Judgment Enforcement

Clarkson Law Firm understands that securing a judgment is only the first step. Having a judgment against someone and collecting on the judgment are two separate things.

Collecting on a judgment presents a unique set of obstacles in South Carolina. For instance, judgments expire. In South Carolina it is generally recognized that a judgment creditor must begin court action to enforce the judgment within 10 years from the date of entry or the judgment will expire. Sometimes debtors don’t have any assets to collect from. South Carolina does not allow for wage garnishment. Instead, judgment creditors must look to the assets of the debtor when seeking to execute on a judgment. Certain assets are exempt from levy. For example, there is an approximately $50,000 exemption on the equity in a debtor’s homestead. Sometime debtors conceal assets. However, there are some things going for the judgment creditor. Judgments typically have a negative impact on credit, so some debtors will desire to restore their credit and work something out. Also, judgments act as a lien on any real property owned by the debtor in the county where recorded. Thus, having a judgment may prove as an impediment to the buying or selling of real property without first resolving the judgment.

Despite the difficulties, at Clarkson Law Firm our professional collection team explores every option to collect from the debtor. Some tools we use to maximize recovery for our clients include: asset searches, sheriff executions, supplemental proceedings, Statute of Elizabeth actions (fraudulent conveyance), payment plans, and receiverships.