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I won a small claims settlement against landlord, but she didn't pay. i dont know her bank account; what can i do to retrieve $?

Schenectady, NY |

here's the situation: i won a small claims settlement in schenectady, ny, against deadbeat ex-landlords for $360.00, but they haven't paid yet, and it's been the mandatory month period.

i dont have their bank accounts, but i was told if you know where they work that's enough to get the sheriff's office to force the judgement. is that true? also would knowing that they're simply "landlords" suffice as proof of income/job, or do I sadly need the specifics of their bank accounts?

is there ANYTHING i can do other than screwing with their credit? I REALLY need to get this money from them, not just financially, but to get justice as well, given all the crazy stress I've had to go through b/c of them.

i tried calling Legal Aid in my area but for some crazy reason they refused to answer me.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Perhaps legal aid has more weighty matters to consider, but you can visit a law library or even the court (ONLY to see if there are forms), and search out the topic of debtor's deposiiton or collection deposition. What you are doing is demanding limited discovery to find assets, like accounts. A local attorney can assist, but that may cost more than the debt. Search also as to enforcing a judgment. A judgment means that the person owes, and that may already affect credit.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

  2. You can serve an information subpoena on the defendant.
    You can give the matter to the Serfiff.
    Did you ever pay by check? If so, the bank info would be on the cancelled check.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  3. Give the judgment to the sheriff and tell the sheriff what building they own.

    If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -

  4. You can docket the judgment against their property and it would be a lien. Ifmthey try to sell it , then it would need to be satisfied. Legal aid does not handle civil judgment cases. If you know other tenants in the building , then try to find what bank has their security deposit, probably the landlord has an account there.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or

  5. My colleagues all correctly point out that you have a number of options available to enforce your judgment, from restraining bank accounts to liens against real property, among others. These remedies have up-front expense involved, which can be significant relative to the amount owed. Did you already send a letter by regular and certified mail to this landlord asking for payment? Try asking the landlord to pay voluntarily before you take any other steps.

    This communication is intended only to provide general information. No attorney-client relationship is created.

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