Darrell R. Zall
Imagine that a business tried to address the open account balance with one of its customers, but these efforts were ignored. The business then filed a lawsuit to recover the funds, the lawsuit was contested, and after successfully litigating the case, the Court awarded judgment in favor of the business and entered an Order requiring the defendant to pay damages. What happens next? How do you turn an Order to pay into actual payment?
A Judgment is a legal decision made by a court or judicial body, which determines the rights and obligations of the parties involved in a legal dispute. Although it is the vehicle that permits collection of the sums awarded, it is incumbent upon the prevailing party to pursue actions that will result in collection. In other words, a Judgment is a piece of paper establishing one’s entitlement to a sum due as determined by the court. But unless the party who obtained the Judgment takes further steps to collect on it, the Judgment remains just a piece of paper.
Once entered, the party who was awarded the Judgment becomes the Judgment Creditor, and the party against whom the Judgment was entered becomes the Judgment Debtor. After successfully obtaining a Judgment, the Judgment Creditor may begin the process of collecting the amount owed under the Judgment (generally referred to as “post-judgment remedies”). The post-judgment remedies available to a Judgment Creditor can vary from state to state. Here are some steps that a Judgment Creditor seeking to enforce a Judgment in Wisconsin may take to collect the balance. Statutory law governs the tools available for collection; it is the implementation of these remedies that will establish if the Judgment will be collected.
Collecting on a Judgment involves numerous strategic and legal decisions to harness available methods to pursue payment in an efficient manner that maximizes the likelihood of full recovery. It can be a complex and time-consuming process, and the laws governing Judgment collections vary depending upon the jurisdiction. It is important to consult with a qualified attorney to understand the legal options available. If you have a Judgment and are seeking help collecting on it, or have any questions about collection matters, please contact KMK Attorney Darrell R. Zall at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 962-5110.