In most states, a judgment creditor can pay the local Sheriff to attempt to levy their judgment debtor’s wages to help satisfy a judgment. Usually, the difficult part is finding out where your judgment debtor works. Attempting to discover where your debtor works is called a Place Of Employment search, sometimes abbreviated as POE.
This article is my opinion, and not legal advice. I am a judgment referral expert, and am not a lawyer. If you ever need any legal advice or a strategy to use, please contact a lawyer.
Wage levies are not guaranteed, because of reasons that include the debtor can file for bankruptcy protection, or there could be another creditor with a previous wage levy already in place; which means yours will not attach, and the money you spent will be wasted.
To have a Sheriff attempt to levy part of your judgment debtor’s wages, you must first buy a writ of execution from the court. Depending on where you live, you must either hire a registered process server, the Sheriff, or both; to serve a levy on your judgment debtor’s employer. The procedure for a levy attempt will require even more paperwork. Here are some of the ways one can discover where a judgment debtor works, or in some other way gets income:
1) Outsource your judgment, and let an expert try to recover your judgment, so you will not have to spend any more money or time.
2) Visit social media websites such as Facebook, Google (both to search, and for their social media), LinkedIn, etc., to look for hints about where your debtor works or how they make income. Some people brag on such sites about where they work, or their other income or assets.
3) Schedule and have served, a judgment debtor examination. At such an examination, documents can be subpoenaed from the debtor or sometimes even third-parties, for example their bank; to discover where the debtor works, or their self-employment situation, or their other assets or income.
4) Pay a private investigator to attempt to discover where the debtor works. This is usually not cheap, however a PI’s report might provide other hints about your debtor’s other assets.
5) In the (usually early) morning, follow your debtor with your vehicle to attempt to determine if they drive to their job, taking care to avoid being noticed. This may require more than one attempt.
6) Find an online employment and/or asset search company. However, most of the best companies require subscriptions, and may not offer service to individuals owning a single judgment.
7) Politely ask your judgment debtor’s friends or neighbors, without mentioning any judgments or debts. If you know where the debtor worked before, sometimes their previous employer will know where the debtor is working now.
In the current and future economy, conventional jobs are downsizing. More and more people either will have to invent their own jobs or find some other way to make money, or live with less money. Many judgment debtors do not have available assets, which makes judgment recovery a long-shot.