This article provides an overview of how to collect a debt by garnishment of wages and bank accounts.

What is a Garnishment?

A garnishment is when a court orders a third party to deliver money to the Judgment Creditor that would otherwise be owed to the Judgment Debtor. In a way, a garnishment is a method for a Judgment Creditor’s to intercept money that is on its way to the debtor.

Garnishment proceedings are an effective way of enforcing a judgment. But the Judgment Creditor must have good information regarding either where a debtor’s property is located or where a debtor is employed.

Garnishing a Bank Account

One method is to request the court issue a garnishment summons to a financial institution that is in possession of the debtor’s funds.

The procedure involves filing a Garnishment Affidavit with the court clerk. The Garnishment Affidavit should state who the parties are and the outstanding balance of the judgment. The affidavit should then allege that the Debtor maintains an account with a financial institution and specifically identify that bank or financial institution.

After filing the Garnishment Affidavit, the creditor then requests the court clerk issue a Garnishment Summons, which directs the bank to file a written response with the court within 10 days that states whether or not they currently hold any of the debtors money.

Continuing Garnishment of Wages

A Judgment Creditor may request the court issue a continuing garnishment summons to the Debtor’s employer, directing the employer to deliver the funds to Judgment Creditor.

Other forms of Garnishment

While garnishing bank accounts and employment wages are among the most common forms of debt collection, they are not the only options available to a judgment creditor.

Because a garnishment is the interception of a third-party’s obligation to a debtor, a judgment creditor can intervene in a variety of contexts. For instance, a Judgment Creditor could garnish the obligation a third-party may have to the debtor from a contractual relationship, such as a landlord-tenant or mortgagor-mortgagee arrangement.

Hiring a Lawyer to pursue garnishment and debt collection in Oklahoma

Travis Charles Smith is available for enforcement of judgments in Oklahoma on a contingency fee basis. For more information, please send us an email or call (405) 724-8112.