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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1

    Default How do I Collect on an Arbitration award?

    I am in Pittsburgh, PA (Allegheny county). I won an award against a former landlord in Arbitration after appeal and would like to finally collect my money.

    The 30 days for the Landlord to appeal following the arbitration judgement have expired and I will file for Judgement on the arbitration claim on Monday. From what I understand I must now serve the Landlord with the judgement papers which will go on his credit report, and then I can finally demand my money.

    Here are my questions:

    1. How do I demand payment? Can I attach a letter with the Judgement when I serve him with the judgement form? Should I call him?

    2. What is the best way to serve the judgement? Should I use registered mail? The Sheriff? Hand-deliver (his only office is a PO Box).

    3. If he fails to give me my money, what options do I have? Can I report him to the credit bureau? The BBB? The really association in Pittsburgh? How do I go about doing this?

    4. How often can I ask him to pay my money? Can I charge him a late fee if he doesn't pay? Can I charge him interest?

    Thanks for any help. If anyone has links to resources where i could research this myself I would be in your debt. I am having a hard time finding answers on the Internet and lawyers won't talk to me for under $75 so I don't know what to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: How do I Collect on an Arbitration award?

    You can check the Pennsylvania civil court rules and local court rules for how a judgment is to be served. In some states it will be mailed by the court. If you have to mail it yourself, first class mail is typically sufficient. Even assuming first class mail is sufficient, nothing would stop you from taking whatever additional steps you felt necessary, such as using certified mail or personal service, if you felt that such service might be helpful at a later date.

    Credit agencies will typically report a judgment once it is recorded with the court. You can request that he pay and, if he does not, check with the court to see if you can get a "creditor's exam" (a proceeding in which he has to testify as to his assets) so you can find out if there are assets you can reach for collection. A credit bureau may be able to help, but you may find their fees to be higher than you expect.

    Judgments typically carry interest, as defined by state law. Late fees are a contractual form of liquidated damages, and thus aren't applicable to payment of a money judgment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Practicing in Los Angeles, California
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    411

    Default Re: How do I Collect on an Arbitration award?

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    You can check the Pennsylvania civil court rules and local court rules for how a judgment is to be served. In some states it will be mailed by the court. If you have to mail it yourself, first class mail is typically sufficient. Even assuming first class mail is sufficient, nothing would stop you from taking whatever additional steps you felt necessary, such as using certified mail or personal service, if you felt that such service might be helpful at a later date.

    Credit agencies will typically report a judgment once it is recorded with the court. You can request that he pay and, if he does not, check with the court to see if you can get a "creditor's exam" (a proceeding in which he has to testify as to his assets) so you can find out if there are assets you can reach for collection. A credit bureau may be able to help, but you may find their fees to be higher than you expect.

    Judgments typically carry interest, as defined by state law. Late fees are a contractual form of liquidated damages, and thus aren't applicable to payment of a money judgment.

    My response:

    Our writer doesn't have a judgment. All our writer has is an arbitration award. Somehow, under PA rules of procedure, our writer needs to have that "award" converted to a "judgment." Then, our writer needs to obtain an Abstract of Judgment. Then, our writer needs to have a "Notice of Debtor's Hearing" served on the defendant - - that way, our writer can find out where the Defendant's assets are; e.g., bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, etc., to have the Sheriff's office levy on those items.

    IAAL

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: How do I Collect on an Arbitration award?

    True, he doesn't have a judgment; but he says he'll have one on Monday.

    "Debtor's Hearing" = "Creditor's Exam". Or whatever they call it in Pennsylvania.
    Quote Quoting Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure - Rule 3117. Discovery in Aid of Execution
    (a) Plaintiff at any time after judgment, before or after the issuance of a writ of execution, may, for the purpose of discovery of assets of the defendant, take the testimony of any person, including a defendant or a garnishee, upon oral examination or written interrogatories as provided by the rules relating to Depositions and Discovery. The prothonotary of the county in which judgment has been entered or of the county within this Commonwealth where the deposition is to be taken, shall issue a subpoena to testify.

    (b) All reasonable expenses in connection with the discovery may be taxed against the defendant as costs if it is ascertained by the discovery proceedings that the defendant has property liable to execution.

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