One of the greatest misconceptions is that when you obtain a judgment you get paid. Depending upon the circumstances and the nature of the litigation you may receive payment relatively quickly. Normally the enforcement of judgments in California takes some time and work. Yes, you were right, and you obtained a money judgment against the party that wronged you. Hopefully you can also recover attorney fees and cost plus accrue interest on the judgment while collection on the judgment proceeds. Unfortunately, you must now proceed with enforcement of the judgment.
Obtaining the judgment is of course a very important first step in the battle. This second step is to determine the collectability of the judgment and what is the best course of action. There are number different approaches that can be taken to make sure the most cost effective remedy is chosen. Is the judgment debtor an individual who owns property? Is the judgment debtor a corporation, limited liability company or an individual operating business as a sole proprietor? Does the judgment debtor own property? Where is the property located and is there any equity in the property a lien can attach to? Is the judgment against both an individual and a corporation or limited liability company?
Is the judgment debtor contemplating filing for bankruptcy protection? If so, what chapter of the bankruptcy code would the judgment debtor most likely file under? Is the judgment debtor going to file under Chapter 7 or is the judgment debtor reorganizing its debts under Chapter 13 or Chapter 11 is very important. The timing of the bankruptcy filing can significantly reduce the odds of recovery depending upon the timing of the filing and when the judgment was obtained against them. Depending upon the timing of the filing of the bankruptcy case the judgment may not be treated as a secured debt. If you were the last person or entity to obtain a judgment you may be last on a long list of other judgment creditors seeking payment as well. Unfortunately aggressively attempting to collect on a judgment may push a judgment debtor into seeking protection under the Bankruptcy Code.
Code of Civil California Code Title 9 provides California law to collect on a judgment. The most commons methods to satisfy a judgment are to record liens and garnishment of wages. A the other end of the spectrum are more time consuming and expensive remedies such as filing an involuntary bankruptcy or seizure and sale of real estate or seizure and sale of personal property.
We will take every step necessary to satisfy your judgment. Enforcement of judgments can be time consuming and take quite some time. The good news is that with the proper fortitude and our help collecting on a judgment can be accomplished for a reasonable fee. We are very flexible regarding the retention of our services. We will work with you to find the best solution to make sure we maximize your recovery.