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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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