We're always available to answer any questions you may have regarding collection law, and we welcome the opportunity to guide you in resolving your legal matters.

Below, we have provided answers to some common collection law questions.  For more detailed information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What steps do you take to collect a Judgment?

If the debtor is in business, our primary method of post-Judgment enforcement is the Restraining Notice to the debtor's bank.

However, if we are not successful at locating the debtor's bank account, we will issue a Restraining Notice with Information Subpoena to the debtor in an effort to obtain this information as well as other information regarding the debtor's assets.  In this regard, we will also do a motor vehicle search at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles.

If the debtor does not answer the Information Subpoena, we will pursue the debtor with a contempt motion to hold the debtor in contempt of Court.  If necessary, we will ask the client to provide additional costs and our letter will outline the possibilities of collection.

If the debtor operates a cash business, we will issue an Execution to the Sheriff to seize cash on hand.  If the debtor owns a motor vehicle, we will offer the client the option of an Execution against the vehicle, explaining the costs and the collection prospects particularly if the vehicle has a lien.

If the debtor owns real property, we will consider the option of a Sheriff's Sale of the debtor's property.  We will ask the client for additional costs to perform a title search to determine the status of the client's Judgment lien.  We will only recommend a Sheriff's Sale of the debtor's property when the client's Judgment lien attaches to substantial equity to warrant a sale.

We are always on the lookout for third party garnishees.  For example, if the debtor is a contractor who may do business with the State of New York, we will serve a Restraining Notice with Information Subpoena upon the New York State Comptroller in an effort to locate and attach any payment due the debtor.

When may a creditor file a mechanics’ lien? 

Any contractor, subcontractor, laborer, material man, landscape gardener, nurseryman, or person or corporation selling fruit or ornamental trees, roses, shrubbery, vines and small fruits, who performs labor or furnishes materials (including materials actually manufactured for but not delivered to real property) for improvement of real property with consent or at request of owner, or his agent, contractor or subcontractor, and any trust fund to which benefits and wage supplements are due or payable for benefit of such laborers, has lien for principal and interest of value, or agreed price, of such labor or materials on real property and such improvement, upon filing, in office of clerk of county where property is situated, verified notice in prescribed form.

What are the debtor's principal exemptions?

90% of income (10% subject to garnishment).  Real property-land with dwelling, cooperative apartment shares, condominium apartment or mobile home, not exceeding value of $10,000 above liens and encumbrances, owned and occupied as principal residence by any person, is exempt from sale or execution.  If value of homestead exceeds $10,000, lien of judgment attaches to surplus above that amount, but homestead may not be sold on execution until judgment in judgment creditor's action directs sale and enforcement of lien.




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