If you win your lawsuit and are awarded a money judgment against someone, you may think that everything ends there. You probably think that since you have a court judgment that says the “bad guy” owes you money, he will simply pay you.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it goes.
Steps are Needed to Enforce a Judgment.
There are a few things to know about judgments. First of all, a judgment is a final order from the court. It is signed by the judge who heard your case and it will specify (generally) a certain amount of money that the other person owes you. Once you have a court judgment, you need to take legal steps to enforce it. The court won’t do this for you. You will need to either do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you.
As the person who is owed the money in accordance with the court judgment, you are called the “judgment creditor.” The other person (the one who owes you the money) is called the “judgment debtor.”
Writ of Fieri Facias.
In Georgia, the only way to enforce a judgment (actually called the “fieri facias”) is to obtain a Writ of Fieri Facias from the court (referred to as a “FiFA”) and then to have the FiFA recorded.
You will want to have the FiFA recorded at the County Recorder’s Office in every county where the judgment debtor owns real property. This way, the judgment debtor will not be able to sell or refinance his real property unless he pays your judgment first.
Other Means of Collecting.
Once you have a recorded FiFA, there are several tools you can use to try to collect the money you are owed. One of these is “garnishment.” Garnishment refers to the legal procedure by which a portion of a judgment debtor’s bank account or wages are taken in order to pay his/her judgment creditor.
It is not easy to collect on a judgment. Collection procedures have specific rules that must be followed and judgment debtors frequently make the process more difficult. Judgment collection can be a complicated and frustrating process if you try to do it yourself.
Litigation does not necessarily end with the court order saying you win. That is why you need experienced litigation counsel on your side every step of the way.
Litigation Attorneys in Cumming Georgia.
The Law Offices of Mark Weinstein handles all aspects of real estate law and litigation. We are located in Cumming, Georgia, but we serve clients in and around Atlanta, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Kennesaw, Forsyth County, and a number of other counties in Georgia. Call us at 770-888-7707, or contact us here, or send inquiries by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.