What can I do to collect on a small claims lawsuit I won?

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What can I do to collect on a small claims lawsuit I won?

I won a small claims lawsuit for non payment of a vehicle I sold to the defendant. I filed for execution, but they couldn’t find anything to seize. I put a lien on his property and still haven’t seen any money from him. I have the title, no keys, and he sold the drivetrain so the vehicle is essentially worthless. What else can I do to get my money? Would it be worth hiring a lawyer?

Asked on January 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are in state which allows wage garnishment--and most do; only a few, such as TX and NC do not--you could seek to garnish his wages. Other than that, if you filed for execution and have a lien on his property, you have done everything you can--unfortunately, some defendants are "judgment proof" and you can't collect from them no matter what you do.

Remember: you will have years to enforce a judgment--you can try to collect later, if the defendant's financial picture changes.


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