Collecting Your Judgment Library Resources How to Collect When You Win a Lawsuit in California, Nolo Press Enforcing Judgments & Debts, Rutter Group Enforcing Civil Money Judgments, CEB Action Guide Debt Collection Practice in California, CEB Fair Debt Collection, National Consumer Law Center California Forms of Pleading & Practice, Matthew Bender Introduction to the Debt Collection Process Introduction to Collecting Your Judgment: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectintro.htm Tips for Collecting the Judgment: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collecttips.htm Getting the Debtor to Pay Voluntarily: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectdebtor.htm Collection Problems: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectproblems.htm After the Judgment is Paid: www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectpaid.htm Collection Methods Enforcement of Judgment Forms: http://courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi?Forms=EJ Garnishing Wages & Levying Property: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectmoreways.htm Wage Garnishment Forms: http://courtinfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/forms.cgi?Forms=WG Real Property Liens: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/collectlien.htm Alameda County Recorded Lien Search: http://rechart1.acgov.org/search.asp?cabinet=opr Alameda County Lien Notification Fees: http://www.acgov.org/auditor/clerk/lienfees.htm Creating a Business Lien: http://www.sos.ca.gov/business/ucc/ra_9_jl-1_page.htm Service of Process- Alameda County Sheriff Alameda County Sheriff’s Services: www.alamedacountysheriff.org/CWS/civil.htm Instructions to Sheriff: http://www.alamedacountysheriff.org/CWS/Instructions.pdf Instructions for Real Property Levy: http://www.alamedacountysheriff.org/CWS/instructions4real_prop.pdf What is a personal service by a process server? Personal service is service of process directly to the (or a) party named on the summons, complaint, or petition. Service of process is the procedure by which a party to a lawsuit gives an appropriate notice of initial legal action to another party (such as a defendant), court, or administrative body in an effort to exercise jurisdiction over that person so as to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body, or other tribunal.Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (called "process") to the person to be served. After you’ve won your lawsuit and received a judgment against the other party, your next step is to attempt to collect what you’re owed. The court does not collect your judgment for you– as the judgment creditor, this is your job. If the judgment debtor has a bank account, you may be able to take money from the account, using a process called a “bank levy.” An account held jointly by the judgment debtor and his or her spouse or another person, or held solely by the judgment debtor’s spouse, may also be levied. STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS Step 1: Locate the Judgment Debtor’s Bank Account(s) If the judgment debtor is someone from whom you’ve received a check, you may already have this information. Otherwise, you may wish to conduct a Debtor’s Examination. This is a formal court proceeding in which the judgment creditor may question the debtor about the location and value of the judgment debtor’s assets, including information about his or her bank account(s). For more information, see the Step-by-Step guide on Debtor’s Examinations on our website at www.saclaw.org/debtor-exam. Step 2: Obtain a Writ of Execution To levy the debtor’s bank account, you must ask the court to issue a writ of execution. This is a court order instructing the Sheriff to enforce your judgment in the county where the assets are located. Related Step-by-Step Guides on Collecting Judgments • Abstract of Judgment • Debtor’s Exam • Enforcement of Judgments • Memorandum of Costs • Wage Garnishment Related Videos • Enforcement of Judgments Related Guides on Opposing a Bank Levy • Claim of Exemption-Bank Levy • Exemptions from Enforcement of Judgment Step 2a: Complete the Writ of Execution (EJ-130) form To levy a debtor’s bank account, you must ask the court to issue a writ of execution. This is a court order instructing the Sheriff to enforce your judgment in the county where the assets are located. This may be a different county from the one that issued the judgment, or where the party lives. The Judicial Council form used to obtain a writ of execution is: • Writ of Execution (EJ-130) Instructions for completing this form are available at the end of this Guide. Step 2b: Adding Costs and Interest If you wish to add additional costs incurred after entry of judgment, such as the costs associated with enforcing the judgment (e.g., the cost of issuing the writ of execution, levying officers’ fees, fees for the debtor’s examination, etc.) or accrued interest on your judgment amount, you must file a Memorandum of Costs after Judgment (MC-012) with your Writ of Execution (EJ-130). You must serve your Memorandum of Costs after Judgment (MC-012) on the judgment debtor prior to filing. The judgment debtor has 10 days after service of the Memorandum of Costs after Judgment (MC-012) to oppose it by filing a motion to tax costs (Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) § 685.070(c)). File the following items with the court: • Writ of Execution (EJ-130) (original + 2 photocopies) • Memorandum of Costs after Judgment (MC-012), if desired (original + 2 photocopies) • File-endorsed (stamped) copy of the judgment • Filing fee (currently $25, current fees bank levies can only be served by a Sheriff or registered process server. A bank levy is a one-time event, and only attaches the funds in the account at the time the bank is served. Therefore, timing service of your levy can be very important – you will want your papers served on a day when there is a lot of money in the account. For this reason, some judgment creditors prefer to have a registered process server (rather than the Sheriff) serve the bank, so they can specify the exact date for service. You can find registered process servers in the Yellow Pages or from the directory of the National Association of Professional Process Servers at www.napps.org/default.aspx. If you hire a process server, they will be responsible for delivering documents to the bank, judgment debtor, other account holders, and the Sheriff. The Sheriff’s Department will handle all other aspects of the bank levy, including receiving and releasing funds. When considering when to have your levy served, keep in mind that your writ of execution must be valid at the time of service. Writs of execution are valid for only 180 days after issued by the court.To have your documents served by the Sacramento County Sheriff, bring the items listed below to the Sheriff’s Civil Division, 3341 Power Inn Road, Room 313. The Sacramento County Sheriff can only perform service within Sacramento County; if the institution is located in a different county, you will need to contact either the Sheriff of that county or a registered process server. Ask your server what he or she will need. You will likely need the following documents: • Original Writ of Execution (EJ-130) • Sheriff’s Instructions for Bank Levy or Letter of Instruction to process server • Cash or check for the Sheriff’s fee (currently $35 (California Government Code (Govt) § 26750). This is the fee for having the Sheriff process the levy; it must be paid even if a registered process server will be serving the documents. As applicable, also include: • Original + 2 photocopies of your Spousal Affidavit • Certified copy+ 2 photocopies of Fictitious Business Name Statement If you hire a process server, the process server will bring the required documents to the appropriate Sheriff’s Department, open a file, and have a Levying Officer’s file number assigned. Based on the information on your Writ, the process server or Sheriff will complete a Notice of Levy (EJ-150) for the bank, the judgment debtor, and any other named account holders. Upon the Notice of Levy (EJ-150) will be a Levying Officer’s file number. Keep track of this number, because it will be as important as the case number down the road! You can use this number to track the status of your file at www.sacsheriff.com/civilcases/. To initiate the bank levy, the Sheriff or process server will serve the bank with: • Copy of the Writ of Execution (EJ-130) • Notice of Levy (EJ-150) • A blank Memorandum of Garnishee (EJ-152), for use by the bank Once served We are a Professional Team of Collection Agents and Process Servers dedicated in helping you collect on your Unpaid Money Judgment. You have the option of assigning over your judgment or we can help you collect on your judgment yourself.Proudly serving The Greater Bay Area Cities: Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley,Piedmont,Hayward,San Leandro and some surrounding ciiies. Serving All of Alameda County, Some of Contra Costa, Marin County, and San Francisco County. We are Licensed, Registered, and Bonded. We have been serving all the Greater Bay Area since 2009. We have been voted Best of Yelp Award 2 years consecutive 2016-2017. Best in Oakland Award 2016. A+ BBB rating.We've collected millions of dollars in judgments from small claims judgments worth a couple thousand dollars to multi-party complex federal litigation judgments worth several hundred thousand dollars.