A Good Collection Attorney Knows How to Benefit From New York’s Liberal Judgment Enforcement Policies

Photo of a statue of woman holding scales to represent a good collection attorney.There is no state as liberal as New York when it comes to commercial debt collection and the enforcement of judgments against commercial entities. New York Civil Practice and Rules Article 52 grants the judgment creditor many liberties and privileges when it comes to enforcing a judgment. To ensure the best possible outcome, you’ll want to make sure you have a good collection attorney who knows how to maneuver through New York’s liberal enforcement policies.

Assume you are a creditor and have a civil judgment entered in one of the counties of the Civil Court of the City of New York for $10,000. You have knowledge of the debtor’s financial institution and so your attorney issues an information subpoena with a restraining notice to the financial institution to see if any funds are being held. Assuming the debtor is a corporation, the bank will restrain any funds up to twice the judgment amount plus statutory interest from the date of judgment. The bank will then forward a response to your attorney detailing what has been restrained and what is being held. Upon receipt of this notice, assuming there are funds being held, your attorney will then forward a writ of execution to the city marshal to levy on the funds. The marshal will then forward your attorney whatever amount is captured less the marshal’s poundage, which in New York is five percent. If the total amount due on the judgment is paid, the marshal will mark the file satisfied but will not file a satisfaction of judgment with the court.

Executing on a Debtor’s Bank Account in New Jersey

The process is somewhat different in New Jersey Superior Court. The judgment would be entered in the Special Civil Part of the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey. Using your knowledge of the debtor’s financial institution, you’d first file a request with the court for an execution on goods and chattels. The court would then issue an execution on goods and chattels to a special civil part officer to try to collect the money owed from the debtor’s bank account or personal property. The court officer then goes to the bank where the assets are and executes on the money held in that bank. By law, there is a 10 percent fee added to the amount of the Judgment as the officer’s commission fee, which is listed on the writ and is payable to the officer upon collection. The execution total includes the officer’s commission, along with the fee for obtaining the writ $35 plus mileage, which is based on the county where the property executed upon is located, along with any accumulated interest.

After the money has been levied upon by the special civil part officer, it is considered frozen. Your attorney must then file a motion to turn over funds with the court and serve a copy upon the debtor and the bank. If the court grants the motion, the judge will sign the order to turn over funds submitted with your motion. The order will then be delivered to the bank by the court officer, who will then obtain the money from the bank, deposit it in the officer trust account and then mail a check to the creditor’s attorney by the 15th day of the month following the successful deposit.

If the location where the assets are is in the debtor’s office, the special civil part officer can try and sell personal items such as office equipment at a public sale. The debtor can keep $1,000 worth of personal property. However, if the debtor does not have $1,000.00 worth of personal property, this method cannot be used.

Once a writ is issued, it is valid for two years from the date of issuance and all payments should be made directly to the special civil part officer and not directly to the creditor. If the judgment is fully paid, the officer will return the writ and mark it as fully satisfied and will also enter the satisfaction of judgment on the record. The special civil part officer will only do this if the officer collected all the money and fees due.

As demonstrated above, the biggest difference between New Jersey and New York is the need in New Jersey for a court order pursuant to a motion to turn over the funds being held by the special civil officer, whereas New York requires only a writ of execution forwarded to the City Marshal.

A good collection attorney is crucial to this process. If you have a judgment in New York or New Jersey that needs execution, contact Frank, Frank, Goldstein and Nager. We have the experience that pays.

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