How to Collect a Judgment against a Debtor

While you may have won in court, it can be difficult to collect the money that’s owed to you. This article provides some tips on how you can also get paid in Mississippi when you win your case.

Demand Payment

Sometimes the defendant is willing to just pay the money they owe rather than try and fight the claim in court. They want to avoid any problems with their credit, so they usually want to deal with this as soon as possible. If the debtor can’t afford to pay for the full amount, it may be worth considering accepting a lesser amount than what they owe in order to avoid going through the hassle of solicitors and debt collection agencies.

Collection Efforts

In Mississippi, if an individual refuses to pay the money they owe, you will need to take steps against the individual’s assets. To collect on their debts, you’ll first need to find out what assets they have and where they are located. You may need to domesticate or objectify your judgment in other states. The jurisdiction of assets you are trying to collect from may depend on the location of those assets when you file the case.

You can find assets from a judgment debtor by either hiring an investigator or filing a petition for post-judgment supplemental proceedings against the debtor. The hearing gives you the chance to put them under oath and to get more information on their assets in front of a judge. You would also be interested in transfers of assets by a debtor since you won the judgment in your case to see if any can be reversed.

You can also take a loan against your assets such as property, cars, or business products. A sheriff or other official tasked with this responsibility will need to sell the assets you gave them. Otherwise, a receiver we appoint can do so after the hearing of the supplemental proceeding following your judgment However, Mississippi law exempts certain assets from judgment collection as outlined in Mississippi Code Annotated.

Your Rights

You may begin collecting on the judgment right away if you win a lawsuit in Mississippi, but things are a little different if you win in another state or another country, you will need to first “domesticate” your judgment by filing an action in Mississippi court.

If you believe you deserve money, it’s important to know what assets may be available for collection and how they can be taken. It is possible to get a charging order from the court which will allow you to legally withdraw funds from an account if there is more than a certain amount in your account. Judgments automatically create liens on property in the county where the court that issued the ruling sits, but you’ll need to transcribe it into other counties in order to pursue assets located there. If you have a lien on an asset, like property or business ownership, it’s impossible to get the clear title of that item without paying off the lien first.

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