What to do if I am owed $10k by someone who has no money and no assets?

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What to do if I am owed $10k by someone who has no money and no assets?

Should I go to small claims court and get a judgement on file thinking that he will be earning money in the next year or so. Does it help for me to get my judgement in ‘first’ in the event he owes other people money? And lastly, how long is the judegment good for (5 years)?

Asked on January 10, 2013 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It can't hurt obtaining a judgement now if you think that your debtor will be earning money in the near future; otherwise you can wait a bit and file for a jusgment down the line since, as you are already aware, judgments do expire. However, don't wait too long to file. There is something known as the "statute of limitations". This is the timefame in which a creditor can commence legal action to collect on a debt. Depending on the state, a creditor typically has anywere from 2-6 years to commence such a suit; after that any collection action will be time-barred. As for how long a judgment is good for, again that dpeends on the state. You can google for more spcific information as it relates to your jurisdiction. Finally, unless you are going to "attach" an asset, it makes no difference whne you obtain the judgement versus other creditors.


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