How do I collect money from the defendant after recieving a judgement?

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How do I collect money from the defendant after recieving a judgement?

I received a judgment, and I don’t know how to collect the money from the defendant.

Asked on May 30, 2019 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, your state (TX) does not allow wage garnishment (taking part of the defendant's wages or salary) for personal injury awards. (TX only allows garnishment for taxes, child support, and alimony.) This makes collections difficult. If he has real estate, you can put a lien on it; if he has a car, you may be able to have the sheriff seize and sell it; if he has a bank account, the sheriff can seize money from it. HOWEVER, you have to know where the real estate is; you have to be able to identify the car by make, model, VIN; you have to know the bank and account number--that is, you need to be specifically able to direct the sheriff or legal system to the asset you want to collect from. This can be very difficult to know or do, and even if you have this information, the collections process is very technical and difficult for a layperson to navigate. You want to try to find a collections agency or law firm specializing in collections which will take this over: they know how to do these things. Typically, they will either buy your claim from you for only a fraction of its value, or else will keep a quarter or third of anything they do collect, but getting part of your money is better than getting none.


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