Registering a Foreign Judgment in Bankruptcy will help you in collecting certain debts if you are a creditor. One of the most frustrating aspects of lawsuits is the difficulty in collecting a judgment. In many cases, the losing party will do all they can to avoid paying their fees. For example they may switch banks or jobs simply to avoid garnishments. Parties that move out of state can be especially frustrating because a judgment from one state is not automatically enforceable in another. If you successfully sued another party in your home state for a money judgment, and that party now resides in Oklahoma, you will need to go through a process called “registering a foreign judgment” in order to enforce it in Oklahoma.
Registering a Foreign Judgment
Reasons for registering a foreign judgment are fairly clear. The Oklahoma Courts cannot and will not recognize judgments from other states unless they register in an Oklahoma Court. This means that you, as the holder of the judgment cannot take common measures to collect. Some of these measures, like a garnishment or placing a lien will not work. However, by registering, you gain all the protections and benefits of the Oklahoma Court system. This operates as if the judgment is from here originally. Thus, any collection activity you could take on a judgment from an Oklahoma court you can now take on the judgment from another state.
Process of Registering a Foreign Judgment
The process to register requires certain documents, which you can find under Title 12 §721 and §722. Here you will find an “authenticated” copy of the foreign judgment. This bears the original signature of the judge and generally has an emossed seal or stamp. Some states call these “certified copies” or “exemplified copies”. The court clerk will be the best point of contact for you to find this copy. Some courthouses will further charge you a fee for the copy and subsequent mailing fees.
After you receive a copy of the judgment, you need to file a Petition to Register Foreign Judgement. This will require the names of the parties, their addresses, the original judgment, and legal authority to register. Further, you must file an affidavit that lists the parties’ addresses again. Next, you file a Notice of Registration of Foreign Judgment. A process server will serve this document on the person whom the judgment is against. It provides the defendant with notice so they can begin looking into their legal options.
A twenty day wait period occurs after the defendant is served. Once complete, you can now take action in court. As a result, an asset hearing generally happens. The court will demand during this hearing that the defendant appear and bring records of their personal property and employment. Generally, the court will review these items and determine which assets can satisfy the judgment for the outstanding costs. At this point, anything left outstanding is subject to liens and garnishments.
Legal Support from Tulsa Bankruptcy Attorneys
Hiring a bankruptcy attorney will help you streamline your approach to Register a Foreign Judgment. This will ensure that someone cannot hide in Oklahoma from a legal judgment against them. We will help you fight for what is yours. Call us today for a free consultation. We can help you complete the process quickly and correctly. 918.739.8984