What Is Post-Judgment Discovery in Georgia Civil Court?

Are you planning to file a civil lawsuit in the state of Georgia? Have you already sued and won, and now face questions about how you are going to collect? In either case, it helps a lot to understand some of the basic terminology. Take the term ‘post-judgment discovery’. It is an important one to understand as you embark on collection efforts.

It has been said that collecting an outstanding judgment can be more difficult than obtaining it. We can tell you from firsthand experience that such sentiments are true. In cases when judgment debtors (losing parties) choose not to cooperate, collection can be a real challenge.

As for post-judgment discovery, it is one of the steps a winning party – also known as the judgment creditor – might want to take in order to bolster future collection efforts. Post-judgment discovery is all about gaining knowledge.

Assets Are Key

Assets are key in most judgment collection scenarios. Certain types of personal assets owned by the debtor could be leveraged for payment if the losing party makes no effort to pay in some other way. That is where post-judgment discovery comes in.

The winning party and its attorney may just assume that the losing party has been truthful in upfront about income, employment, and assets. But if there are ever any questions about assets the losing party might be trying to hide, the winning party can file post-judgment discovery.

Post-judgment discovery compels whoever has been served with it to appear in court. Under oath, that person must honestly answer questions about the judgment debtor’s assets. Post-judgment discovery can be filed against the debtor or any other associates who might have knowledge of his assets, income, etc.

It Might Not Get to That

The whole point of post-judgment discovery is to learn about any and all assets that might be leveraged for payment. If it became necessary, liens could be placed on certain assets. But perhaps it won’t come to that in your case. Not every judgment in Georgia gets that far.

If you are planning to file or you have already won, there are other options to pursue before going after a debtor’s personal assets. The most straightforward option is to attempt to work out a payment plan with the debtor. If that’s not possible, both wage and bank account garnishment are allowed in Georgia.

If garnishment fails to satisfy the debt in a reasonable amount of time, you can start looking at personal property. Just know this: if it comes to that, you are probably in a situation in which the debtor is not willing to cooperate. That is where we come in.

Professional Help in Your Corner

Even with post-judgment discovery, a judgment creditor may not come away with a full picture of the debtor’s assets. Not fully understanding all the property a debtor owns only makes collection efforts more difficult. But there is a solution: turning your judgment over to an agency like ours.

Here at Judgment Collectors, we specialize in helping clients collect outstanding judgments in Georgia and several other states. One of the things we excel at is finding assets debtors are trying to hide. We use a variety of tools to locate everything from vacation homes to investment properties. If there are nonexempt assets out there, there’s a good chance we can find them.

Post-judgment discovery is just one of the many facets of obtaining and collecting a monetary judgment. Whether you are planning to sue or have already done so, it helps to understand the legal terms associated with civil litigation. Remember that knowledge is power.