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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 12249
Experience:  JD, MBA
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A local contractor did not finish a room addition. I have

Customer Question

A local contractor did not finish a room addition. I have a settlement for $25,000. I am in Ohio , he is in Florida, renting a place which has a boat slip at New Port Richey Florida.
My asset search thru a local attorney turned up no assets. He has started a home maintenance repair business. What is the most cost effective way to periodically find out if he has any assets, and how do I get control of those assets as the months and years begin to pass. Any good advice is welcome.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Please note that for legal reasons my answers are only intended to be general/educational information rather than specific legal advice. If you need specific legal advice, then you must consult with a local attorney in your jurisdiction.

First and foremost, you may want to consider simply selling your judgment to a buyer such as the one HERE. Granted, you'll obviously get less than the face value of the judgment, but at least it's guaranteed money and you won't have to worry about this over the years. After all, collecting on a judgment is not only difficult, it some cases it's impossible. The judgment debtor may never have assets, or he may file for bankruptcy and eliminate your judgment.

However, if you want to try to collect on the judgment, then you may want to hire a collection agency, such as the one found HERE. They generally take a percentage of what they collect (I believe the example I gave says 18%). They will then do what's necessary to collect, such as periodically check for assets using various tools which you do not have access to. If you want to try to collect yourself, then you can periodically check the county's land records to see if the judgment debtor owns real estate (other than his homestead). You can also get a court order to garnish from area banks ... you'll be shooting in the dark, but it makes sense that the judgment debtor uses a bank near his home, so you can try to 5 nearest his residence. You can also schedule an oral exam of the debtor and ask him under penalty of perjury what kind of assets he has and where they are located.

Since the debtor lives in Florida, you'll have to domesticate your Ohio judgment there (assuming your judgment is in Ohio, that is).

Have I satisfactorily addressed your concerns? If not, then feel free to let me know, as I will be happy to clarify my answer or help with your follow-up questions. In the meantime, please remember to click the green accept button so that I will receive credit and compensation for my time (doing so does not end our discussion). Positive feedback is always appreciated as well. Thank you and good luck!

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