How Do I Collect My Judgment?

Collecting your money from the other party is sometimes the most difficult and frustrating part of pursuing a claim. The court does not perform this task for you; the party winning the judgment is solely responsible for collecting it.

Contact the losing party immediately after the judgment is rendered and request payment. Make arrangements as to the date, amount, and method of payment. Arrange to be paid as quickly as possible since the longer the payment process is delayed the less likely it is that you will receive the full amount of the judgment.

If the losing party fails to live up to the terms of your agreement regarding payment send a letter of reminder immediately. It should state that unless payment is made, you will be forced to take whatever action is necessary to collect your money. Remember to date and copy the letter before sending it. If your letter does not get results, you must choose another collection method such as:

  • Collection Agency. 

    A private collection agency can be found by looking in the yellow pages. A collection agency usually charges a percentage of the amount collected. The percentage may range from 30% to 50% of your money.

  • Garnishment. 

    You may garnish either the losing party´s wages or bank account. If you know where the party banks, garnishing the bank account is one of the easier methods of collecting your judgment. The Small Claims Court clerk has the forms you need to file a garnishment. It costs $5.00 to file a garnishment or execution and you must wait 30 days after the judgment is rendered.

  • Execution Against Property. 

    This method of collection can be tricky and you are better off consulting an attorney if you must use this method. Certain property such as a home, appliances and a car may be exempt from execution. Also, you must check for any liens against the property. Because of the complexity involved, executing against real estate is usually only used as a last resort.

Go to the Nebraska Judicial Branch website for more information on collecting your Small Claims Court judgment: