In certain kinds of cases, you may be able to get the Debtor’s driver’s license or professional or business license suspended until the judgment is paid.
Here are some examples:
• If your claim had to do with the Debtor’s car or how he or she drove a car, the Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend the Debtor’s driver’s license and car registration until your judgment is paid. The judgment must be for $1000 or more, and it must be unpaid for more than 15 days.
• If your claim was about the Debtor’s licensed or certified business, notify the state or local licensing agency if the Debtor has not paid you. The agency may decide to revoke, suspend, or refuse to grant or renew a business license. It must be at least 35 days since the Debtor received notice of the judgment.
• In a Small Claims Court case, if a Debtor has three or more unpaid recorded judgments including yours, but he or she has the ability to pay them, you may be able to sue the Debtor for three times more than your original judgment. This is called treble damages. Ask the Small Claims Court Clerk if the Debtor is listed in the Small Claims Court’s index of unsatisfied judgments.
If you won a Judgement you are now a Creditor and the losing side is a Debtor. The Debtor owes money to the Creditor and should pay the money due. But, collecting a judgment may not be easy. To begin collecting a judgment, the Creditor should contact the Debtor or Debtor’s attorney, if there is one, and ask the Debtor to pay. If the Debtor doesn’t pay, the Creditor has to find the Debtor’s money. The Court does not do this for you. Some of this information you can find out by making some phone calls or trips to government offices.
• Try to find the Debtor’s bank: you or someone you know may have paid the Debtor with a check. If so, look on the back of the canceled check for the bank’s information.
• Try to find out if the Debtor has a car: contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles and find out the car model, year, license plate number and address where the car is registered.
When a judgment is entered in the Civil Court it is enforceable for a period of twenty years for money only, it is not a lien against real property. Nor is a judgment entered in one county a lien on real property in any other county. If a judgment-creditor wishes to enforce a judgment against real property, he or she must follow the procedure below for “transcripting” the judgment.
A transcript is a paper containing the essential information of the judgment, certified by the clerk in the county where the judgment is entered.
The judgment-creditor must apply to the clerk of the court in which the judgment was entered for a transcript and then file the transcript with the county clerk of the county in which the court is located (the home county). To find out the fee for filing a transcript of judgment, click on court fees. The judgment then becomes a realty lien in that county.
In order to make the judgment a lien in other counties, a judgment-creditor must ask the county clerk in the home county to issue a transcript of judgment and then file the transcript with the county clerk of any other county within the state where the judgment-debtor owns property. A judgment-creditor may have as many transcripts issued by the home county clerk as he or she requests for filing in multiple counties. There is a separate fee for each transcript issued. To find out the fee for issuing a transcript of judgment, click on court fees.
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