How can a judgment be enforced if the defendant will not pay?

Asked by: Tamia Cummerata  |  Last update: August 6, 2022
Score: 4.4/5 (68 votes)

If the defendant fails or refuses to pay the judgment voluntarily, it may be necessary to contact an enforcement officer — this is typically a Sheriff or a City Marshall, depending on where you live. You can inform the enforcement officer that you wish to request an execution from the court.

What happens if a judge orders you to pay and you don t?

You Could Serve Jail Time Over Your Debt

If you don't show up, the court can “find you in civil contempt.” The court interprets your absence as disobeying orders, and you have to pay up or go to jail.

What is an enforceable judgment?

Enforceable Judgment means a judgment or order of a court or arbitral or regulatory authority as to which the period, if any, during which the enforcement of such judgment or order is stayed shall have expired.

What happens if a defendant does not pay a judgment in PA?

A creditor can sue you if you get behind in your payments. The creditor may file a law suit at the Magisterial District Court if it's for a small amount, or may sue you in the County Court of Common Pleas, or in Federal Court. A PA constable or sheriff must serve you with a copy of the Complaint.

How do I not pay a Judgement?

You might be able to prevent collection of a judgment by negotiating with the creditor or claiming property as exempt. If a creditor sues you and gets a judgment, it has a whole host of collection methods available to get its money from you, including wage attachments, property levies, assignment orders, and more.


37 related questions found

Can a creditor garnish my bank account in PA?

Pennsylvania does permit what is called "bank garnishment." This means if you have money in a bank, a creditor may obtain a judgment against you in court and garnish whatever money is deposited there – even if that money is from a direct deposit of wages. Once the money is in the bank, it is subject to garnishment.

How long do you have to enforce a judgment?

Under section 24(1) of the Limitation Act 1980 (1980 Act), "an action shall not be brought upon any judgment after the expiration of six years from the date on which the judgment became enforceable".

How do you enforce a Judgement for money?

You can try and get your money (called 'enforcing your judgment') by asking the court for:
  1. a warrant of control.
  2. an attachment of earnings order.
  3. a third-party debt order.
  4. a charging order.

How do you execute a court Judgement?

In order to enforce/execute the judgment an employee must approach the Execution Court and apply for the enforcement of the judgment. The Execution Court will then serve notice on the employer seeking payment within 15 days from the date of the service of the notice.

Can a person be imprisoned for non payment of debt?

Can a person be imprisoned by non-payment of debt? Put in simple words, no person can be compelled to pay debt by threatening the latter with the filing of criminal actions. Suits arising from non-payment of debts are only civil in character which cannot be a ground for criminal action.

Can a debtor be jailed?

"No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless on refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors in such manner as may be described by law, or in cases where there is strong presumption of fraud."

Can you go to jail for a civil lawsuit?

Civil law also settles disputes between individuals and organisations. If you are convicted of a civil offence, you are not likely to be sent to prison, but most often will become liable for compensation.

What is judgement process?

judgment, also spelled judgement, in all legal systems, a decision of a court adjudicating the rights of the parties to a legal action before it.

What is judgment execution?

Execution of Judgment:

Execution refers to an official document that directs a sheriff to take possession of a judgment debtor's property so that it either (a) may be turned over to the judgment creditor or (b) may be sold at public sale so that the proceeds may be turned over to the judgment creditor.

What is the effect of a judgment?

A judgment is the final part of a court case. A valid judgment delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction resolves all the contested issues and terminates the lawsuit. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and most state rules of civil procedure allow appeals only from final judgments.

What can be used as methods of enforcement?

Methods of enforcement—overview
  • Attachment of earnings. An attachment of earnings order is only of use where the debtor is employed. ...
  • Charging orders. ...
  • Stop orders and stop notices. ...
  • Third party debt orders. ...
  • Judgment summons. ...
  • Means of payments orders. ...
  • Orders for sale. ...
  • Receivership.

How do you enforce a debt?

How to enforce a debt
  1. Charge Order and Order for Sale. A charging order secures the debt against the debtor's property, such as a house that they own. ...
  2. Third Party Debt Orders. ...
  3. Attachment of Earnings Order. ...
  4. Statutory Demand. ...
  5. Bailiffs and High Court Enforcement.

How do you enforce a third party debt order?

(1) A final third party debt order shall be enforceable as an order to pay money. (b) the order is enforced against him, the third party shall, to the extent of the amount paid by him or realised by enforcement against him, be discharged from his debt to the judgment debtor.

Is there time limit on enforcing County Court Judgment?

The Limitation Act 1980 states that enforcement action cannot be commenced in respect of a Judgment Order after 6 years from the date upon which the Judgment became enforceable.

How long can a county court Judgement be enforced?

The CCJ will be removed from the Register and your credit file after six years. During these six years, the creditor and the court can take further action you. It's very risky to wait for a CCJ to 'drop off' your credit file. In rare cases, ignoring demands to pay a CCJ can lead to imprisonment.

Can you enforce a Judgement after 6 years?

At first glance, you would have thought the answer was simple: No. The reason for this is that the Limitation Act 1980 says “an action shall not be brought upon any judgment after the expiration of six years…” However, in actual fact, the complete opposite is true, and the answer is yes.

What is exempt from a Judgement in PA?

The following items are exempt from execution by most creditors under Pennsylvania and Federal law: Most public benefits, Social Security benefits, money in retirement accounts (such as 401ks and pensions), and unemployment benefits. (SocialSecurity benefits are still exempt once they are in the bank.)

How can a debt collector find my bank account?

How a Debt Collector Gets Access to Your Bank Account. A debt collector gains access to your bank account through a legal process called garnishment. If one of your debts goes unpaid, a creditor—or a debt collector that it hires—may obtain a court order to freeze your bank account and pull out money to cover the debt.

Do Judgements expire in PA?

A judgment issued by a Magisterial District Justice or MDJ expires after 5 years if nothing is done. A judgment at the county Court of Common Pleas ceases to be effective after 20 years and may be overtaken by someone else's judgment after 5 years if nothing is done.

What are 3 types of judgement?

Three Kinds of Judgement
  • Analytic judgements have no descriptive content.
  • Synthetic judgements have just descriptive content.
  • Evaluative judgements go beyond descriptive content.