wages that can be garnished. So if your debtor takes home less than 30 times the minimum wage per week, their wages are exempt.  However, if they aren't exempt, as a judgment creditor you can obtain 25% of their net wages until the judgment is paid in full.

Since this can all get confusing, either contact an attorney to explain this to you or see if the court where you were granted the judgment has some self-help information available to the public.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption