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See California Judgment Enforcement Law below.
Below are Judgment Enforcement Collection Companies in your state and are here to serve your Judgment Recovery Needs, including asset searches, wage garnishments and bank account locators.
Length of Time Valid
In California, a judgment may be enforced for a period of ten years from date of entry. A judgment may be renewed for a period of ten (10) years after it has been entered for a period of five (5) years from the date of entry. The life of a Judgment therefore may be extended beyond the ten year period if it is timely renewed.
Judgments may be enforced (collected) in a variety of ways. An Abstract of Judgment recorded with the County Recorder in a county where defendant owns real property may create a judgment lien. This may require payment if certain real property is sold or refinanced. Other lien and enforcement mechanisms may be available in specific circumstances. If a debtor is a plaintiff in a different lawsuit, or a beneficiary in an estate proceeding, the creditor may be entitled to a lien against a recovery from the lawsuit or inheritance. Judgments may also be enforced by garnishment of wages. By following proper procedures, a judgment creditor may be permitted to obtain up to 25% of net pay during each pay period. However, this remedy may be subject to a claim of exemption by individuals. The Court may determine that all or a larger portion than 75% is necessary for the support and maintenance of the defendant and his family members. In addition, in a case where the defendant is currently subject to a current child support order, the creditor may have to wait until the child support order expires, or may receive less than 25% of net earnings per pay period. Other personal property which may be subject to levy are bank accounts, property in a safe deposit box, accounts receivable, and many other items. A judgment creditor may also create a lien against a judgment debtor's business equipment and inventory by filing a lien with the Secretary of State. A post-judgment debtor examination may be used to obtain information about the judgment debtor's assets or employment status. This process requires a Court Order requiring the debtor to appear in Court on a specific date. A representative of the creditor/plaintiff must appear to conduct the examination. The debtor must respond under oath to the judgment creditor's questions regarding assets. The questions must be reasonable. If the defendant does not appear, some Courts may issue an arrest warrant (bench warrant), sometimes only at the request of the creditor/plaintiff. This request is viewed as an extreme measure by many creditors, and great caution should be used to be assured that records are accurate, and that identity and personal service of the Court Order to appear are absolutely certain. Always discuss such legal matters with your legal counsel. There are many exemptions from attachment of personal property. For example, property that is necessary for the support of a defendant and his family or dependents may be exempted, or not subject to attachment by judgment creditors if claimed by the judgment debtor. An defendant may claim a homestead exemption, which may be higher if the debtor or his spouse are over the age of 65 years. A debtor may also be entitled to many other exemptions, which are discussed generally beginning with Code of Civil Procedure Section 703.010, which is linked below for illustration.
Currently, California allows interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the principal amount of a money judgment remaining unsatisfied (Code Of Civil Procedure Section 685.010).
Satisfaction of Judgment
When a judgment debtor has paid a claim, the creditor/plaintiff must file an "Acknowledgement Of Satisfaction of Judgment". This is a document which acknowledges either partial or full payment of the judgment. (If the plaintiff fails to file this within 14 days after a demand, a penalty may apply.) The judgment and the satisfaction of the judgment are items of public record and may be noted in consumer reports. Creditors should exercise care to see that paid judgments are properly acknowledged.