Why Finding Your Debtor’s Assets Is the First Step to Getting Paid


Creditors can follow a variety of tactics to collect an outstanding debt. They can, under some circumstances, file a lawsuit against the debtor. If they win the lawsuit, the debtor must pay the money according to the terms set forth by the judge. If they don’t, the creditor can take legal action to seize the debtor’s assets. 

The Debtor’s Examination

During the debtor’s examination, the creditors ask the debtor about property and assets to get details from them. The debtor must answer the questions truthfully or face the consequences. The creditors can use all available resources to find out what assets the debtor has.

If the debtor was ordered to pay a judgment, the creditors can try to access the debtor’s checking account, savings, certificate of deposit accounts, and tax refunds to settle the judgment. Consumers who are facing these circumstances need to find a debt collection lawyer now. 

Requesting Asset Details in Writing 

Creditors can send their request for asset information in writing, and the debtor must provide them with a list of assets. Public records show what properties and automobiles the debtor owns. The creditors will not ask their questions without knowing the answers already.

If the debtor lies on the forms, they can face perjury charges and could go to jail. It is recommended that the debtor disclose all information about assets such as automobiles, real estate, and other assets for which there is a public record. 

Answering Questions About Assets in Court 

If the collection case goes to court, the debtor will have to answer questions about their assets in front of a judge. It is recommended that they answer all questions truthfully and try not to omit information that could lead to further penalties. An attorney can help the debtor by preparing them for the questions and determining what assets are known to the creditors.  

Applying a Lien on Certain Assets

The creditors could apply a lien on certain assets to collect the judgment. If this happens, the owner cannot sell the asset even to get proceeds to pay off the judgment. They will be required to pay the lienholder first. Debtors are advised not to try to conceal property because the creditors could get a warrant to have the debtor arrested through the court. 

Collecting from an Estate

When protecting assets, an estate owner can transfer certain assets into a trust. It is recommended that they complete these steps before a judgment is rendered against them. Once the properties are transferred to the trust, they are no longer owned by the estate owner on paper. The estate owner remains in control over the assets until they die and then a successor takes over. 

When an estate goes into probate, creditors make attempts to seize assets to collect outstanding balances. If the value of the estate is under a certain amount, it will not enter the probate court, and the creditors will not get an opportunity to take the assets. 

If a defendant in a lawsuit is ordered to pay a monetary judgment, the court determines how they will pay the money to the claimant. If they do not pay, the claimant can take legal action to get their money. If the claimant was a creditor, there are several measures they can take to collect the outstanding judgment. An attorney could help the defendant in a lawsuit get a solution to this dilemma.