Collecting on Judgment
Once you have a court order, either after trial or through another process, there is usually more you will have to do to get whatever the judge decided you were entitled to. The court does not collect the debt for you.
The person who is owed the money is called a creditor. The person who owes is called the debtor
The order needs to be put in writing and then filed with the court registry before you can take any steps to enforce or collect on the order. Once filed, an order expires after 10 years. For best results, action should be taken right away; however there is no guarantee that the debtor will pay.
The first thing you should try is to send the debtor a copy of the order and ask them to do what it says. Give a reasonable timeline for them to pay you or do whatever else the order says. If this doesn’t work, the court has some processes to assist you.
Court process for collecting against a debtor:
- Schedule a Small Claims Court payment hearing
- Seek a Small Claims Court garnishment orders
- Seizure and sale of goods by the court bailiff
- A default hearing (if there was already a payment schedule in effect), or
- Registration against land
You can also hire a collection agency to help you collect on the debt. A collection agency is a business that pursues payments on debts owed by individuals or businesses. Most collection agencies collect debts for a fee or percentage of the total amount owed. The main advantage of hiring a collection agency is that it becomes their business to get payment from the other party. In addition, amounts that are not paid to a collection agency may become part of the credit history of the owing party. In this way, debtors are motivated to make payment and settle disputes.