As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, when a White Plains, New York, business gets a judgment against a customer who did not pay, it is only the first step in what may be a long process of collections and judgment enforcement.
The business owner still has to figure out how he or she is going to turn the piece of paper from the court which says the customer owes money, or the judgment, in to cash that the business owner can use to settle the account.
An important step toward collecting a judgment is finding out exactly what property the debtor owns and where exactly it is located. Unfortunately, the way the collections process works, they type of property a debtor holds, and where, determines to a great extent what legal steps a business owner needs to take in order to collect it.
Unless someone is willing to spend a lot of money to hire someone else to do the work, it may take some creativity to locate a debtor’s property.
For example, if a business owner has a copy of an old check from the debtor, the owner should be able to obtain the debtor’s bank account information. Similarly, someone trying to collect can do a public records search to find real estate or a motor vehicle belonging to the debtor.
Finally, there is a court process called an information subpoena that a business owner can use to force a debtor to tell the owner about their owners by responding to questions.
Once a business owner does find property that belongs to the debtor, he or she will have to use the appropriate court process to take control of it and convert it to money.