I hired a handyman and gave him $ 5,000 up front.He left with the money and didn't do the work. I went to court ;he didn't show up and I won to no avail.I don't know how to collect since no lawyer wants to help.They're not interested in the amount even tough there was a 5% interest and all this happened about 8 years ago.Please help!
Let's imagine that the lawyer charges $150/hr to perform legal services. (That's cheap, by the way.) How many hours of work do you suppose it will take to collect this money (even assuming defendant has it)? Ten hours is $1500. Twenty hours, 2-1/2 days, is $3000. See how fast this adds up? To collect from a guy who took money from you and disappeared, and who didn't show up to court. (Let's call him Schmuck.) Think Schmuck cares about some lame-ass judgment or the ire of a judge? Think again. He's crafty. He knows not to put money in bank accounts where it can be attached by creditors. Surely you don't think you're Schmuck's only victim? Deadbeats like him have done this to hordes of others and all of them get judgments. A few of them are even watching for him to put money in the bank or to become someone's employee so they can garnish wages. But they are to be sorely disappointed. And in the event Schmuck gets tired of running and takes a job to keep the child support demons at bay, he has a magic talisman to stop creditors in their tracks: Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Even assuming these debts were incurred by fraud and are not dischargeable, Schmuck has further weapons in his arsenal: the isolated token payment.
The poor lawyer who pursues Schmuck on contingency could spend hundreds of frustrated hours chasing him without meaningful recovery. The lawyer whom the client pays hourly may quickly amass a bill that rivals the debt he's chasing, and that makes no sense. The first rule of litigation is, make sure the defendant has assets available to satisfy a judgment.
Not legal advice as I don't practice law in Florida. It's just my two cents on the facts you describe in light if the reality of chasing deadbeats. If you need legal advice, please consult a lawyer who holds Florida licensure. That's not me.
Truth be known that some judgments are simply not collectable and worthless, but you never know, circumstances of the debtor can change (lottery, inheritance, etc). If no attorney will take the case, perhaps information contained in this link http://www.miamidade.gov/csd/library/collecting_judgement_faq.pdf can help you do it yourself.
First, you have to know where the handyman is located. You can require him to fill out a financial statement. You can require him to appear at a deposition. This all costs money. You would need to lay out the costs to pursue the collection efforts.
Second, you have to have assets you know about or find out about in order to seek collection of your judgment against those assets. There is no easy way to find out these. You can seach motor vehicle records and boat records to see if the debtor owns any of these types of assets.
Third, did you pay by fhceck? if so where was your money deposited? If he has a bank account there still you can garnish that account.
Unfortunately, many of these judgements are valueless and essentially uncollectible.
The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. [email protected], 305 377 1505
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline