Enforcement of Judgment – How to Locate a Judgment Debtor’s Assets

Courthouse

In a previous post, we discussed how a writ of execution order could help a judgment creditor collect a judgment.  In particular, we mentioned how a judgment creditor could levy a judgment debtor’s bank account to satisfy a debt owed.

In order to effectuate a writ of execution successfully, the judgment creditor must know the specific assets they seek to seize from the judgment debtor.   Judgment creditors can use court orders such as an Order to Appear for Examination, to gather information about the judgment debtor’s assets.

Order of Examination

If a judgment creditor does not have information about the judgment debtor’s assets, the judgment creditor can request a hearing referred to as an Order to Appear for Examination (OEX).

 

An OEX hearing allows the judgment creditor to ask the judgment debtor specific questions pertaining to their assets, spouse’s assets, bank accounts, and property.  The judgment debtor must respond to the inquiries regarding their assets under oath.  Here is a list of sample questions to ask a judgment debtor.

The judgment creditor may also request a subpoena of documents against the judgment debtor for the OEX hearing.   The documents subpoenaed may relate to bank account statements, deeds to real estate, and payroll receipts.   The subpoena of documents is a great tool to use to find information about the judgment debtor’s assets.

If the judgment debtor fails to appear for the hearing, the judgment creditor can request the judge to issue a bench warrant against the judgment debtor.

Do Not Use Illegal Means to Collect a Judgment

Judgment creditors should use the court system to help enforce a judgment. Judgment creditors should try to encourage the judgment debtor to pay voluntarily.  It is not wise to harass, make misleading statements, or threaten to hurt the judgment debtor in the process of collecting a judgment.

The judgment creditor can write the judgment debtor a letter suggesting that it is in their best financial interest to pay immediately.  Judgment creditors can also suggest the possibility of flexible payment terms in the letter.  Check out this sample letter.

Judgment creditors should consult with an attorney for legal advice before sending a judgment debtor a letter demanding collection of the debt owed, or requesting an OEX hearing.

Direct Legal Support, Inc. provides full judgment collection services ranging from writs of attachment, writs of execution, and earnings withholding orders under the Enforcement of Judgments Act of 1983.  We serve both state and federal writs.  We can prepare all required levy documents needed in order to effect proper service of levy.  Feel free to connect with us to discuss any questions regarding the collection of judgments.

Sources:

Superior Court of California - County of San Diego

Writ of Execution, Levy & the Implication from a Judgment Creditor

The Judicial Branch of California

 

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