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Small Claims Collection of Judgments

Small Claims Collection of Judgments


Once you receive a judgment in your favor and it is formally journalized, you may start collection proceedings.  The Clerks Office can provide you with the proper forms and an instruction sheet, once you determine the collection procedure you wish to follow.  However, it is your responsibility to obtain any and all information regarding the individual from whom you are attempting to collect the debt.


Garnishment of Wages

You must obtain the name and address of the employer.  Before you file the Wage Garnishment, you must send a Statutory Demand Notice (15 day notice) to the person.  These forms may be obtained from the Clerk’s Office.  After the 15 day waiting period, bring in your completed and typed Wage Garnishment forms with the filing fee of $60.00 for judgments of $3,000 and less; $95.00 for judgments over $3,000.


Attachment of Bank Accounts

You must determine the names of the banks where the person has accounts which can be attached.  Prepare the forms and file them with the Clerk’s Office along with the fee of $35.00 for the first bank and $10.00 for each additional bank, plus a separate check in the amount of $1.00 made payable to each bank.


Lien Against Real Property

A “Certificate of Judgment for Lien” can be requested from the Clerk’s Office for a fee of $15.00.  You may file the Certificate of Judgment for Lien with the Clerk of Court’s Office in the county where the Defendant owns property.  It is your responsibility to research real property ownership.


Levy (Only Property Located in Cuyahoga County)

You must determine if the person has any personal property belonging solely to him or her (i.e., automobile, furniture, office equipment, etc.).  If you wish to levy on an automobile, you must verify if the person is the owner, location, model/year and color.  If possible, get the serial number and license plate number.  On all other items, you must have a complete description and location.  The filing fee is $75.00.  If a Sheriff Sale goes forward, there will be an additional cost of $350.00 to pay for appraiser fees, advertising, etc.


Examination Before the Judge (Long Aid)

The person is required to come to Court to testify about his assets and where they are located.  You must be present to conduct the questioning.  The filing fee is $50.00 if the defendant is in the Courts jurisdiction and $60.00 if outside the jurisdiction.


Asset Form

If the judgment is not paid in full within 30 days, you may request the Court to send the person an order to report his assets.  If no response is received within 20 days, you will need to contact the Court in writing, and it will be set for further Court action.  The cost for the asset form is $10.00.

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