Delaware Judgment Laws

In this article, I will summarize some Delaware judgment laws, that are within the Delaware Annotated General Statutes and Code Series, often referred to as the ANN.

This is one of my many judgment-related: I'm the Judgment referral expert, not an attorney. This article is only my opinion based on my long term experiences, please hire an attorney when you require legal advice.

Title 6, 2301 states that: Delaware interest on judgments is what's settled on in a contract, or five percent above the discount rate of the Federal Reserve.

The statute of limitation for fraud and open accounts for Delaware is four years, written contracts three years, judgments take ten years to expire. In Delaware, bank accounts can't be reached by regular judgment creditors, although employment wages are garnishable. Delaware's earnings levy exemptions are a very high eighty-five percent of the debtor's disposable wages or $127.50 a week taken out of disposable wages, as per schedule.

For someone to become a Delaware collection agency, no bonds are needed, and Delaware has a minimal yearly licensing charge. Delaware just charges forty dollars to register a foreign judgment, with the CF01, CF17A, and CF17 court forms. In Delaware, there is a rare pro-creditor (Chapter thirty-five) law which helps to prevent judgment debtors from moving into another state in order to bypass paying off their judgment(s).

When a judgment is satisfied, the judgment creditor must let the court know. The 3 most common methods of recovering judgments within Delaware is to recover from your judgment debtor's earnings from the debtor's employer, settle the judgment, collect from your judgment debtor's earnings from the debtor's employer, or levy or record a lien on the real estate.

In order to place a judgment lien on your judgment debtor's property, buy and record a certified transcript of your judgment entry docket with a Justice Of The Peace Court (or the Prothonotary of the Superior Court) within the same county where the debtor's real estate is located. This will place your lien within the same county as the court.

When the debtor is employed within Delaware and also the debtor's employer is based within Delaware and there's no other levies in front of your garnishment, you may try to levy the debtor's earnings. To levy a debtor's earnings, use Form number CF17 (Garnishment of property/wages).

When you download Form CF17 from a website, make 4 copies of your filled out form. Retain a for yourself and mail or take to your court, the original and three copies of the form including the court filing charge. When you have a carbonized Form CF17 that you got at your court, you don't have to have any more copies of the form, except for one copy for yourself.

When you file your forms, your court sends a copy to your judgment debtor's employer, and that employer must provide their answer at the court within twenty days. That employer needs to newer the court and explain if they currently employ your judgment debtor, and whether there's a reason why your judgment debtor's earnings can't get levied (e.g., some other ongoing levy in place); and when there is no reason, your judgment debtor's rate of pay.

The dollar amount of debtor earnings which can get levied will be restricted by Federal and Delaware law. With certain situations, your judgment debtor's earnings can not get levied as the debtor's disposable earnings are less than the limit legally (Form 34). Most likely within all states, and also within the state of Delaware too, there may be just a single wage levy at a time. Usually, the earliest to begin their garnishment is the winner.

Particularly when the Delaware judgment debtor owns some real estate and/or could inherit real estate, you might collect your judgment if you record a lien on their real estate. If there's sufficient equity when you subtract your judgment debtor's property loans and likely homeowner's exemption amount (now one hundred and twenty-five thousand for someone's primary living residence), when you've got enough money and time; you could attempt to auction off your judgment debtor's real estate with a constable's auction sale.

To start an auction sale of your judgment debtor's real estate property, one should start with Forms number 16 (Levy) and 21 (Inventory and Appraisement). Just like Form CF17 discussed previously, one might need to make a few copies of the filled-in form. Within the state of Delaware, a judgment creditor usually can't specify which debtor property they wish the constable to garnish (levy). One exception may be your judgment debtor's motor vehicle(s).

Certain Delaware judgment debtor belongings will be exempted from a creditor's garnishment and later auction sale. Some examples are family and book collections, the debtor's family's Bible, family and school pictures and photographs, the clothes belonging to the judgment debtor and/or their immediate family, fixtures, implements, and tools used for your judgment debtor's business or trade as much as seventy-five dollars, sewing machines belonging to private families or seamstresses. On top of those exemptions, the head of a family gets an additional exemption of five hundred dollars. For additional info, look up 10 Delaware Codes: 4901 through 4913.

When a judgment creditor submits their Forms number 21 and 16; and a judgment debtor's property(s) isn't exempted, the local constable will then get an estimate for the potential garnishment properties and make sure the auction sale yeilds enough cash to satisfy the creditor's judgment.

Then, the constable will then let the judgment creditor know whether a garnishment worked. The reasons your garnishment might not work include your judgment debtor going bankrupt, or your judgment debtor hasn't any assets to garnish, or your judgment debtor couldn't be found. When your constable does not find assets to garnish, they send the creditor a "Nulla Bona" return.

What do you do if your judgment debtor's Delaware assets are being held by some other entity or person? It can be handled with Form 17.

In Delaware, bank accounts can't be garnished by a typical judgment creditor. Can one use a turnover order? I'm not an attorney, and I think when money in a bank account are exempt from creditors, then this exemption could get raised for a defense to your turnover order proposal.

When you want to find a good judgment professional or a good collection attorney in Delaware, visit the Delaware State Bar Association website at:, or contact a judgment broker.

Mark Shapiro - Judgment Broker - - the place Judgments go and are quickly Collected.

This article was published on 10 Sep 2014 and has been viewed 1012 times
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