What is the best way to collect on a small claims court award?
Even if you win in court that does not necessarily mean you will get paid. This is something the courts do not like to always tell you up front. There are a couple of things you can do to get paid eventually. When you win a settlement there is most likely a claus that will allow you to collect interest on any money owed. It is usually around 8-10% so with time this ads up.
You can collect in a couple different ways.
1) Put a lein on their home. This will get you paid when or if they sell or ever decide to get a loan on their home. This must be cleared before the deal goes through.
2) Find out where they bank and garnish their bank account.
3) Garnish their wages. You will end up going back to court to fill out more forms and fees, but eventually will get your money. It is a real hassle though and you may end up waiting a while. I know it's a pain but look at the bright side, where else can you get that kind of interest on your money these days.
Excellent advice from dgicre. I am not a lawyer nor do I have knowlege of the law, but I would add that a lot of the small claims go unpaid because people do not want to go through the trouble of collecting it. It may take quite a lot of work to collect $60 or $70 dollars. I read that a lot of small claims are not collected because the original dispute was not really about the money but about some principle. The litigants wanted to make a point.
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