How to recoup outstanding debt through personal property liens?

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How to recoup outstanding debt through personal property liens?

I have judgments against a shady individual: no paper trail, bank account, has jobs intermittently, etc. I am looking into a writ of execution (levy) against his personal property and if his past is any indication he keeps valuables in a storage unit. How can I see if and where he is renting a storage unit? It’s also unclear after viewing OH law how exempt/non-exempt personal property is determined for use in settling outstanding debts. Do I file the levy first and he objects if he believes his property to be exempt or do I have to somehow evaluate the value of his assets?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a court ordered judgment against a third person for money owed, the first thing to do is to have an abstract of judgment issued and recorded in the county recorder's office where the judgment debtor lives. If that person has any real property, the abstract will be a lien on it. If the property is sold, then the lien will show most likely and you will be paid.

To obtain a writ of execution, you need to prepare paperwork with the court for its issuance and an eventual levy by the sheriff on property to possibly be sold for judgment satisfaction. If you have bank account information, a levy on the bank accounts of the judgment debtor is the best way to be paid.

If the person owns real property which is not the home he or she lives in, you could also do a sheriff's sale where the property is auctioned off to pay your judgment. Usually when this process starts, the judgment debtor agrees to start paying what is owed.

To figure out what the debtor's assets are, you have to serve him with an order of examination issued by the court. The person shows up a court and you ask him or her questions about their assets. At this time a person owing money usually attempts to work out a payment plan.

It is up to the judgment debtor to claim that a levied property is exempt usually by filing a claim of exemption in the court and serving a copy on the judgment creditor.

Good luck.


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