General Question

PhysicsGuy's avatar

Does small claims and garnishment really work?

Asked by PhysicsGuy (31points) November 1st, 2010

I have roommates who skipped out on me, stole from me, and left me with a pile of debt. I will be claiming for ~$500 in damages (more than $500 costs more to file). My case is clear cut and I will win (he signed a lease with me and notorized it), but from what everyone tells me about small claims it dosn’t work, people don’t pay, I’m screwed, etc. Once I get my judgment how likely is a motion for garnishment to work? The motion costs an additional $185 + $40 service fee (which will be tacked onto the judgment). This guy works a tax paying job, is not a head of a household, and does not have kids. Do judges usually grant garnishment motions.

I could kick his ass but I don’t want to. I just want my money back

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

6 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

As a regular human being, I understand the amount of money you are out is A LOT of money.. but the court wont see it that way… your debt is petty and between two individualsYou wont be able to go right to garnishment because 1.) there is a process to get there and 2.) Garnishment is usually only ordered for tax debts / child support payments etc.

You will have to A.) go to small claims, then when he doesn’t pay go to a collection agency and then when he doesn’t pay then you can go back to the court for garnishment.

I would start over at MR LANDLORD you will probably get better help there then you can here.

anartist's avatar

It can’t hurt. It is easy to do. And cheap. And if the defendant doesn’t even bother to show, you have a cakewalk. You win by default.

I had an easy time with small claims. A health club back in the days just after they were selling lifetime memberships and were trying to get out of those that they had, threw away my gym bag in my locker because they were remodelling. Lifetime members had permanent lockers. I added up the value of all the stuff and went to small claims court seeking redress. The health club rep didn’t show. The judge was reading over a list of the stuff I lost and I said Oh I forgot… something maybe a hairdryer or something worth say $15. The judge said “the defendant did not show, we are ready to grant your claim of $250. Are you sure you want to add $15 because then you will have to refile. I took the hint, took the judgment, and ran. The club paid up within a week.

PhysicsGuy's avatar

This is an individual though. From what I hear individuals just don’t pay and say screw it.

YARNLADY's avatar

You can hire a collection agency. Sometimes they buy the debt off you, by paying you a reduced amount of cash up front and then keeping what they collect. You have to have a court order showing you have won a judgment against them.

anartist's avatar

Collection agencies pay 10 cents on the dollar. Is it worth it to give away 90 percent collection to an agency?

YARNLADY's avatar

@anartist True, but some is better than none.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther