How do I collect from a settlement before other creditors?

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How do I collect from a settlement before other creditors?

Defendant about to receive a settlement and owes me considerable sums of money. Also owes credit card and collection agencies a great deal as well. How do I ensure getting paid first?

Asked on August 10, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no way to ensure you get paid first. There are things you can do to maximize your chance of collecting:

1) Are you willing to take a lesser amount to make sure you get something? If so, it may be worthwhile talking to the defendant and seeing if you can't settle for a fraction of the total, but paid immediately.

2) Generally, act faster--as soon as you think he has money, go to court to try to garnish his bank account.

3) Even if he can't pay everything now, if he has an income, try to garnish it to get something;  if he has a house, put a lien on it; etc.

But again, there is no way to ensure that you will be paid first.


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