I won my case against a Defendant in Wash DC. He hides under the radar (multiple "official" addresses") but I know he owns multiple properties, AND I know where he banks. How can I make sure the Credit Agencies are aware of the Judgment, and how do I next get liens against his properties, if possible?
Congratulations on winning your case and obtaining a judgment. Now for the bad news, that was the easy part. Collecting a judgment, especially from a defendant who is knowledgable about hiding assets from creditors can be a difficult process.
You may wish to consult and retain an experienced creditor's attorney, make sure that are skilled a locating assets and collecting from difficult debtors. After assets are found, your an garnish wages, garnish bank accounts, levy on personal property and possibly on real property.
You can find highly rated creditors attorneys using the Find a Lawyer tool on Avvo's website. Please let me know if this answer was helpful or the best answer
You go to the superior court and get the forms for garnishment if property. You issue one for the bank where he has a known account. You do not need his account number, but the account needs to be in the name you have the judgment against. If he is married, and it is a joint account, and he's a DC resident, it is deemed to be held as "tenants by the entireties" and may not be attachable, but you should file anyway. You do not notify him before you serve the bank. You will need to call the bank and ask who needs to be served process therefor a writ of garnishment or attachment on an account holder there. You put all that info on the writ. As for the debtor's real property, you can look up all property held in his name in DC at the land records department. A judgment lien should automatically attach upon entry of your judgment, but check that with land records. How he holds title is of critical importance. If property is titled in his sole name, it's easy, the judgment attaches. If he co-owns the property, then it depends. Again, any property he co-owns with his wife asTenants by the Entireties cannot be attached and sold. If he owns it as Tenants in Common with anyone, the judgment should automatically attach to his percentage interest in it. If he owns as Joint Tenants with Right if Survivorship, a judgment does not automatically attach. You will need to issue a writ of attachment against the property to be served and posted on the property by the Marshall, which will sever the unities of the joint tenancy and convert the ownership to tenants in common. If the property is located outside the District, then you will need to obtain a Triple Seal copy of your judgment and record it in the court of the jurisdiction in which the property is located. Obviously, a lawyer can help. There are other methods of collecting a judgment in addition to the above.
In this District of Columbia a judgment in the Superior Court does not automatically create a lien on real property. For such a lien to be created you need to file your judgment with D.C.'s Recorder of Deeds. You can file with the Recorder of Deeds for a nominal fee and you should definitely do so. You should contact the Recorder of Deeds, http://otr.cfo.dc.gov/service/otr-recorder-deeds, for guidance on the procedure for recording, but it is not difficult. The lien should make it effectively impossible for the person you have the judgment against to sell real property in the District of Columbia in his name.
Of course, merely registering with the Recorder of Deeds does not get you your money. Given the amount of your judgment it may make sense to hire an attorney knowledgeable about District of Columbia debt collection law to collect on it. An attorney may be willing to represent you on a contingency fee basis.
Please note that I am only licensed in Virginia and Washington, DC. Each situation is different and I do not know all the facts about your situation. Consequently, I cannot give you specific legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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