Law Office Of Paul DePetris
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New Jersey Collecting Judgment FAQs

COLLECTING NEW JERSEY COURT JUDGMENT FAQs

INTRODUCTION
Read below to learn more about this topic. Or, to receive a no cost phone consultation, call Mr. DePetris at 609-714-2020 or send him an email. Warning – this article does not necessarily include every New Jersey court rule, code or law that may apply to your New Jersey case! The Law Office of Paul DePetris does not guarantee that the statutes, rules, codes, files or forms on this website are the latest versions, that they lack typographical errors or that they have not changed, repealed or superseded by other laws. Before taking any action, read all applicable federal and state source law and case law and consult with an attorney. Court addresses, hours of operation, deadlines and directions may change so check with the court in advance of mailing documents to court or going there! Some of the webpages on this site don’t apply to all types of New Jersey cases, since there are different rules for different case types!

WHAT IS A NEW JERSEY COURT JUDGMENT (MONEY JUDGMENT)?
To collect a New Jersey Judgment, you must understand basic information about New Jersey Court Judgments. A New Jersey Court Judgment entered for a sum of money is a New Jersey Court Judgment entered against a New Jersey defendant on a New Jersey complaint or entered against a New Jersey plaintiff on a New Jersey counterclaim for a specific amount of money. It may be entered after the granting of a New Jersey summary Judgment motion or after the entry of a New Jersey default Judgment or after the entry of a New Jersey verdict following a New Jersey trial at which one New Jersey plaintiff or New Jersey defendant wins their case for monetary damages. The person who is granted or awarded the New Jersey Judgment is the Judgment creditor and the person who owes the New Jersey Judgment is the Judgment debtor.

I WAS AWARDED A NEW JERSEY COURT JUDGMENT BY THE NEW JERSEY COURT – WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
To collect a New Jersey Judgment, you must take a specific series of steps. If you received a New Jersey Court Judgment following a New Jersey Court proceeding (such as a New Jersey trial, mediation, or motion hearing) for an amount of money, that New Jersey Judgment is called a “New Jersey Judgment.” If, after you receive a New Jersey Court New Jersey Judgment, it remains unpaid in whole or part, then you are entitled to seek to collect the New Jersey Judgment as a “Judgment Creditor” – a person owed a New Jersey Court Judgment. The person who owes the New Jersey Judgment is called a “Judgment Debtor.” New Jersey Judgments entered in the New Jersey Court do not collect themselves – to get a New Jersey Court Judgment collected, you or your New Jersey attorney must file various papers with the New Jersey Court and take various other steps. Once you receive a New Jersey Court Judgment in the New Jersey Court, there is no guarantee that you shall collect the New Jersey Judgment. However, there are steps you or your New Jersey attorney may take to make it more likely that you shall collect your New Jersey Judgment. When a New Jersey Court Judgment is “executed”, that means that the New Jersey Judgment is carried into effect by giving the New Jersey Judgment Creditor part or all of the New Jersey Judgment. For example, in the New Jersey Court a New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may be able to execute on a New Jersey Court Judgment by having a New Jersey Court Officer seize and sell a New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s property and applying the sums recovered to satisfy part or all of the New Jersey Judgment.

WHAT IF I RECEIVE PAPERS THAT REFER TO THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY?
If you receive documents indicating that New Jersey Judgment Debtor filed for bankruptcy, you should immediately contact an attorney experienced in handling bankruptcy cases from the view of a New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor to find out what additional steps you might take to collect your New Jersey Judgment or to prevent it from being eliminated or reduced in the bankruptcy. It is not uncommon for New Jersey plaintiffs or New Jersey defendants who ignore bankruptcy filings to be punished by a bankruptcy Court.

CAN I EXECUTE MY NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT AGAINST A NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S PERSONAL PROPERTY?
To collect a New Jersey Judgment, you must have an idea about where the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s property is located so you can execute the New Jersey Judgment. By filing the New Jersey court paperwork with the New Jersey Court, a New Jersey Judgment Debtor may try to collect a New Jersey Judgment. The New Jersey court paperwork is called a New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) and the New Jersey court paperwork asks the New Jersey Court try to collect the money owed on a New Jersey Judgment from the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's bank account or from the personal property (such as jewelry, furniture, antiques, etc.). The New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) can’t be used: (1) if the New Jersey Judgment Debtor only has $1,000.00 in personal property; or (2) to sell real estate to satisfy a New Jersey Judgment owed in the New Jersey Court. To properly complete the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution), you need to know about the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's personal property that might be used to satisfy your New Jersey Judgment – you need to confirm that the New Jersey Judgment Debtor is the only owner of the personal property to be sold and to confirm its location. When filling out the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution), you describe the property to be sold and state the street address where it is located. If the property is money in a bank account, you usually need to state the address of the bank where the money is located and the account number of the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s account. After you submit the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels to the New Jersey Court and pay any necessary fee, if the form is properly completed, a New Jersey Court Officer shall likely try to execute the New Jersey Court Judgment. The New Jersey Court adds a 10 percent fee to the amount of the New Jersey Judgment to pay the New Jersey Court Officer's commission and this fee appears on the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) and as the New Jersey Judgment is collected, is paid to the New Jersey Court Officer out of the money he collects to satisfy the New Jersey Judgment. Once the New Jersey Court issues a New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) payments are made directly to the New Jersey Court Officer or the New Jersey Court rather than to the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor directly. The New Jersey Court is responsible for calculating the New Jersey Court Officer’s fee, deducting it from monies collected and forwarding the balance that the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor is due to the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor (to the extent that they collect any monies). If the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) is fully satisfied, the New Jersey Court Officer is supposed to return the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) marked fully satisfied and the New Jersey Court normally marks the satisfaction in the record of the case.

If the property is something other than money in a bank account, the New Jersey Court Officer shall attempt the New Jersey Execution by trying to sell the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s personal property at a public sale, while permitting the New Jersey Judgment Debtor to keep $1,000 worth of personal property. If the property is money in a bank account, the New Jersey Court Officer shall attempt the New Jersey Execution by trying to get the bank to freeze the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s bank account (called a “bank levy”). While it is possible for a New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor to use the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels to have a New Jersey Court Officer seize the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's automobile, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor must be able to show that the automobile is registered to the New Jersey Judgment Debtor. To find out whether the automobile is in fact registered in the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s name, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor must request the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to provide the New Jersey Judgment Debtor with a certified copy of the title and a certified lien search for the automobile. Once accepted by the New Jersey Court, the New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) remains valid for two years from its issuance date and once it expires, it can be renewed. The New Jersey Par cannot execute a New Jersey Court Judgment against child support, welfare benefits, Social Security benefits or income, veterans' benefits or unemployment benefits.

IF THE NEW JERSEY COURT OFFICER EXECUTES AGAINST A NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S BANK ACCOUNT, HOW DO I GET THE MONEY FROM THAT ACCOUNT?
If, through a New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution), a New Jersey Court Officer levies against the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s bank account, the money frozen in the bank account does not automatically get turned over to you. Instead, you must file a New Jersey motion to turn over funds with the New Jersey Court and serve a complete copy of the New Jersey motion on both the bank where the funds are frozen and the New Jersey Judgment Debtor. If the New Jersey Court grants the New Jersey motion to turn over funds, once the New Jersey Court Officer receives the New Jersey order granting the New Jersey motion, the New Jersey Court Officer normally acts to comply with the New Jersey order.

WHAT IF THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR WANTS TO SETTLE WITH ME AFTER I FILE A NEW JERSEY EXECUTION AGAINST GOODS AND CHATTELS (NEW JERSEY WRIT OF EXECUTION) AND AFTER THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S BANK ACCOUNT IS FROZEN?
To collect a New Jersey Judgment, it is helpful to understand a little bit about New Jersey settlements. Occasionally, after the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor files a New Jersey Execution Against Goods And Chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) and after a levy has been made by the New Jersey Court Officer, the New Jersey Judgment Debtor, brought to their knees, wants to make a settlement. The New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor should be very careful about making a settlement at that point! New Jersey Court Officers who make a valid levy or who in some way helped produce payment are due their 10 percent commission on any amount paid by the New Jersey Judgment Debtor. Accordingly, any payment the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor receives from a New Jersey Judgment Debtor is subject to the New Jersey Court Officer’s commission.

WHAT IF I WANT TO EXECUTE AGAINST THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S PERSONAL PROPERTY BUT I DON’T KNOW WHERE THAT PROPERTY IS LOCATED OR WHAT IT IS?
To collect a New Jersey Judgment, you need to know where the New Jersey Judgment Debtor has their property located. Within certain periods of time, New Jersey Judgment creditors can serve New Jersey Judgment Debtors with a New Jersey written request for the New Jersey Judgment Debtor to disclose personal financial information (called an New Jersey Information Subpoena). The New Jersey Information Subpoena consists of a series of New Jersey written questions that the New Jersey Judgment Debtor is asked to answer under oath. When answered truthfully and completely, the answers to the New Jersey Information Subpoena may provide the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor with the information necessary for the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor to proceed with a New Jersey Execution of goods and chattels (New Jersey Writ of Execution) against the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s personal property. The New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor serves the original and one copy of the New Jersey Information Subpoena upon the New Jersey Judgment Debtor either personally or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested and simultaneously by regular mail along with self-addressed postage prepaid envelope. Within 14 days from the date on which it was served, the New Jersey Judgment Debtor must answer the New Jersey Information Subpoena and return it to the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor. The New Jersey Information Subpoena may only be served once in a six month period, unless the New Jersey Court provides its approval for more frequent use.

A New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may file a New Jersey motion with the New Jersey Court stating the amount due on the New Jersey Judgment and asking the New Jersey Court to enter a New Jersey order requiring the New Jersey Judgment Debtor or any other person with information about the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's assets to answer questions under oath about the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s assets at a particular place and time. There are limits to the number of orders that the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may secure to compel a person to appear to answer such questions. Once the New Jersey order is entered, at least 10 days before the appearance date, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor serves a copy of the New Jersey order on the person that is required to appear to answer the questions by mailing the New Jersey order copy by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested and simultaneously by regular mail.

WHAT IF I SERVE AN NEW JERSEY INFORMATION SUBPOENA AND THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR FAILS TO ANSWER IT?
A New Jersey Information Subpoena can be a powerful tool to help you get your New Jersey Judgment collected. To collect a New Jersey Judgment, a New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may use the New Jersey Information Subpoena to find out where the New Jersey Judgment Debtor has their assets located. Many New Jersey Judgment Debtors try to ignore answering the New Jersey Information Subpoena but if they do ignore the New Jersey Information Subpoena, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may make a New Jersey motion for a New Jersey order to enforce the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor’s right to receive answers to the New Jersey Information Subpoena. That type of New Jersey motion is called a New Jersey motion to enforce litigant’s rights. While the New Jersey motion is a cumbersome process that encourages New Jersey Judgment Debtors to take their time answering New Jersey Information Subpoenas, if properly pursued, the New Jersey motions to enforce litigant’s rights can result in the New Jersey Court issuing a warrant for the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s arrest and the New Jersey sheriff may thereafter arrest the New Jersey Judgment Debtor and bring them to the New Jersey Courthouse to face the Court for the failure to comply with the New Jersey Information Subpoena.

If the New Jersey Judgment Debtor fails to fully answer and forward the New Jersey Information Subpoena within 21 days from the date it is served on the New Jersey Judgment Debtor, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may also file a New Jersey motion with the New Jersey Court for a New Jersey order allowing the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor to serve a separate New Jersey Information Subpoena on banks, employers or businesses who owe the New Jersey Judgment Debtor money.

WHAT IF I SERVE A NEW JERSEY ORDER REQUIRING SOMEONE TO APPEAR TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S ASSETS BUT THE PERSON REQUIRED TO APPEAR FAILS TO APPEAR?
If the New Jersey Judgment Debtor supposed to appear in the New Jersey Court order does not appear where and when specified in the New Jersey order or appears but fails to provide information about the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's assets, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may file a New Jersey motion with the New Jersey Court asking the New Jersey Court to punish the person failing to appear for their committing a contempt of Court.

WHAT IF I SERVE AN NEW JERSEY INFORMATION SUBPOENA AND THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S ANSWERS ARE INCOMPLETE?
If a New Jersey Judgment Debtor answers an New Jersey Information Subpoena but does it in a way that is evasive, thereby avoiding the obligation to provide complete answers, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may file a New Jersey motion for more specific answers to the New Jersey Information Subpoena or face a warrant for the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s arrest. If the New Jersey motion is granted and the New Jersey Judgment Debtor fails to comply with the New Jersey order after being served with it and the New Jersey Court thereafter issues a warrant for the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s arrest, the New Jersey sheriff may thereafter arrest the New Jersey Judgment Debtor and bring them to the New Jersey Courthouse to face the New Jersey Court for the failure to more fully answer the New Jersey Information Subpoena.

CAN I COLLECT MY NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT BY EXECUTING AGAINST THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR’S WAGES?
If a New Jersey Judgment Debtor works in New Jersey and earns more than a certain amount of money per week, you may seek to execute against the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s wages by filing a New Jersey motion for a New Jersey wage Execution with the New Jersey Court and serving it on the New Jersey Judgment Debtor by both regular and certified mail. The New Jersey Judgment Debtor may object to the New Jersey motion being granted and if they do in the manner required by the New Jersey Court Rules, the New Jersey Court will schedule a hearing on the New Jersey motion. However, the grounds for objecting to a New Jersey wage Execution are usually quite limited. If the New Jersey Judgment Debtor does not properly object to the New Jersey motion for a New Jersey wage Execution or the New Jersey Court denies the New Jersey Judgment Debtor’s objection to the New Jersey motion, the New Jersey Court shall enter a New Jersey order for a New Jersey wage Execution. If this happens, the New Jersey Court Officer is supposed to deliver the New Jersey order for the wage Execution to the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's employer and the employer is supposed to follow the New Jersey order’s directions by holding back a portion of the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's pay and sending the money held back to the New Jersey Court Officer, who is supposed to send it to the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor.

IF THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT IS FULLY SATISFIED, DO I HAVE ANY OBLIGATIONS TO THE NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT DEBTOR?
If a New Jersey Judgment is fully satisfied, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor must file a document with the New Jersey Court indicating that the New Jersey Court Judgment was in fact fully satisfied. The document is called a “warrant of satisfaction.” Sometimes the New Jersey Judgment Debtor or their attorney shall ask for a warrant of satisfaction once the New Jersey Court Judgment is fully satisfied, with the intention of filing the New Jersey warrant with the New Jersey Court.

WHAT IF I OR THE NEW JERSEY COURT OFFICER CAN’T COLLECT MY NEW JERSEY JUDGMENT IN THE NEW JERSEY COURT?
If a New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor or a New Jersey Court Officer cannot collect a New Jersey Judgment in the New Jersey Court, the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor may have the New Jersey Judgment from the New Jersey Court recorded in the Superior Court Clerk's Office in Trenton. The New Jersey Judgment is docketed by paying a fee and filing the proper papers with the Superior Court Clerk's Office in Trenton. The advantage to docketing the New Jersey Court Judgment with the Superior Court Clerk's Office in Trenton is that, once properly docketed in the Superior Court, until the New Jersey Judgment is fully satisfied, the New Jersey Judgment Debtor is unable sell with clear title any real estate owned in New Jersey. However, there is also a disadvantage to docketing the New Jersey Judgment – once docketed, the Court Officers of the New Jersey Court can no longer help the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor to collect the New Jersey Court Judgment. Instead, any further efforts that the New Jersey Court Judgment Creditor makes to collect the New Jersey Court Judgment must be made through the New Jersey sheriff's Office in the county where the New Jersey Judgment Debtor's assets are located. Since the New Jersey sheriff’s efforts to recover the New Jersey Court Judgment are not rewarded through commissions on the amount they may collect, many New Jersey Judgment Creditor attorneys prefer to keep the New Jersey Judgment undocketed for as long as they believe there is a chance of collecting it through the New Jersey Court.

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