How can I collect a court awarded judgement against a private party?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Seattle, WA

The small claims court judgement in the amount of $5,000 against the private party was for incomplete remodeling work paid in advance and the contractor failed to complete the work as agreed upon and refused to return the money.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Scott Kemble Wilson

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If the guy was a registered contractor you should have filed in superior court and named his contractor's bond company a defendant. Anyway, if the judgment is against a person rather than a business, which I assume is the case by your description of him being a private party, then following the instructions from the small claims division to get the judgment entered in District court after the defendant doesn't pay within 20? days. then get an transcript of judgment from District court and file it in the Superior court of the county where the guy lives. The superior court record of judgment might affect his credit etc, such that he offers you some money. Also if you paid him by check and he deposited the check ( he probably cashed it at your bank) then get a copy of your cancelled check as that will show where he banks and you can try a bank account garnishment. Note: I have a drawer full of unpaid judgments.

  2. Dorothy G Bunce


    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you know where the contractor banks, obtain a writ from the court and have it served on the bank. If you don't know where the contractor's assets are, ask the court to order a "debtor's examination" so that you can get the person to produce bank records & answer questions about where the property is located so you can have law enforcement seize it. Hope this perspective helps!

  3. Kevin Terry Steinacker

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . Note that WA law allows you to recover attorney's fees for having to collect on a small claims court judgment if it wasn't paid within 30 days. RCW 12.40.105.

    I am not your attorney. My response is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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