How to Get a Non-Paying Defendant to Pay Up Their Debt to You

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold, NJ Lawsuit Judgement Attorney

What happens when a judgment has been entered against a defendant in a lawsuit.  The plaintiff wants his or her money, but for many defendants, they don’t want to pay up. So how does a plaintiff go about forcing the defendant to pay?  Like most things in law, the answer to this question is not easy, nor straightforward.

In summary, N.J. Statute 2A:17-1 provides that the County Sheriff will seek to satisfy the judgement by going after the property of the party who the judgment was entered against.  If that is not enough to pay off the debt, then the sheriff will satisfy the remainder of the debt with the sale of real estate owned by the defendant.

Just like the commercial, “It’s my money and I need it now!” the issue of getting ahold of the money that is rightfully yours after a judgment is entered is just how long you will have to wait. Also referring to like the statute says above, the sale of a debtor’s real estate to satisfy a judgment is the last resort.  The legislature made it like this because it is the worst case scenario for a debtor.  The non-paying defendant must turnover his/her home in order to satisfy the judgment.  NJ lawmakers want this to be the last resort because otherwise debtors who owe substantial sums of money will become homeless soon after defaulting on their obligation to satisfy a judgment.

So if after all the valuable personal possessions of the debtor are sold and the judgment still is not satisfied, a plaintiff can resort to requesting that the defendant’s wages be garnished.  If this still is not enough to satisfy the judgment, then one can request the sale of real estate.

To discuss your NJ judgement matter, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.  Please ask us about our video conferencing consultations if you are unable to come to our office.

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