[QUOTE=Dave T;893522]My home sate of SC does not allow wage garnishment except for child support. Does the state your tenant is moving to permit wage garnishment?[/QUOTE]
I, too, am in SC. I believe there are 5 states where we don’t have the full bag of tricks to collect on awarded judgments: SC, NC, PA, TX, and FL.
It’s probably a good thing (for the original poster) that his tenant is moving to NJ if he really wants to garnish her wages since PA has debtor protections that NJ doesn’t. He probably doesn’t need an attorney to file the proper forms to domesticate a judgment and garnish her wages. Ask the NJ courthouse for the proper papers, one being a Writ of Garnishment probably as well as those required for domestication. Be should be sure to get the address of where your tenant is moving, be friendly and tell her you need her address to mail the remainder of her security deposit to her or something like that.
Here in SC, it only costs $80 in small claims court to get awarded a judgment but, as Dave T said, it is almost impossible to collect on an awarded judgment in SC since there are so many debtor exemptions. I have 3 awarded judgments in SC that I’ll probably never collect on. I didn’t get the judgments to collect on them but rather to have one former tenant kicked out of the Section 8 rent program, to keep another person from getting a mortgage loan, and the keep the third person from qualifying for certain local public assistance programs. I figured that an eviction costs $55 so why not spend an extra $25 each to mess the idiots up a bit.
Good luck to the original poster. Since NJ allows for wage garnishment, I’d try to garnish her wages as well just to be a thorn in her side. If you can, report her to credit bureaus as well (have the NJ courthouse report the judgment to the credit bureaus since they will not take judgment info from individuals but only from third parties who are members of their subscription services and from courthouses).