Collecting Judgments & Orders of Seizure

Collecting Judgments

To have the Sheriff carry out a judgment to seize assets, you must provide as much information about the location of the debtor's assets as possible, such as:

  • Bank accounts - bank names, account numbers, savings/checking;
  • Brokerage accounts and securities holdings - companies, account numbers;
  • Real estate holdings - addresses;
  • Vehicles owned - makes/models, years, license plate numbers; and
  • Business holdings - Does debtor own any businesses? If so, name and address of the business.

You may know some of this information or be able to find it on statements, canceled checks, bills, or other personal records. You can check with the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if the judgment debtor owns a car that is registered in the state.

You can also obtain an "Information Subpoena" which is a legal document that requires a person (or business entity) to answer questions about their assets. The New York City Small Claims Court can advise you about this process.

There are additional fees involved if the Sheriff has to seize personal property for auction to satisfy the judgment. These fees may include advertising, carting, and security. Enforcement action will not be taken by the sheriff unless the fees are paid in advance. Some property is exempt from being seized to satisfy a judgment.

Judgment Types

Orders of Seizure

At any time before a court decision is made, an Order of Seizure can be issued to collect personal property which may have been wrongly taken or withheld from the person entitled to it. Orders of Seizure are temporary. Please bring or send:

  1. A certified copy, plus two copies of the Order of Seizure and the papers upon which the order was granted including the summons and complaint;
  2. The undertaking fixed and approved by the Court for twice the value of the property as stated in the affidavit;
  3. Cover letter detailing actions to be taken;
  4. Check or Money Order for $126.50 made out to "NYC Sheriff";

If sending by mail, send the documents to the office in the borough where defendant or defendant's property is located.