You may think that obtaining a civil judgment against someone means they will pay you. Respectfully, think again. The judgment only means they owe you the amount of the judgment. Then the hard work really begins: collecting.
New Hampshire law allows thirty (30) days for a judgment debtor to pay a judgment creditor. During these thirty (30) days, the creditor cannot take any steps to collect the judgment amount. Debtors rarely pay creditors during these thirty (30) days. So what can a creditor do when the thirty (30) days are up?
If the creditor is aware of property (personal or real estate) owned by the debtor, an attachment proceeding can be initiated. A consultation with an attorney might be a good idea if you are pursuing this option. Acquiring an attachment can put pressure on a debtor to pay their debt and get the attachment discharged.
The most common way judgments are collected in New Hampshire is by the use of a payment hearing which is initiated by filing a simple motion with the court along with a modest fee of $25. The court will issue a hearing notice with a date and time to send to the debtor by certified mail if the case is in circuit court or to provide to the sheriff for service if you are in superior court.
When the debtor comes to the payment hearing, he/she will be required to complete a financial affidavit which the court will review and order the debtor to make payments to the creditor in accordance with the debtor’s financial abilities. If the debtor has no present ability to make payments, the hearing will be continued for a few months to see if things have changed.
At Welts, White & Fontaine, we perform judgment collections for creditors regularly and are available if you do not want to go it alone or if special circumstances exist. Simply contact us by clicking here or by calling (603) 883-0797 and we will tell you how we can help you.
Author: George H. Thompson
This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion.