While the process of obtaining a judgment through business litigation can be a daunting and futile ordeal without legal representation, most business owners are probably well aware that the hard part is enforcing a judgment. Once a settlement or trial results in a judgment, the court essentially has no further role in the process. Commercial creditors must take the initiative to pursue the collection of money owed pursuant to the judgment. This blog post provides an overview of basic information about enforcing judgments.

Do you need legal guidance on a business matter? Contact The Weisblatt Law Firm for a consultation with an experienced business lawyer who cares. Call (713) 666-1981 today.

B2B Debt Collection 101

Although the law varies depending on the jurisdiction, business creditors have a limited period of time to enforce a judgment. Under Texas law, a judgment is valid for ten years if procedures are not followed to renew the judgment for consecutive 10-year periods. The importance of keeping the judgment valid cannot be overstated, because the judgment becomes time barred if it is not renewed. Nearly three in four judgments expire without being enforced because many businesses proceed without a business lawyer who has expertise in judgment enforcement.

There are several debt enforcement tools that our law firm might use to collect the money owed to your business.

Writ of Execution

Whether we use skip trace services, judgment debtor examinations, or asset search software, our law firm works to uncover bank accounts and other sources of cash that the debtor might be diverting or hiding. While the legal process can be complicated, our law firm might file a Writ of Execution which can be served on the debtor’s bank to retrieve money deposited into the financial institution. In some cases, we might even be able to obtain a Writ of Execution that permits a law enforcement official to seize cash at the business establishment of the debtor.

Filing Liens on Real Property

A lien essentially places a legal claim on property that constitutes a cloud on title in the debtor’s county. Our law firm will perfect the lien with the county recorder, which generally will have to be resolved before the property can be sold. If a judgment lien is in place, you will receive the amount owed to you from the proceeds of the sale.

The Weisblatt Law Firm listens closely to business clients and provides solution-driven representation that protects their interests.

Wage Garnishment

Depending on the circumstances, an officer or owner of the business who owes a debt can be held personally liable for the financial obligation. This can be a powerful tool that results in funds being deducted from paychecks by the payroll department of the business before the individual subject to the garnishment receives his or her net pay. Most states impose a maximum amount that can be deducted from each pay period.

Motion for Turnover Order

Sometimes, a debtor’s non-exempt assets are inaccessible by legal or other approved means. In these circumstances, you can seek a turnover order. Turnover orders are court orders requiring the debtor to turn over their non-exempt assets as payment toward the judgment against them.

Under normal circumstances, turnover orders are requested during a formal hearing with both parties present. In some cases, however, you may be able to proceed without the debtor. Once the judge rules in favor of the turnover order, the debtor typically has 30 days to comply. Failure to do so can lead to a contempt-of-court charge and other legal consequences.

Post-Judgment Discovery

Post-judgment discovery is similar to discovery during business litigation. Its purpose in relation to monetary judgments is to allow a party to collect and review evidence related to the judgment and locate any non-exempt assets that may not have been found or reported. Lawyers may conduct depositions, review bank accounts, and take other permitted actions to exhaust their search for assets to satisfy a judgment.

Contact an Experienced B2B Debt Collection Attorney to Recover What Is Rightfully Yours

Andrew Weisblatt of the Weisblatt Law Firm in Houston has been advising all types of businesses — from large corporations to one-owner operations — for many years. He understands the unique approach needed for each type of B2B debtor, to ensure the most successful collection results possible.

To set up a consultation with Attorney Weisblatt, call (713) 666-1981 today. Learn how The Weisblatt Law Firm can help. Telephone consultations are free.

Houston Business Contracts Attorney

Attorney Andrew Weisblatt

Mr. Weisblatt has practiced continuously since becoming licensed in 1992 and has represented businesses ranging in size from one person start-up ventures to multi-national corporations employing hundreds of people in multiple countries. From 2005 through 2009 Mr. Weisblatt was in-house counsel and chief operating officer of a multi-national corporation in the steel products industry. That in-house position provided valuable insight into how businesses work and what they actually need from their lawyers – both in-house and outside counsel. Attorney Bio