Some debtors are adroit at ignoring written communication like letters or discovery. Their denial seems impenetrable. So we often have to show debtors more concrete proof that we mean business. If the debtor continually ignores us, this could mean working towards an order for the court to have them placed under arrest.
Another tool at our disposal is a motion for turnover. Here, the court will order a debtor to turn over “non-exempt” assets so they can be sold, thereby satisfying the debt.
We call these "non-exempt" because there are certain assets that can’t be turned over, and are therefore exempt. Non-exempt assets can include real estate, vehicles, and other personal possessions.
Sometimes, it is the only remedy that can push the debtor to settle with you.
Of course, whether we satisfy a judgment using the debtor's property or their checking account makes no difference to us. We just want the debt settled and applying pressure from every possible angle is what gets the job done.
Keep applying the pressure
When a motion for turnover is filed, the debtor will receive a notice to appear in court. Next, they appear. Then, they're ordered to turn over their assets.
Each step in this process is an opportunity for us to sit down with the debtor and resolve the situation once and for all. The realization that the sheriff is about to auction off their property is often pretty good motivation for the debtor to listen to what we have to say.
Setting the motion in motion
For a motion for turnover to be granted, we’ll typically need to schedule a hearing with the court. In some circumstances, evidence can be presented to a judge and they can grant the motion without the debtor being present. Once the motion is granted, the debtor is given thirty days to turn their assets over, and then they're sold at auction.
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