How to Collect a Judgment in Arizona

By Grayson Charles
The judgment creditor must identify the debtor's assets to collect on a judgment.

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If you prevail in a civil lawsuit, the award is usually for monetary damages. The party who prevails in a civil suit is the judgment creditor and the party who lost is the judgment, the debtor. The judgment debtor sometimes does not make an immediate payment on the judgment. To execute on a judgment in Arizona, the debtor must have assets located in Arizona. Otherwise, the judgment creditor must attempt to execute the judgment in the jurisdiction where the debtor has assets.

Verify the judgment debtor's address. Verify where the judgment debtor is conducting business, if it is a company.

Research the debtor to find an asset that is located in Arizona. This can be a bank account, a source of income or a piece of real estate. Identifying an asset is a critical part of recovering on a judgment. The judgment creditor cannot collect from a debtor who has no assets. If the debtor has no assets in Arizona, you may have to petition the court in the jurisdiction where the judgment debtor's asset is located.

Verify that the statutory limitation period of five years has not passed. After the expiration of the five year period, the judgment creditor has to file additional supporting documents to assure the court that the judgment is still in effect.

Apply to the clerk of the court for a writ of garnishment if the judgment debtor has a source of income. Follow the clerk's instructions for mailing the writ of garnishment to the institution that is the source of the debtor's income.

Petition the court that awarded the judgment to issue a writ of execution. A writ of execution is a court order signed by a judge that authorizes a law enforcement officer to seize property to satisfy the judgment. Use this method as an alternative or in addition to the writ of garnishment.

Deliver the writ of execution to a law enforcement officer in the Arizona county where the judgment debtor is located. The law enforcement officer is required to follow the instructions on the writ. The officer will usually seize the asset and sell it at auction.

About the Author

Grayson Charles has been writing and editing since 1986. He enjoys writing technical articles in the areas of government, law, public policy, computers and the impact of the Internet on society. He was previously a freelance writer for "Panacea Magazine." Charles holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the State University of New York at Albany.

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