If you were involved in a commercial collections claim and the court decides against you and issues a judgment and you do not intend to appeal, it is generally best to pay the judgment as soon as possible. If you do, under California law, you will not have to pay interest on the unpaid judgment, and you will not be responsible for whatever costs the judgment creditor (the side that wins) incurs trying to collect the judgment from you.
Fill out and send the creditor a Judgment Debtor’s Statement of Assets (Form SC-133)
Once the judgment against you is final and you do not pay voluntarily within 30 days, you are legally required to fill out a Judgment Debtor’s Statement of Assets (Form SC-133PDF file type icon) and send it to the creditor. In many local courts, the court clerk will mail a blank Form SC-133 to you with the original judgment.
If you do not send Form SC-133 to the creditor, he or she may do a debtor’s examination to get information about your property, work, bank accounts, and other assets that the creditor can go after to get paid. Read Ways to Collect From the Debtor to learn about what the creditor can do to collect the judgment if you do not pay voluntarily.
If the creditor takes steps to collect the judgment, there may be something you can do. Get help from the small claims advisor. And get more information by clicking on the topic below that applies to your situation:
After levying upon a Judgment debtor’s interest in property, a Judgment creditor may be served with a Claim of Exemption. These exemptions are listed on Form EJ-155 and the exemption amounts on Form EJ-156.
Generally, an exemption is waived if not timely filed. See CCP § 703.030(a). A creditor may oppose an exemption claim.
The exemption amounts are adjusted every three years. The next adjustment will be made on April 1, 2022.
The most commonly claimed exemptions are:
- Car(s) are exempt in the aggregate amount of $3,325.00. See CCP § 704.010. If the debtor owns only one car, the sale proceeds are exempt in that amount without making a claim.
- Furniture and personal effects are exempt in any amount if they meet the “ordinary and reasonably necessary” test. However, the furniture and personal effects must be located at the debtor’s principal place of residence and personally used. See CCP § 704.020.
- Bank account(s) are exempt in the aggregate amount of $1,826.00 without making a claim. The exemption amount is adjusted annually. The next adjustment will be made on July 1, 2022. See CCP § 704.220.
- Jewelry, heirlooms and works of art are exempt in the aggregate amount of $8,725.00. See CCP § 704.040. An item may also be claimed under the furniture and personal effects exemption.
For more up to date information on the commercial collections process, contact the Law Offices of Ronald P. Slates today.