How does a judgment turn into actual money?

Enforcement of the judgment and collection of the debt owed can sometimes be
the more difficult task, as compared to prevailing in a lawsuit. Below is a
sampling of commonly-used enforcement tools that Griswold Law employs in order
to collect on judgments on behalf of its clients. The information
below is a discussion of potentially available options and is not meant to be
relied upon or considered legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if you
are seeking formal legal advice related to a particular factual situation.

One of the key issues in collecting on a judgment
is obtaining the asset information from the judgment debtor.  One way to get this information is to conduct a Debtor’s Examination (which is very similar to a deposition).  Also, the debtor can be required to bring documents to the hearing such as bank statements and pay stubs to identify the location and scope of their monetary

Writ of Execution:

The issuance of this writ acts as direction to the Sheriff in carrying out
certain enforcement tools described below.

Bank Account Levy:

Pursuant to the writ of execution, the judgment creditor can locate the bank account information and have the Sheriff direct the bank branch that manages
the debtor’s bank account to “freeze” one or more of the accounts and release
those funds to the judgment creditor.

Judgment Lien on Real Property

Another avenue to satisfy a judgment is if the judgment debtor owns real
property.  Once the judgment is entered, an abstract of judgment issued by the court can be recorded with the county recorder.  The abstract acts as a lien on all real property owned by the debtor in the county that it has been recorded in.

There are other enforcement tools available in California. The above list is
merely a sampling of commonly-used tools.

Civil judgments generally expire after 10 years from the date they become
final, unless they are renewed.  It is important to consult with an attorney immediately if you are seeking to enforce a judgment and are unsure if the judgment has expired.


To discuss enforcing a judgment in California, please contact
Griswold Law at (858) 481-1300 or

  • There are no suggestions because the search field is empty.


See all

Recent Posts