Can I collect on an old judgement

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Latest post 10-23-2008 9:21 AM by Drew. 7 replies.
  • 10-22-2008 1:01 PM

    Question [=?] Can I collect on an old judgement

    Hello, I had an agreement with a person to pay me for a vehicle about 6 years ago. This person did not pay $4000 of the agreement so I eventually filed a small claim against him. I won the judgement but I heard that the defendant did not have any money and his wages were already being garnished for another judgement.

    I basically ignored the money he owed me for several years but I now would like to pursue being paid for whatever amount I can.

    My question is this: is there a time limit for which I must attempt to or actually collect my judgment? Is there anything I can do in order to collect some or all of the money that is owed to me?

    Thanks for the help!
  • 10-22-2008 2:21 PM In reply to

    re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    "is there a time limit for which I must attempt to or actually collect my judgment?"

    I beleive that Colorado judgments are good for 20 years (renewable) and carry an interest rate of 8%.

    "Is there anything I can do in order to collect some or all of the money that is owed to me?"

    You can still garnish wages and levy bank accounts. Those are the easiest and least expensive of the methods available. Your local court can provide you with forms and instructions.

    You can execute against personal property but that's a complicated and expensive process, rarely fruitful.

    If you haven't done so already, I suggest you record your judgment with the county recorder where the debtor resides. Then it becomes a lien against any real propery that he owns or will own. So, if you can't collect now, you are likely to be able to collect when he sells or refinances his home. Might also give him difficulty in getting financing with the judgment as public record.

    You might also consider mailing copies of the judgment to all three credit bureaus. Can't guarantee that it would get on his credit report, but it might.




    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-22-2008 3:01 PM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    Thanks Jack,

    I will definitely take your advice and pursue the options you suggested.

    I have a follow up question. I am unsure of whether or not I received any documents when I won my claim. Either way, I do not have them now. Is there a way that I can get a copy of my judgement and is that important for me to have? Also, are there any other documents that I should have in my possession to prove that he owes me this money?

    Thanks again for your help.
  • 10-22-2008 3:02 PM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    Jack,

    I forgot one more thing. You said that the judgement is good for 20 years (renewable). What do you mean by renewable? Do you mean that I must renew my judgement? If so, how would I go about doing this?

    Thanks, Ryan
  • 10-22-2008 5:29 PM In reply to

    re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    "I am unsure of whether or not I received any documents when I won my claim. Either way, I do not have them now. Is there a way that I can get a copy of my judgement and is that important for me to have?"

    Visit your court house and ask to review your case file. Have a copy made of the judgment. Might as well get copies of all the documents in the file so you have your own records.

    "Also, are there any other documents that I should have in my possession to prove that he owes me this money?"

    Just the judgment should do it. Might get several certified copies if they do that. You'll probably need them.

    "You said that the judgement is good for 20 years (renewable). What do you mean by renewable? Do you mean that I must renew my judgement? If so, how would I go about doing this?"

    Here's some information about judgments and judgment revival.

    http://www.lawdog.com/states/co/judm.htm

    You can look up Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) at www.findlaw.com

    I was not able to find Colorado Rules of Court on line but I did find a reference to Rule 54(h) in a case citation. The case doesn't matter, but here's the rule quoted in the decision:

    "Section 13-52-102(2), C.R.S. (2007), states that a judgment is considered satisfied twenty years after it is entered "unless revived as provided by law. C.R.C.P. 54(h) provides the only other law on the subject of revivalTo revive a judgment a motion shall be filed alleging the date of the judgment and the amount thereof which remains unsatisfied. Thereupon the clerk shall issue a notice requiring the judgment debtor to show cause within ten days after service thereof why the judgment should not be revived. The notice shall be served on the judgment debtor in conformity with rule 4. If the judgment debtor answer, any issue so presented shall be tried and determined by the court. A revived judgment must be entered within twenty years after the entry of the judgment which it revives . . . ."

    There may be more to the rule, but you'll probably have to visit a law library to look it up.

    At any rate, you have a lot of years left before you have to be concerned about reviving the judgment. However, it'd probably be a good idea to give yourself plenty of time (maybe a year before the deadline) to file for revival.

    And I happened to come across the revival motion form:

    http://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Forms/PDF/jdf113.pdf

    Print that out or save it on your computer (or both), in case you need it in 13 years.






    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-22-2008 6:13 PM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    Thanks again,

    I contacted the county clerk and she said that I have 6 years from the date of the judgement to collect. She also said that I have to go to the judicial office to get the forms for garnishing wages or what not.

    Do you or does anyone have any experience on trying to collect a judgement? I'm sure it can be challenging. Are there services that charge a fee to collect a judgement? If so, approx what do they charge and how does it work? I may just be happy allowing someone else to do the dirty work for me.

    Thanks for all the help. It looks like I may actually get some justice out of this thing.
  • 10-22-2008 8:52 PM In reply to

    re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    "I contacted the county clerk and she said that I have 6 years from the date of the judgement to collect."

    That seems to conflct with what I've quoted.

    So I did some more digging and found that she's right. That is, if you got your judgment in county court.

    I'm getting ahead of myself but here's the judicial branch's webpage with the forms and instructions for reviving judgments:

    http://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Forms/Index.cfm/Form_Type_ID/115

    And here's the instructions:

    http://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Forms/PDF/jdf112.pdf

    Looks like you need to jump on getting the judgment revived ASAP if you are getting close to 6 years.

    I still haven't found the rules of court online but I managed to find County rule 354(h):

    "Revival of Judgments. A judgment may be revived against any one or more judgment debtors whether they are jointly or severally liable under the judgment. To revive a judgment a motion shall be filed alleging the date of the judgment and the amount thereof which remains unsatisfied. Thereupon the clerk shall issue a notice requiring the judgment debtor to show cause within ten days after service thereof why the judgment should not be revived. The notice shall be served on the judgment debtor in conformity with Rule 304. If the judgment debtor answer, any issue so presented shall be tried and determined by the court. A revived judgment must be entered within twenty years after the entry of the judgment which it revives, and may be enforced and made a lien in the same manner and for like period as an original judgment. A judgment entered on or after July 1, 1981 must be revived within six years after the entry of the judgment which it revives, and may be enforced and made a lien in the same manner and for like period as an
    original judgment. If a judgment is revived before the expiration of any lien created by the original judgment, the filing of the transcript of the entry of revivor in the register of actions with the clerk and recorder of the appropriate county before the expiration of such lien shall continue that lien for the same period from the entry of the revived judgment as is provided for original judgments. Revived judgments may themselves be revived in the manner herein provided."

    "She also said that I have to go to the judicial office to get the forms for garnishing wages or what not."

    Go instead to the website where you can find all those forms and instructions online:

    http://www.courts.state.co.us/Self_Help/Forms/Index.cfm/Form_Type_ID/29

    "Do you or does anyone have any experience on trying to collect a judgement?"

    Oh, yes. I was a landlord for 20 years. I can tell you stories. And there are a few other former and current landlords that volunteer here.

    "I'm sure it can be challenging. Are there services that charge a fee to collect a judgement?"

    Yes, they are called collection agencies.

    "If so, approx what do they charge and how does it work?"

    They are likely to charge a 50% commission if they collect. Some of them will buy the debt for 10 cents on the dollar

    "I may just be happy allowing someone else to do the dirty work for me."

    Nah, I don't think so. There's nothing more satisfying than when you are successful at squeezing money out of your debtor.

    If you know or can figure out where your debtor is employed, you'll be ahead of the game and it's going to be your best shot at getting some money.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 10-23-2008 9:21 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,250

    re: Can I collect on an old judgement

    I tend to agree--the average collection agency only gets blood out of easy targets and charges you 50% to do so--so if you know your target etc I suggest you go for it directly. Collections is a royal pain!

    Now if there are other creditors with priority on garnishments (as yet unpaid in full) (or child support)then you may be in lower place forever!

    If the time cap is 6 years--sort out how to renew your judgement a good number of months in advance!



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