How to File a Writ of Execution and a Default Judgment

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You can enforce payment of a default judgment by filing the judgment to create a lien on the debtor's real estate and using a writ of execution, a separate document that allows you to take the debtor's property to recover the judgment. A default judgment is a court award you received after filing against a debtor who did not answer or appear in court. A writ of execution allows the law enforcement agency that handles writs in the area to seize property of the debtor and sell the property at auction, with the money going to the judgment creditor.

Chose a writ type. A general writ allows the sheriff or marshal to seize any of the debtor's property not exempt by law, while a specific writ names a particular piece of nonexempt property.

Visit the court that issued the default judgment. Ask for a filing copy, either a certified copy or an abstract, depending on where you live. Also ask for a writ of execution packet.

Read the packet and complete any necessary forms or notice to the debtor. Some states require you notify the judgment debtor before getting a writ to identity exempt property.

Complete the writ form. Forms vary by area, but you typically must provide all information you have about debtor, including home and work addresses and banks the debtor uses.

Complete the judgment calculation worksheet. Follow the instructions. The worksheet calculates the current judgment amount with the interest allowed by law added.

File the writ in the court clerk's office. Ask for a certified copy.

File the certified copy or abstract in each county the debtor has real property. Contact the county recorder or clerk's office to check the debtor's name in the land records for property ownership.

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