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How do i collect on judgement from debtor when his only income is Disability

Los Angeles, CA |

Small clams case in California wherein I prevailed and I know about the forms & time frames however debtor income is SSI. the fact that I won the case is great. Even though my chances of collecting money are slim to none, will the collection still show up and/or remain on the debtors record ? if so how does the judgement affect the debtors future ?

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Attorney answers 4


Another on this website is fond of saying "winning the judgment is the easy part, collecting it is hard" (or something to that affect."

The judgment is a public record and will be reported on this credit report for at least 7 years. However, credit rebuilds overtime notwithstanding the judgment. So long term, the judgment is essentially meaningless. Also, if the person is only receiving social security disability, what "future" do you expect this person to have.

You could try selling your judgment to a debt buyer.


You wrote, "How do i collect on judgement from debtor when his only income is Disability?"

A: The debtor is judgment proof as to income garnishment.
The judgment debtor might have other assets subject to levy or garnishment.


You won't be able to garnish wages or levy on the bank account if the source is SSI.

To enhance the chance that your small claims judgment will show up on public records, I suggest you file a personal property lien (JP1) with the California Secretary of State. It only costs $10 and is often very effective in ensuring your judgment becomes public record.

For information and the link to the form, see:

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.


sounds like the judgment debtor may be judgment proof. If they own a property you can record an abstract and let it sit there until they sell or refinance.

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