what is the most economical way to collect on a default judgment? judgment was filed in az more than 6 months ago, but person now lives in nyc. they have real estate in az, but renting in nyc. i don't want to spend alot on lawyers fees to collect. please also advise on judgment recovery collection agencies.
Real Estate Attorney
Generally speaking this is just some information for creditors.
The key to successful collections is information about a “way to go” from the debtor. The debtor's income stream from wages or contracts needs to be legally intercepted before the debtor gets it, or after the debtor puts the money in the bank. From contractual writs, to bank writs and attachments, to wage garnishments and attachments are normal points in the income stream that may be intercepted, extreme points are forced sale of assets like a sheriff’s sale. Bear in mind that if the debtor is eligible for protection under bankruptcy law that is their “get out of jail free card” and can be played when eligible and you will have to pay back anything that you obtained from 90 days prior. An interesting issues is always the age of the account and fresher is better, when the debt hits the statute of limitations you are done.
Once you have a judgment and you can transcribe the judgment into the jurisdiction where the debtor lives or works you can collect.
If you have a judgment you can conduct supplemental proceedings or a debtor’s examination, or in the alternative, you can send interrogatories to the debtor.
If you suspect the debtor has transferred assets subsequent to your judgment and you can prove it, you have recourse under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act if the act was adopted by your state or the debtor’s state or where the assets are located.
You can turn your account over to licensed and bonded collection agency for about half of the proceeds or hire a collection lawyer to work the account for a time or a percentage.
I do not practice in your state and you should talk with agencies and lawyers in the debtor’s area.
Good Luck and follow the FDPCA http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre27.pdf
Wills and Living Wills Lawyer
The most economical way to collect would be to record the judgment. Only a Superior Court judgment can be recorded. You need to "register" it with the Superior Court if it is a judgment in Justice Court.
The judgment needs to be renewed every several years.
When the real property is sold, the judgment will come up and you should get reimbursed.
Unfortunately, collection is an area that is highly technical and usually requires assistance from an attorney. You could try going to the Maricopa County Law Library to see if they have any manuals or resources regarding collection.
However, if the defendant lives in New York, you will need to domesticate the judgment in New York and use New York's procedures to try to garnish wages or take other actions.
Legal Disclaimer: I am not your attorney. The only method of establishing an attorney--client relationship with me is by a retainer and fee agreement signed by me, which is not offered via this site. The information given is not legal advice and is for general information only. My answer is limited to the facts presented and may not be complete or applicable to your situation. My answer is given upon the condition that you will contact an attorney licensed in your state to receive legal advice that applies to your particular situation.