Few things are more validating than winning a contested court case. Your dispute has been reviewed by a judge and jury. After considering all the facts, the Court has found in your favor. Along with the feeling of vindication, you may have been awarded a money judgment. Insurance companies pay quickly. On the other hand, individual litigants—some unbound by ethical concerns—can make obtaining payment more difficult than obtaining the judgment in the first place.
After entry of the judgment, judgments debtors have 21 days to make payment. However, if the judgment debtor doesn’t pay within that time period, what happens next? Debtor’s prisons are illegal, so a Court doesn’t have the authority to put someone in jail for disobeying the order. What comes next if the judgment debtor doesn’t pay?
After the 21-day period expires, you can return to court and request an order of either garnishment or seizure. Seizure is where a court officer takes property owned by the judgment debtor, selling it to satisfy the judgment. Garnishment is receiving payment from a third-party who is holding an asset for the judgment debtor. If you garnish wages, the employer will send you periodic installments. If you garnish a bank account, the bank will send you a lump sum.