The Art of Post-Judgment Collection in Connecticut

Murtha Cullina
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If you think getting a judgment is difficult, try collecting one….  There is definitely an “art” in collecting money.  Especially in Connecticut where there are specific procedures that a judgment creditor will have to take in order to enforce a money judgment against a debtor.  Following the steps will help, but being diligent, patient and creative also play a large part in securing monies owed.

Once a judgment has entered, many creditors believe they have to wait for the expiration of the appellate stay.  This is accurate as to many forms of collection, but in Connecticut the filing of a judgment lien on real property does not constitute an enforcement action.  Thus, undertaking due diligence as to real property owned by a judgment debtor and then filing judgment lien(s) is an excellent first step.

Of course, there may not be real property to attach and, in fact, a creditor may not know what assets might be available to it.  Connecticut has codified its post-judgment procedures in C.G.S. §52-350, et seq.  The options available to a judgment creditor under the statute include, for example, bank executions, installment payment orders, post-judgment discovery, attaching interests in partnerships and LLC and/or garnishing wages.

Each procedure is specific and the Courts are diligent about ensuring that the rights of the debtor are protected, even after the judgment has entered.  For example, only one execution may issue at any time.  So, if a judgment creditor is seeking a bank execution, it cannot simultaneously secure a property execution.  The bank execution would have to be served and returned to Court prior to the Court issuing a separate property execution.

Another fun option that judgment creditors have in their post-judgment arsenal is the right to conduct an Examination of Judgment Debtor.  This is essentially a Court mandated deposition of the debtor (individual or corporate representative) wherein with the right amount of probing, assets can be discovered.

These are only a few options that are available.  The Connecticut post-judgment collection statutes provide many options and methods of collecting of a debt.  Unfortunately, many debtors know the system and know how to put up roadblocks to collection.  Too often in these situations creditors get discouraged and give up.  But, if utilized fully, the Connecticut post-judgment collections statutes contain creative and ingenious ways to secure payment of a judgment in Connecticut.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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