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You have a judgment from small claims court. Now what?

Owning a small business takes a lot of time, work and commitment on your part. You do your best to provide your customers with excellent products or services. In return, you expect them to pay you what they owe.

When that doesn't happen, you may end up turning to a Georgia small claims court for relief. After going through the legal process, you obtain a judgment against the other party. Your feeling of vindication and victory may be short lived, however. How do you collect on the judgment?

What can you do with that judgment?

If you aren't lucky enough to get the other party to pay you the amount owed in the judgment without taking any further action, you could employ one or more of the following collection methods:

  • The court may order the other party to make payments to you until he or she satisfies the judgment.
  • The court may give you the right to seize money from the other party's bank account.
  • The court may provide you with a lien against a piece of the other party's property such as a house.
  • The court may issue a wage garnishment to take a portion of the other party's income until he or she pays the full amount owed.
  • If you did construction work for the other party, you could obtain a mechanic's lien.

These methods often work well if you know where the party is and can obtain the necessary information. However, if you don't know where the party is, you could hire someone to do the legwork for you.

What help is available?

Receiving payment for monies owed to you is not always easy. Whether you already have a judgment or need to obtain one, help is available. There is a substantial amount of paperwork involved in pursuing a debt owed to you. You need to make sure that you take the right steps at the right times in order to increase the chances of receiving payment.

You could also increase your chances of collecting the debt by working with an experienced attorney who understands the legalities involved and has a proved track record of working with both creditors and debtors to resolve issues like yours. Establishing right away that you expect your customers and others you work with to honor their agreements with you could help your business thrive well into the future.

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