Federal Judgment Recovery Tips

Federal civil judgments can originate from many different courts, on many different levels, and can be based on many different causes of action.

As per federal law # 28 U.S.C. 1961, federal judgment interest is set to the weekly average of 1-year treasury yields. It changes every week; what else would one expect of the federal government?

When enforcing federal judgments, generally federal laws will apply – except in states where state laws apply. State and federal laws about judgment enforcement often do not overlap, you usually must follow one set of laws or the other.

In general, federal judgments are good for 20 years before renewal is required. However, certain states have decided to use their own limits: for example, in Florida, the limit is five years.

One must usually wait two weeks before starting to enforce federal judgments. This is because under the rules of Federal Procedures, “Rule 62 Stay of Proceedings to Enforce a Judgment, there is: (a) automatic stay; exceptions for injunctions, receiverships, and patent accounting, a judgment creditor must wait 14 days before he can begin to enforce their Judgment.”

If one is not the original judgment creditor, a judgment enforcer’s first step is to verify the assignment of their ownership of the judgment with the court where the judgment originated at.

One usually starts enforcement of a federal judgment at the same federal court, or one may move the judgment to a federal court closer to where the judgment debtor has assets.

The correct way to move a federal judgment to a federal court closer to the debtor is to request a form named “Certification of Judgment for Registration in Another District”. Fill out and submit this form, with a copy of the judgment, with the clerk at a federal court nearest the debtor. In many situations, you do not have to notice the debtor when you move a federal judgment into another federal jurisdiction.

One begins to enforce a federal money judgment by getting a writ of execution, according to federal rules of civil procedures, Rule 69 “(a) in general, (1) money judgment; applicable procedure”. A money judgment is enforced by a writ of execution, unless the court directs otherwise.

The writ is used in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of judgment or execution. This must be done in accordance with the laws of the state where the court is located, but federal laws also may apply.

To perform discovery on a federal money judgment debtor, one may follow federal Rule 69 part 2 “(2) Obtaining Discovery. In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or a successor in interest whose interest appears of record may obtain discovery from any person‚ including the judgment debtor‚ as provided in these rules or by the procedure of the state where the court is located.”

More information can be found at: http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/Rule69.htm



Anyone enforcing a federal judgment must do their own homework to determine answers to inconsistencies, such as the ones mentioned in this article.

Mark D. Shapiro – Judgment Broker – http://www.JudgmentBuy.com