Cookeville, TN asked in Collections and Small Claims for Tennessee

Q: How can I collect my judgement ?

I have a judgement by default from 2016 for 25k @5.5% . The debtor was a business owner who took money/property from multiple people before taking everything of value from the business and ran away. I did get a wage garnishment for a couple years, only because of a rumor and some luck until he was laid off. I believe that I found his home/property but have not been able to verify 100%. A TN.GOV site said he is the owner as of Jan 1st 2020. Nobody I emailed would mention the debtor, although i gave his name and another person that was listed at the property on different sites. The other person is listed living at a different address, same city not that property.

I would like to have it seized and auctioned off to satisfy the debt, if it is his property.

I have not been able to get information on procedure or cost to serve and seize the property, different TN county.

I have no money for a lawyer and the local L.A.S. of TN couldn't help with this type of case.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills
  • Brentwood, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: You can use the Tennessee Property Database to try and see if the debtor owns property. Maybe that's the same one you mentioned.

You have some collection tools available. You could send interrogatories in aid of execution, take a deposition, garnish/levy bank accounts, levy a home, etc. But if the debtor doesn't have anything, you'll get nothing. Good news is that the judgment lasts for ten years and you can renew it.

If your judgment was in general sessions court, there are plenty of forms available at the clerk's offices in each county to help. Otherwise, you'll have to draft up your own papers or find a collection attorney. Some work on contingency. Good luck.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

1 user found this answer helpful

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: You will need to actually search the Titles in the suspect Counties. The Tax Assessor information is great but that is only a start. Keeping quiet about what you are doing is important, because if hears about it, he will convey out prior to a lien attaching. Any competent attorney will charge you fees. Some quick title searching should disclose whether this is a feasible collection, and may tie up assets for several years. If not, then you may wish to begin with Mr. Wills' Asset Discovery.

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