If I’m being suid in small claims by my landlord, what can happen if I don’t pay?

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If I’m being suid in small claims by my landlord, what can happen if I don’t pay?

If I do not pay will I get arrested if I get pulled over?

Asked on January 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Initially, if your landlord sues you and wins (gets a judgment in his favor), he will be able to seek to collect the money (assuming you do not pay it) in a number of ways: for example, by garnishing your wages; by levying on a bank account (taking money out of an account of yours); by executing on property (having the sheriff or similar court  offioer seize and sell some of your property);or putting a lien on any real estate you own. You are not subject to arrest for not paying a judgment; however, if you do not cooperate with attempts to collect on the judgment, that lack of cooperation could lead to your arrest. For example, in New Jersey (other states have similar procedurres), the landlord, after getting his judgment, could require you to fill out what's called an "Information Subpoena" which describes your assets, property, bank accounts, etc. If you refuse to fill this out and return it, your landlord could then ask the sheriff to arrest you. So you do not directly face arrest as a consequence of a lawsuit, but not cooperating with the system could lead to your arrest.


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