Atlanta Attorneys Helping Parties Collect Judgments
It is not uncommon for parties to abandon their obligations when business relationships deteriorate, resulting in unpaid debts. While it is important for a party that is owed money to get a judgment against the debtors, it is often just the first step in the process of recovering the compensation they are owed, as many debtors ignore judgments issued against them. If you have a judgment against a debtor that they refuse to pay, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney about your options for securing the money you are owed. At Poole Huffman, our Atlanta business litigation lawyers have ample experience helping individuals and entities collect outstanding judgments, and if you engage our services, we will fight aggressively to help you pursue the full amount you are owed. We regularly represent parties in judgment collection actions and other business disputes in metro Atlanta, Decatur, and throughout Georgia.
Judgment Collections in Georgia
The first step towards collecting a judgment in Georgia is determining what assets the debtor owns that the creditor can seize, foreclose on, or place a lien on. Such assets may include real estate, vehicles, business interests, and personal property.
Post-judgment discovery is a critical tool in collection efforts, as it allows creditors to obtain a better understanding of the debtor’s property. Such discovery is especially helpful in cases in which the debtor attempts to hide assets. Post-judgment discovery can be served on both the debtor and parties that know the debtor personally or professionally. Such discovery may include subpoenas for information regarding the debtor’s assets, income, bank accounts, and property. It may also include written interrogatories and depositions, during which parties are questioned regarding the debtor’s assets. People who are deposed are placed under oath, and anyone served with discovery requests are required to respond under oath as well.
Next, it is important to perfect the liens against any property the debtor owns. Under Georgia law, a judgment lien attaches to any judgment obtained in the Georgia courts. The creditor must nonetheless take additional steps to perfect the lien or ensure that it attaches to any property the creditor is attempting to capture. To do so, the creditor must request a Writ of Fieri Facias (FiFa) in any county in which the debtor owns real property or other seizable assets. The Clerk of Court’s Office will issue a Writ of FiFa, recording a lien on the debtor’s property and allowing law enforcement to levy the property to satisfy the judgment. A Writ of FiFa lasts for seven years from the date of the filing with the court’s clerk’s office.
Creditors can also garnish the debtor’s assets and, if they earn an income, their wages. Garnishments are separate legal actions filed against a third party known as the garnishee, which is an entity or individual that is either holding funds for the debtor, like a bank, or owes the debtor money, such as a business associate. Garnishment actions must be filed in whatever county the garnishee is located. If the debtor earns wages, a continuing garnishment can be filed as well. Continuing garnishments deduct funds from the debtor’s wages every 30 days for 180 days from the date of service or until the debt is paid.
Consult a Skilled Atlanta Attorney
Collecting judgments can be challenging, as debtors will often go to great lengths to avoid paying the money they owe, but they are numerous measures people that are owed debts can take to protect their interests. If you need assistance with a judgment collection, it is advisable to consult an attorney as soon as possible. At Poole Huffman, our skilled Atlanta lawyers have numerous measures we can employ to help you recover the money you are owed, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We frequently represent individuals and businesses in collection efforts in metro Atlanta, Decatur, and throughout Georgia. We also aid parties with business litigation issues in cities throughout DeKalb, Cobb, Fulton, and Gwinnett Counties. You can reach us at 404-373-4008 or through our online form to set up a confidential meeting.
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