General Guidelines for Collecting a Debt for a Judgment
After a judgment is entered in your favor, you may need to determine how to collect the money owed to you. One of the first things you may wish to do is to request information from the judgment debtor in the form of interrogatories (questions) which you will send to the debtor. These questions have been written for you and the approved interrogatories are included in O.C.G.A. § 15-10-50.
If you decide to proceed with the interrogatories you will need to file a copy of the questions with the Clerk of Magistrate Court and you must pay a $10.00 fee. After that you must send the written questions to the judgment debtor by certified mail. The judgment debtor then has 30 days to respond in writing to the interrogatories. If he/she fails to respond you can request an order from the court to compel the answers, or to hold the debtor in contempt for his/her failure to respond.
Another tool at your disposal is request a Fi Fa, which is a document that is issued by the Superior Court Clerk’s Office for the purpose of recording a lien on the judgment debtor’s property. The cost for a Fi Fa is $29. The Fi Fa can be used in other counties where other real property or assets exist and you may want to file the Fi Fa in each county the judgment debtor has property. It is also a legal instrument by which the Sheriff may seize the assets of a judgment debtor. Once property is seized, the Sheriff will conduct a public sale. It is the plaintiff/judgment creditor’s responsibility to pay for any towing, transport, storage, and advertising costs of property to be levied. After a levy and sale, these costs are deduced from any sale and the plaintiff/judgment creditor is responsible if the sale does not satisfy these debts.
Another action that may be taken is to file a garnishment in this Court directed towards a business entity, such as a bank or the business that employs the judgment debtor. The forms for this is located at the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
Any questions related to civil filings should contact the Clerk of Superior Court, who is also the Clerk for Magistrate Court’s Civil Division. The number is 706-864-3736.