Once a judgment is entered against a debtor, the creditor becomes known as a judgment creditor and the debtor, a judgment debtor. Judgment creditors have several legal remedies available for use in enforcing the judgment – in other words, to collect what is owed. Limits vary from state to state as to what kinds of property a creditor can take, how much, and for how long a judgment or a judgment remedy is valid. An Arizona judgment is valid for five (5) years, and can be renewed every five (5) years. Three of the most common collection options are:
Bank Garnishment. As long as a judgment creditor has a valid judgment, that judgment can be used to garnish a bank where the judgment debtor is keeping money. The bank will “freeze” the account and, subject to certain exceptions, the money frozen may be paid to the judgment creditor as a payment toward the judgment.
Wage Garnishment. Commonly, judgment creditors will obtain from the court a writ of garnishment in order to place a wage garnishment on the judgment debtor’s earnings. The law allows the judgment creditor to take up to 25% of net earnings, which the employer will be directed to withhold from the debtor’s pay. Certain debts, such as child support, allow even higher attachment amounts.
Property Liens. Another collection method allows judgment creditors in some states to automatically create a lien on the judgment debtor’s real property, such as a house. In Arizona, the creditor must record the judgment with the county in order to create such a lien.
In addition to these options, Arizona law offers judgment creditors a number of other rights and collection mechanisms. If you have a judgment against a debtor who resides in Arizona, you may want to contact an experienced attorney to help you collect. Experienced creditors’ rights attorneys are well versed in the applicable statutes, processes, and remedies available to creditors. If you would like more information about judgment enforcement, creditors’ rights, or if you need assistance from an attorney, contact Windtberg & Zdancewicz to schedule an initial consultation.
The attorneys at Windtberg & Zdancewicz, PLC, provide clients with experienced legal representation in all collection matters. We are experienced in creditor’s rights including garnishments, charging orders, attachment, property execution, trustee’s sales, foreclosures, judgments, judgment collection, domestication of foreign judgments, and creditor’s issues in bankruptcy cases. If you need assistance with your collection matters, please contact us at (480) 584-5660.