Ask the judge if you can make payments

If you ask, the judge can order that you make payments over time. To do this, you need to fill out a form asking the judge to order a payment plan and give information about your financial situation.

Before you start

You can ask the other side if they'll agree to a payment plan.

The other side may agree to let you pay them over time. If they do, put your agreement in writing. Make sure your agreement talks about what happens with interest. Both sign the agreement.

Ask a judge if you can make payments

  • Fill out forms

    Fill out two forms:

    This asks the judge to order that you can make payments. The second page of the form has more information about the process for you.

    This lets the judge and other side know about your financial situation so the judge can decide if you can make payments.

  • Make copies

    Make two copies of the forms. If there's more than 1 person or business on the other side, make a copy for each of them.

  • File forms

    Take the original and copies of the forms to the small claims clerk. The clerk will stamp the forms filed. The clerk will keep the original and mail a copy to the other side. The other copy is for you.

  • Wait for court's decision

    The other side then has 10 days to file a response. If they don't respond, the judge will assume that they agree you can make payments. If they disagree, the court will set a court date so a judge can hear from both of you.

    The court will mail you either the judge's decision to let you make payments or a notice with a court date.

    The judge can stop interest from being added to what you owe if you have a payment plan. 

    If you ask to make payments and the judge agrees, in its decision the judge can stop interest from being added to what you owe so long as you're keeping up with the payments. The judge does not have to do this if the other side disagrees, so see what the judge's decision says to figure out if you will owe interest.

Small claims collection

What's next?

If you can't make the payments or the judge decided that you can't pay over time, the other side may take legal steps to collect the money from you.

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