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See Utah Judgment Enforcement Law below.
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Judgments and Enforcement:
A judgment entered in the court of the State of Utah generally is enforceable for a period of eight (8) years. (Utah Code 78-12-22.) A judgment entered in the District Court becomes a lien upon the real property of the judgment debtor, not exempt from execution, owned or acquired during the existence of the judgment, located in the county in which the judgment is entered. A small claims judgment, however, may qualify as a lien upon real property only if an abstract of judgment is issued by the District Court and recorded in the same manner as a District Court judgment. (Utah Code 78-22-1.)
A writ of execution is available to a judgment creditor to satisfy a judgment or other order requiring the delivery of property or the payment of money by a judgment debtor and may be issued immediately upon entry of the judgment. (U.R.C.P. 69, 62.) The wages a judgment debtor may be garnished to satisfy the judgmebt, but maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any pay period which is subjected to garnishment to enforce payment of a judgment arising from a consumer credit agreement may not exceed the lesser of 25% of his disposable earnings for that pay period; or the amount by which his disposable earnings for that pay period exceed 30 hours per week multiplied by the federal minimum hourly wage IUtah Code 70C-7-103.)
A debtor may obtain a judgment by confession without action, either for money due or to become due or to secure any person against contingent liability on behalf of the defendant, or both. (Utah Code 78-22-3.) Such judgment may be entered upon the filing with the clerk of the court in which a judgment is to be entered a verified statement by the judgment debtor concisely stating the claim and that the sum confessed therefor is justly due or to become due. (U.R.C.P. 58A.)
The State of Utah generally adopts the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. (Utah Code 78-22a-1, et seq.) Any judgment, decree or order of a court of the United States or of any other court is entitled to full faith and credit in the State of Utah. (Utah Code 78-22a-2.)
A judgment creditor seeking to enforce a foreign judgment may file with the appropriate court, an authenticated copy of the foreign judgment and an affidavit showing the name and last known post office address of the judgment debtor and the judgment creditor. A judgment so filed has the same effect and is subject to the same procedures, defenses, and proceedings for reopening, vacating, or staying as a judgment of a district court in the State of Utah and may be enforced or satisfied in like manner. (Utah Code 78-22a-2(3).)
Upon the filing of the foreign judgment and affidavit, the clerk of the court is required to mail a written notice of the filing of the foreign judgment to the judgment debtor at the address given. The notice must include the name and post office address of the judgment creditor and, if the judgment creditor has an attorney in this state, the attorney's name and address. No execution or other process for enforcement of a foreign judgment may be issued until 30 days after the date the judgment is filed. (Utah Code 78-22a-3.)
Legal rate: The legal rate of interest for loan or forbearance of any money, goods, or chose in action is 10% per annum. (Utah Code 15-1-1(2).)
Written Contract rate: The parties to a lawful contract may agree upon any rate of interest for the loan or forbearance of any money, goods, or chose in action that is the subject of their contract. (Utah Code 15-1-1(1).)
Judgment rate: The interest rate on a judgment rendered on a lawful contract is the rate agreed upon by the parties. On judgments where no interest rate is specified, the interest rate is the federal postjudgment interest rate as of January 1 of each year, plus 2%. "Federal postjudgment interest rate" means the interest rate established for the federal court system under 28 U.S.C Sec. 1961, as amended. (Utah Code 15-1-4.)
In general, a debtor may claim exemption of his homestead and certain personal property from attachment and execution of a judgment, or in a bankruptcy proceeding.
Under the Utah Exemption Act (Utah Code 78-23-1 et seq.), a person's homestead is exempt from judicial lien and from levy, execution, or forced sale except for statutory liens for property taxes and assessments on the property, security interests in the property and judicial liens for debts created for the purchase price of the property, judicial liens obtained on debts created by failure to provide support or maintenance for dependent children, and consensual liens obtained on debts created by mutual contract. (Utah Code 78-23-3(d).) A homestead may consist of a dwelling or mobile home and the land surrounding it, not exceeding one acre, which is being used as his primiary personal residence. The amount of homestead exemption an individual may claim can not exceed $10,000 in value. If the property claimed as exempt is jointly owned, each joint owner is entitled to a homestead exemption but the maximum exemption may not exceed $20,000. (Utah Code 78-23-3(1).)
Personal property which may be exempt under the Utah Exemption Act may include those that are exempt without value limitation, exempt to the extent necessary for the support of the debtor, and exempt as to a limited value.
Property that are exempt without value limitation may include a burial plot, health aids reasonably necessary to enable the individual or a dependent to work or sustain health, benefits the individual or his dependent have received or are entitled to receive because of disability, illness, or unemployment from any source, benefits paid or payable for medical, surgical, or hospital care to the extent they are used by an individual or his dependent to pay for that care, veterans benefits, money or property received, and rights to receive money or property for child support, one clothes washer and dryer, one refrigerator, one freezer, one stove, one microwave oven, one sewing machine, all carpets in use, provisions sufficient for 12 months actually provided for individual or family use, all wearing apparel , not including jewelry or furs, and all beds and bedding, works of art depicting the debtor or the debtor and his resident family, or produced by the debtor or the debtor and his resident family, except works of art held by the debtor as part of a trade or business, proceeds of insurance, a judgment, or a settlement, or other rights accruing as a result of bodily injury of the individual or of the wrongful death or bodily injury of another individual of whom the individual was or is a dependent to the extent that those proceeds are compensatory, and retirement plans qualified under Section 401(a), 401(h), 401(k), 403(a), 403(b), 408, 409, 414(d), or 414(e) of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. (Utah Code 78-23-5.)
Personal property which may be exempt to the extent necessary for the support of a debtor and his dependents may include money or property received, and rights to receive money or property for alimony or separate maintenance, proceeds or benefits paid or payable on the death of an insured, if the individual was the spouse or a dependent of the insured, and assets held, payments, and amounts payable under a stock bonus, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, or similar plan providing benefits other than by reason of illness or disability. (Utah Code 78-23-6.)
Personal property which are exempt as to a limited value may include sofas, chairs, and related furnishings reasonably necessary for one household up to an aggregate value of $500.00; dining and kitchen tables and chairs reasonably necessary for one household up to an aggregate value of $500.00; animals, books, and musical instruments, if reasonably held for the personal use of the individual or his dependents up to an aggregate value of $500.00; and heirlooms or other items of particular sentimental value to the individual up to an aggregate value of $500.00; implements, professional books or tools of trade not exceeding $3,500 in aggregate value; and one motor vehicle where such motor vehicle is used for the claimant's business or profession not exceeding $2,500 in value. (Utah Code 78-23-8.)
In a bankruptcy proceeding, residents of the State of Utah are not permitted to claim exemption of those property specified in Subsection (d) of Section 522 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act (Public Law 95-598). (Utah Code 78-23-15.)
Statutes of Limitation:
Civil actions generally can be commenced only within certain time limitations. The time generally runs from the date a cause of action accrues or from the date injury or damages are discovered or should have been discovered. On cases based on book accounts for goods sold and delivered, service performed or material furnished, the time generally starts to run from the time the last charge is made or the last payment is received. (Utah Code 78-12-25(1).) In an action to recover a balance due upon a mutual, open and current account, where there have been reciprocal demands between the parties, the cause of action is deemed to have accrued from the time of the last item proved in the account on either side. (Utah Code 78-12-32)
When a cause of action accrues is a critical issue and may be different on a case by case basis. A creditor should always consult actual legal counsel to determine its right to action under the applicable statutes. Some of the time limitations relevant to credit and collection matters are as follows:
Oral contract 4 years Utah Code 78-12-25(1)
Contract for sale 4 years Utah Code 70A-2-725
Fraud or mistake 3 years Utah Code 78-12-26(3)
Injury to personal property 3 years
Utah Code 78-12-26(2)
Relief not provided for by law 4 years
Utah Code 78-12-25(3)