How to Pursue Collections Against a Tenant Who Owes Money After a Bronx Tenant Eviction
If you have a tenant who refuses to pay rent or has caused damage to your property, it’s important to understand how to legally go after him or her. A skilled Bronx tenant eviction attorney can explain the eviction process and what comes next.
Obtaining a Money Judgment
When you pursue a Bronx tenant eviction, you may have two primary goals. One, you may wish to regain possession of your property. That’s the eviction part of the process, and your attorney can walk you through the necessary steps for that. Your second goal may be to seek reimbursement of money your tenant owes you. It’s not uncommon for a landlord to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent. However, once the tenant leaves, he or she may still owe a significant amount in back rent. Therefore, along with an order from the court evicting your tenant, you will also need a money judgment.
A money judgment is an order from the court requiring the tenant/defendant to pay you a set sum of money. You cannot begin any type of legal collections unless you have that written money judgment.
Finding Assets to Pursue
As a Bronx tenant eviction lawyer can explain, the next step after obtaining a money judgment is figuring out whether the tenant has any assets to collect. This can be tricky, especially if the tenant vacated without leaving a forwarding address. It’s therefore important to keep good records on file on each tenant before an eviction action becomes necessary. However, if you don’t have good information on the tenant’s assets, you may request the court issue a subpoena to order the tenant back into court to testify.
Available Collections Tools
Once you know the nature and whereabouts of a tenant’s property, you may choose from a variety of collection tools to pursue your money judgement.
If the tenant is employed, you may be able to garnish their wages. If you have information about where they keep their bank accounts, you may be able to garnish a portion of their deposits in a checking or savings account. With garnishments, however, your attorney can discuss whether there are any other liens that take priority over your claim. Child support or back taxes are two common examples. It’s often necessary to file several garnishments in order to receive the full amount of a money judgment.
A property seizure is another valuable collections tool. A seizure order is a directive to law enforcement to physically seize property belonging to the debtor (tenant) that may be valuable enough to satisfy the money judgment. Common assets subject to seizure could include jewellery, cars, boats or other items of value owned by the debtor. Your attorney can explain special issues in seizing property that may have a secured lien on it such as automobiles or houses.
Put an experienced Bronx landlord lawyer in your corner. To make an appointment with the law offices of Rogers & Rogers, Esq. call (718) 994-1640.