If a judgement is obtained in one state, is it enforceable in another?

My fiance and I have a judgement granted against us from our previous landlord. We broke our lease 3 months early and moved out of state. They received the judgement for unpaid rent and damages to the home. Today we received a letter stating that unless we pay immediately, they will continue to pursue the judgement including freezing bank accounts, wage garnishment and selling our car. Can they truly do this being as we live out of state and have so for the entire proceedings?

Asked on December 5, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this. EVERY state will honor the judgments of EVERY other state; all states are legally obligated to respect the judgments of other states. If your state does not allow a specific or particular way of collecting a judgment--for example, two or three states do not allow wage garnishments--then your former landlord will not be allowed to use that mechanism, but he can enforce the judgment through any means legal in your state.

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