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The last resort: collecting money after you go to court

Money generic
Posted at 6:00 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 09:19:29-05

PHOENIX — It's the last resort, suing an individual or business in small claims court in hopes of getting back what you're owed. However, winning doesn't always mean you'll get paid.

Here are five ways to get your money back:

  1. Use a collection agency - They often charge a percentage of what's owed to collect your judgment.
  2. Garnishing Wages - If you know where the person works or banks, petition the court to garnish their wages. In this case you'll get a percentage of what you're owed each time they're paid.
  3. Contact your County Constable - They can collect or seize property such as a car. (There are exclusions and fees that apply)
  4. Property Lien - If they own property, place a lien by submitting a certified copy of the judgment to the recorders office. This has fees, and you'll only get paid when the property is sold.
  5. License and Registration suspension - If your judgment is tied to a car, petition the court to suspend that person's license and registration. It will only be reinstated if they pay up.

Each county has different rules and regulations that need to be followed, so be sure to read those below: