What You Should Know When Collecting Judgment in a Civil Case in New York

A judgment is a court order entered against a defendant after losing a civil case. If you sued a person for money and received a judgment against them, you have the legal right to start collecting the money before the judgment expires based on the statute of limitations. Money judgments in New York are enforceable for twenty years. A judgment can act as a lien on real property for ten years. But, this can be extended for an extra term when affirmative action is taken.

 When the judgment expires, you won’t be able to collect money. But, you can continue to collect money on a judgment after the expiration date when the judgment is renewed. Thus, you need to file a motion to renew a judgment before the expiration of the original judgment. Once renewed, the judgment will be extended for the same period as the original. 

The Amount You Can Collect

The amount you can collect is based on what is stated in the judgment. It includes the interest that accumulates during the time the debtor pays off the judgment. If you want to collect on a judgment in New York, you will know your legal options and rights by working with an experienced debt collection attorney. 

Ways to Collect What You are Owed

If the debtor has the money available immediately, you can collect it right then and file a satisfaction of judgment with the court clerk. But, if the debtor doesn’t have the money yet and you both agree at the trial, can you set up a payment schedule. If the debtor was not in the court when the judgment was awarded, the court will send a copy of the judgment to them in a small claims case. The order will request the debtor to pay you within 21 days or inform you or the court about their place of work or bank account location. Should the debtor fail to pay as ordered, you need to collect what you are owed by seizing their property or garnishing.

Property seizure is a court procedure that gives a court officer the authority to seize property that belongs to your debtor. The property can be sold of which proceeds can be used to pay your judgment. Meanwhile, garnishing is a legal procedure that lets you collect your judgment directly from the wages, bank accounts, and income tax refunds of the debtor.