How do I collect on a judgement if the defendant refuses to pay?

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How do I collect on a judgement if the defendant refuses to pay?

I did a construction job but the client didn’t pay, so I went to court and got a judgement. He still

refused to pay. I went back and got a garnishment order, however he took out the money from the account.

Asked on March 27, 2019 under Bankruptcy Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If he is employed by another person (not self employed), go back to court and seek a "wage garnishment" order: an order which will go to his employer directing the employer (so this is not under the defendant's control) to take some percentage of his paycheck (up to 25% of his "disposable income" as your state defines that; in practice, usually around 10-15% of the paycheck) and send it to you. (Usually, to goes to the sheriff, who then sends it to you after taking out some processing costs.)
If he is self employed, so you cannot garnish his wages, you will probably not collect unless he owns real estate which you can get a court order putting a llen on. (If he does have real estate, a lien is another good option). It is very difficult to collect from self-employed persons who don't own real estate and who are simply deadbeats who don't want to pay.


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