If you are a creditor attempting to collect a debt, but the person owing the debt is refusing to pay, there are legal remedies available to you.
- First, you must initiate a lawsuit and obtain a judgment in your favor for the amount of debt owed to you. If you serve the debtor with a Summons and Complaint and the debtor fails respond with an Answer, you may obtain a default judgment against the debtor. If the debtor does respond with an Answer, you will have to continue until you win the lawsuit and are awarded a judgment.
- Once you have a judgment, you must docket the judgment, and request the court order the debtor to provide you with financial information about the debtor’s assets and liabilities, on a court-approved Financial Disclosure Form, within 10 days.
- If the debtor fails to obey the court, you may request that the court order the debtor to show cause, or provide a reason, why the debtor failed to do so. A debtor with no good cause for violating a court order may be fined, or jailed, or both for contempt of court.
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How to Request the Debtor Show Cause for Violating a Court Order
A show cause hearing is a hearing where a court will determine whether the debtor has good cause for violating a court order, or whether the debtor should be held in contempt of court.
Filing an Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause
In order to request a show cause hearing, for the debtor’s failure to provide you with a completed Financial Disclosure Form as ordered by the court, you will need to file an Affidavit in Support of Order to Show Cause with the court.
The Minnesota form for this affidavit may be found online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=485&itemType=formDetails.
Read the form carefully to be sure that you can truthfully affirm each sentence or requirement stated in the form before signing.
Filing a Proposed Order to Show Cause
Next you must complete an Order to Show Cause for the judge to sign.
For Hennepin County in Minnesota you may find the form for this online at http://www.mncourts.gov/forms/fourth/forms/Civil/Order%20To%20Show%20Cause%20Form.doc.
Leave the date of the hearing blank for the court.
This service of the Order to Show Cause on the debtor must be done personally, by either:
- handing the Order to Show Cause directly to the debtor at any location, or
- leaving it with a person of suitable age and discretion residing at the debtor’s usual place of abode.
Filing an Affidavit of Personal Service
The person who served the debtor must complete an Affidavit of Personal Service.
A form for an Affidavit of Personal Service for Minnesota can be found online at http://www.mncourts.gov/default.aspx?page=513&item=208&itemType=formDetails.
This document must be completed and notarized.
You will then need to file the a copy of the Order to Show Cause and the Affidavit of Personal Service with the court.