How to collect your money
If the 30 days to appeal or vacate has passed, you can try to collect the money they owe you. To collect, you'll need to know where they have money and then figure out the best way to collect it. As you go, keep track of what you spend trying to collect so you can ask to add it to the total they owe you.
Find out what the other person earns and owns
To collect money, you need to know about what the other person owns, where they bank, and what they earn.
If they gave you their Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets (form SC-133), you can use the information they listed on that form.
If you need more information or they didn't give you a Judgment Debtor's Statement of Assets, you can ask for a court date where you can ask for this information. This is called a debtor's exam.
Collecting any of these ways costs money. You may be able to have some or all of these costs added to what's owed. You can also add interest.
Let the court know if you end up getting paid the full amount
If they pay you the full amount, you must let the court know within 14 days of being paid. You do this by filing an Acknowledgment and Satisfaction of Judgment. You can face a penalty if you don't.
Collecting from the other side can be hard
- You can hire a lawyer to help you.
- You can assign your right to collect the money to a collection agency. If the other side pays, the agency will keep a large portion of the money and pay you the rest.
- Your county's Small Claims Advisor may have resources to help you.
- If you want a bank levy or wage garnishment, your next step is to get a court order that lets the sheriff take the money (called a Writ of Execution).
- If you want to put a lien on their property, you will need to first get an Abstract of Judgment.
Go back to an overview
See all the steps to take right after you won your small claims case
Get a Writ of Execution
Get step-by-step instructions on how to get a Writ of Execution so you can do a bank levy or wage garnishment
Get Abstract of Judgment
Get step-by-step instructions to get an Abstract of Judgment and record a lien