The first step to collecting a debt owed is obtaining a judgment from a court. Once you have a judgment, you can begin the collection process. If the debtor does not automatically pay, you will have to do some work. After obtaining a judgment and docketing the judgment, you will need to find out the debtor’s ability to pay the judgment, or your ability to collect on the judgment. What bank accounts, earnings, or other assets does the debtor have?
Learning the Assets of the Debtor
In order to learn the financial status of the debtor and the debtor’s particular assets, you may file a Request for Order of Disclosure motion with the court. In Minnesota, you may obtain this form online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=307&itemType=formDetails.
You will need to fill out the name of the plaintiff (you, the creditor), the name of the defendant (the person who owes you money), and the judicial district and case number in which you obtained and docketed the judgment.
You will need to fill out the information about the debtor and the debtor’s address. You will next sign as the judgment creditor and provide your contact information. By signing this form you affirm that:
- you won a judgment in the lawsuit against the debtor,
- the case began in district court and the court administrator docketed the judgment more than 30 days ago, or the case began in conciliation court and the court administrator docketed the judgment,
- the debtor has not paid you all money owed to you, and
- you have not agreed with the debtor to some other way to settle the debt.
By signing this form you are requesting that the court order the debtor to inform you of the nature, amount, identity, and locations of all the debtor’s assets, liabilities, and personal earning, by completing a financial disclosure form approved of by the Minnesota Supreme Court. You will want to include a copy of the Financial Disclosure Form prescribed by the Minnesota Supreme Court, which you can find online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=961&itemType=formDetails.
You must file this request with the court in which the judgment was docketed and pay the applicable fee. At the time of this writing, the fee to file this request with a court in Hennepin County is $5.00. You may make a check payable to “Court Administrator.”
You may realize that in order to include the debtor’s information on the Request for Order of Disclosure form, you need to know where to find the debtor, or the debtor’s address.