There can be certain expenses incurred by a judgment creditor engaged in enforcing a money judgment. After the final judgment is awarded, there are a number of different collection activities that require a fee to be paid to the clerk of court or some other official. Honestly, there are times in some people’s lives when financial hardships make it difficult to pay the fees. That is when it is helpful to know about an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship or other similar documents. This document is also sometimes referred to as a Pauper’s Affidavit.
When a judgment creditor goes to the courthouse to file for various collection actions, there is normally a monetary cost involved. Costs vary according to what action is being pursued and also by jurisdiction. If I want to file documents in order to seize, freeze, levy, garnish, or execute on the income or assets of my judgment debtor, you can bet there will be fees and costs for me to pay to the proper authorities. If I choose to pursue post judgment discovery such as interrogatories, depositions, request for production of documents, and the like, there will be costs and fees involved. I guess the situation is sort of like the old saying that sometimes “you have to spend or invest money to make money.”
Whenever a judgment creditor is suffering through times of unusual financial hardship, it doesn’t seem fair to have to pay money to the court or officials just to be able to collect judgment money. You feel cheated to have to pay money while the judgment debtor hasn’t paid the judgment debt. It can be frustrating and discouraging.
In these situations, there exists in many states and jurisdictions various means of getting relief from some of these judgment enforcement expenses. The relief can be found through the utilization of an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship or something similar in nature like a Pauper’s Affidavit. By signing and filing this affidavit or whatever the local post judgment Rules of Procedure allow, a citizen can claim that paying certain court fees would be an exceptional burden. Your court may provide a specific form to use for this. The court will review the affidavit and typically grant a waiver to the judgment creditor for payment of the allowable fees or expenses. This is a fair and equitable arrangement to assist citizens with obtaining complete justice from their legal adversary.
Anyone who owns an unpaid judgment and is going through particularly difficult financial circumstances would do well to look into this. It can be a life saver to find out that an inability to pay, will not automatically prohibit a judgment creditor from pursuing collection activities on their judgment. An Affidavit of Substantial Hardship may be just the ticket needed to open an enforcement door that seemed closed due to personal finances.
Good luck as we go forward to seize, freeze, garnish, levy, and execute to get paid what our judgment debtors owes us.