Can I cash a partial payment on a judgement?

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Can I cash a partial payment on a judgement?

I sued my ex-landlord for my rental deposit and won. I have 30 days from the day of court to attempt to collect, however, the debtor already sent me a partial payment. Am I allowed to cash that now? Additionally, the debtor noted “final payment” on the check, however, he still owes me the balance. Is that note he wrote on the check legally binding? Do I need to file something with court first before I can cash this partial payment?

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you have written is the classic attempt by someone to pay less than what he or she is legally obligated to pay on the judgment by writing "final payment" on the check. Since there is a set amount owed you per the court's judgment, you should make a copy of the check and cross out the "final payment" and write partial payment and then cash the check.

By having a copy of the check, you now know where the landlord banks for levy purposes to collect the balance that is owed you.


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